One of my friends is setting up a TV for another friend, and noticed something very odd. I don't know the specifics of the TV, but we're talking a 2014 Samsung Smart TV that hasn't been cheap at all.

First of all, I could've posted this somewhere else as it seems to be an HDMI problem but (and feel more than free to move if it I missed a more relevant stack exchange - I just wanted the information out there as Google revealed nothing);

  • Signal Processing seemed to be more for the signals themselves, and while I think it might be the TV decrypting (I'm guessing that an HDMI signal to a picture is an expensive operation?) the signal in the background, I wasn't sure, so it didn't seem right.
  • Movies & TV seemed to be more about shows and such rather than the electrical specifications for a TV.
  • Electrical Engineering seemed to be more about Arduinos and machine programming rather than TV support.

The problem is super simple and easy to replicate. Turn on any HDMI device, then turn the TV on a channel that isn't HDMI, and the channels will lag and show digital distortion (even though you're not using the HDMI channel at all). Turn the HDMI device off or take the cable out, and they'll be back to normal.

What could be the reason for this, and why does it only happen when the Apple TV (or possibly any other HDMI device) is on?


Apparently (as thought) the solution had nothing to do with the Apple TV but rather the TV itself being horribly built.

In short, the reason is interference. If the HDMI cable and the TV cable were too close to each other the power/throughput from the HDMI cable would destroy the data coming through the TV cable. Yeah - what a genius build quality from Samsung.

The solution? Pick the HDMI port the furthest away from the TV cable and bend them in opposite directions and you're good to go. "What if I have several HDMI devices" you may ask? Your only solution seems to be to turn them off when you don't use them.

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