- On October 10, 2018
Over the past decade and a half, HDMI has both simplified and complicated home cinema AV connectivity like no other standard. Simplified, because we can now pass high-bandwidth audio and video—along with control commands—over a single cable, replacing the tangle of connections that formerly passed between source component and endpoint. Complicated, because no interface before HDMI introduced such problems as handshaking issues, display identification confusion, and interoperability issues arising from an ever-evolving standard.
With most source devices, you have to troubleshoot these problems yourself, relying on external testers and trial and error. But the Kaleidescape Strato’s built-in HDMI Capabilities tool lets you actually track down, diagnose, and understand many of the most common HDMI issues that can keep such a high-performance movie player from reaching its fullest potential—especially with 4K HDR titles.
To find the HDMI Capabilities and Status tool, first use the Strato’s onscreen display to navigate to System, then Status, and then System Status, where you will find the URL for your browser interface. Make a note of it. Next, start a movie playing on your Strato (preferably a 4K HDR title).
Go to the URL you found above on any laptop or desktop computer connected to the same network as your Strato. Once the page loads, navigate to the Settings tab, then click the Settings button at the bottom of the screen. From there, just click on “Show primary HDMI port capabilities and status” to discover the capabilities of your system and any limitations on playback you may be experiencing.
Check to see if all of the boxes under the HDMI Video Output Status are dark blue. If they are, your system is working to its full potential. But if any of them are orange or red, some aspect of playback is either being degraded in quality or lost altogether.
If the problem is related to HDCP copy protection or dynamic range, this may mean that a component in the system—such as the display or an intermediate device like the AV processor or receiver—may not support the latest HDMI standards. But if the HDMI cable you’re using doesn’t meet the necessary specifications for full-bandwidth playback, it could lead to problems with any or all of the above.
If you’re running into any issues with playback and find that a Strato player isn’t delivering video up to the capabilities of the AV system, there are several Knowledge Base articles that may help. Start with HDMI Best Practices for Strato for a general overview of common connectivity concerns, and HDMI Troubleshooting for Strato if you’re running into specific issues listed in the HDMI Capabilities and Status screen. The article Kaleidescape HDMI Cable Recommendations also provides a list of cables and extenders we’ve tested and found to be reliable at various lengths. (But it shouldn’t be considered an endorsement of any specific brand, nor a comprehensive list of cables and extenders that will work problem-free with the Kaleidescape system.)