When you have been working as a programmer for so many years, you debugging attitude just keep creeping out in the most mundane real-life situations. A couple of weeks ago I succumbed to my wife and bought an LCD TV. Yes, it’s been at least 6 years I do not sit to watch air TV (not that I am missing much here in Argentina). Anyways, as a computer junkie first step after hanging it into the wall was, you bet, connect my laptop to watch some online series.
January 17th, 2011
Man, as always reality kicked in, what was supposed to be the easiest thing to do, just ended up being a remainder of how a very simple uncontrolled variable can kill your users experience.
That’s where debugging attitude kicked in, either the HDMI cable or the TV are faulty (or worse both of them :S).
Tried the HDMI cable on another device, and it worked… damn the TV is faulty I though. So I head back to the retail store and brought a new one, so after an hour or so, I was back with a new TV, I hanged it and guess what. IT DIDN’T WORK!!!
That’s where debugging attitude kicked in. Later that day I was going on vacations to my parents house. It turns out my father is a technology geek, in fact, I used to say when someone needed to test a computer component that I was sure there was stock of replacement parts at home. So I packed up the HDMI cable and my laptop for a ‘quick’ test.
Quick test, the laptop was fine, it worked on any TV set at home. The cable was too. It turns out the TV was actually faulty, but in a very different way!!!
Back at home after vacations, I exchanged a cable with my father, and didn’t work either. Scrap the cable incompatibility hypothesis. I hadn’t many hypothesis left. So I took the TV, the cable and the laptop for a ride to my brother-in-law house, there we setup the TV with its feet and guess what? Holy crap, it worked, not only with my brother-in-law devices, it worked with my laptop too!!!
The debugging spider sense started tingling as something fishy was actually happening. Doing an step by step: do one action, try if it works, do another action, try if it works I hanged the TV to the wall.
Long story short, the TV set has a design flaw that cause the HDMI jack to move out of position when you screw it to the wall mounting bracket. The solution is very simple and obvious (after you know about it), the bottom holes only works as support to keep it leveled, so do not screw them completely. Your mileage will vary but start unscrewing until you find the sweet spot; where you can actually move the TV around (if in an adjustable tilting wall mounting bracket) and still have HDMI connection.
Let me know if that helps you, as I couldnt find any solution online to this particular problem.