Menus but no pictures or sound on Virgin Media box

I’ve never had the joy of using a Virgin Media home setup before, but was surprised when setting up a Virgin Media TIVO box with a new TV.

Traditionally if there was a fault with your video cable, the TV simply wouldn’t show any picture, as below, however HDMI with HDCP makes this a little more complicated.

 

HDMI is a bi-directional communication protocol, and any device using High Definition Content Protection (HDCP) is required to check the suitability of the device at the far end before sending protected material. Under normal circumstances something similar to the following happens

  

Thus, with your TIVO box and TV you get pictures. Unfortunately, in my case the HDMI cable was faulty. I was a little reluctant to believe initially is was the cable which was faulty, as I could see and open menus on-screen from the TIVO box, however couldn’t get any actual television channels to play. Something similar to this was happening.

  

After reading online about other Virgin Media customers who have had similar problems, I was intrigued by people posting suggestions such as

“Turn your TV on first, then the TIVO box, and it works fine”

and

“I use a SCART lead, and it works now. Although its annoying I cant see HD pictures”

So after a little while trying to find a ‘sweet spot’ for the cable to sit, the TV flickered a little, then Eastenders came on. A little bemused, I wonder how many other people are struggling with the same issue?