Here's an email I sent to Consumer Reports:
Problem with HDMI inputs on TVs
I use my TV as my computer monitor as well as just for watching TV. So I’m using the remote to switch inputs between these two functions all the time. I watch Netflix using my desktop computer so the computer connection to my TV is important to me. I bought a Sony LDC TV model KDL-32BX330 received on 4-6-2012 and threw it away on 8-17-2016. So I only used it for 4 years and 4 months. It had two HDMI inputs so I started out using one HDMI input for my computer. Well that HDMI connection failed and I verified that it was the TV HDMI input that failed because the second HDMI input worked OK with my computer. But rather than risk losing the second HDMI input on the TV I decided to use the VGA connection on my computer and hook up to the RGB PC IN connection on that TV. All was well until the infrared receiver on the TV quit working and so my remote for that TV would no longer work. So I bought a new VIZIO TV model D28h-D1 on 8-17-2016 because although it had two HDMI inputs, it also had an RGB PC in connection so I could use the VGA connection on my desktop computer to connect to the TV. But I started out using one of the HDMI connections for my computer and sure enough it failed after a few months. So I switched my computer connection to the RGB connection PC in on the TV.
However I started losing channels, especially when it rained, and I thought that TV was going bad. So I bought a Sony TV Model KDL-32W600D received on 1-6-2017 to test to see if indeed the Vizio was going bad and also so I’d have a backup in case I needed to send in the Vizio for repair. It turned out that my over the air antenna needed all the coax connections water-proofed. I have a Channel Master deep fringe 75 mile antenna with a high gain pre-amp mounted on a 41 foot mast. So I applied Gorilla 100% silicone adhesive sealant to the bottom of the preamp where the bottom plate screws on. I applied sealant to the little connector box on the antenna where the coax screws on. I sealed both coax connections on the high gain preamp, one from the antenna to the preamp and a second from the preamp down. That’s three coax connections at the top of the mast. There are two more where the 50 foot coax coming down the mast connects to a 25 foot coax that goes into the house. That connection is grounded to a grounding rod. So once all five of those connections were sealed then the TV worked fine.
I decided to use the bigger Sony TV and just keep the Vizio as a backup. But this new Sony only has two HDMI inputs as well as a component connection – the TV came with a single video connection with red, blue, and green cables attached. So any yellow video connection gets plugged into the green cable. So sure enough the HDMI input that connected my desktop computer failed. So I am using the second HDMI input. But I got an HDMI to component converter. It’s called FarSail HD 1080p HDMI to RCA. So it takes an HDMI input from my computer and the output is red, white and yellow. It has a USB/power connection on the side. The trouble is that it comes out black and white on my TV with mediocre video and audio. So I’m very disappointed. I was hoping it would be as good as the RGB PC-in connection when I used my VGA connection from my computer.
But my question for the ‘Ask Our Experts’ at Consumer Reports is what is wrong with these HDMI inputs on these TVs? Why do they keep failing when I connect my desktop computer to them? The HDMI output from the computer keeps working OK. Everything is plugged into a surge protector. My electricity is grounded right where it comes into my house. Both the antenna mast and the coax are grounded (two grounding rods). My HDMI cable is fine. I checked the web and there are 19 little wires for these HDMI connections. I can keep using the Sony with the second HDMI connection until it fails and then send it in for repair since it has a one year warranty. But why bother? It would come back ‘fixed’ and I’d have about 8 more months of use until both HDMI inputs fail again.
I’m having some difficulty finding a good HDMI to component converter. I’m out $30 for the FarSail device. I’ve ordered another HDMI to component converter that uses all 5 inputs (red, white, red, blue, and green) and had good reviews. That one is $60. So I sure would’ve been willing to pay an extra $50 in the first place for a TV with even a single good HDMI input. I won’t buy a TV unless Consumer Reports recommends it and you recommended all three of these TVs. So PLEASE put some pressure on Sony to put good HDMI inputs on their TVs. I’d prefer to have one good HDMI input instead of having two HDMI inputs that fail. If the single HDMI input was good then I wouldn’t even need any other inputs such as the component or RGB PC-in input. I’d be willing to pay more for quality. I paid $328.00 for the Sony I threw away after 4 years and 4 months. I paid $298.00 for the Sony that I bought on 1-6-2017. So that’s over $600. A TV doesn’t have to last 10 years but it should last at least 7 years. I forget what I paid for my Sony Trinitron. It was a CRT and weighed over 50 pounds. I even had a converter box for it when digital first came out. I’ll probably just go back to using the Vizio with the RGB connection for my computer if this second HDMI to component converter doesn’t work. Do you do any longer term testing on these HDMI inputs for these TVs and how do your contacts at Sony feel about their HDMI connections failing? Actually I’m using a DVI adapter to the DVI connection on the back of my computer (Lenovo Erazer X315). That adapter adapts to a VGA cable. The VGA cable then connects to the RGB connection on the Vizio TV. But my preference is that the HDMI inputs on the TV keep working. If nothing else at least I’ve brought your attention to this HDMI input failing problem with these TVs. Thanks.