The Xbox Series X is at last getting a fix for one of its most perplexing problems: a blank screen appearing when using HDMI 2.1 to connect the console to certain AV receivers.
Like the PS5, the Xbox Series X can use the high bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 to output 120 frames per second video at 4K, or 60 fps on 8K TVs. However, as reported by the 8K Association (opens in new tab), some owners AV receivers and amplifiers found that the console was unusable when passing the signal through their hi-fi setup: a problem that now has a solution.
- Xbox Series X restock: Where to buy Microsoft's top console
- Our picks of the best AV receivers
- Plus: Sony confirms PS5 restock nightmare will continue into next year
Sound United, parent company of Denon and Marantz — two of the three manufacturers with affected AV receivers, along with Yamaha — has produced an “HDMI adapter” device. By using separate HDMI cables to connect the Xbox Series X to the adapter and then the adapter to the receiver, affected users can bypass the issue and enjoy the best Xbox Series X games that support either 4K at 120 fps or 8K at 60 fps video.
The downside here is having to add yet another device to your TV stand or AV cabinet, though Sound United’s HDMI adapter is free to order. Denon (opens in new tab) and Marantz (opens in new tab) receiver owners can follow those links and register from May 15 to get their adapter.
If this is all news to you, you probably don’t need to worry about your own Xbox Series X cutting out on you. The problem is apparently specific to certain AV receivers/amplifiers, as well as specific Sharp TVs in Japan. According to the 8K Association, the console can put out a “strange signal” when using HDMI 2.1’s higher-spec features, but it doesn’t have any adverse effects when simply plugged directly into a TV.
In other words, if your Xbox Series X is connected to anything other than Denon, Marantz or Yamaha hi-fi equipment, you should be fine. Anyone else should be ready to order their adapter on May 15 — except for Yamaha owners, sadly, as the company has yet to reveal its own fix.