Xbox Series X has a nasty compatibility problem — what you need to know

xbox series x
(Image credit: Microsoft)

With just two weeks to go until the release of the Xbox Series X, a lot of gamers will be trying to make sure everything is ready to go so they can start playing the new console right away.

The last thing they need is a bug, especially one that stops the games being shown on screen. Because there’s nothing worse than having a system and not being able to use it because of the HDMI port.

HDMI is the real problem here, according to Heise Online. It turns out a number of Panasonic HMDI 2.1 chipsets have been affected by a bug that inhibits 4K/120 fps content and 8K/60 fps content. Considering one of the selling points of the Xbox Series X is playing in 4K/120 fps, that’s a big problem.

Thankfully the issue only affects certain AV receivers, specifically the latest HDMI 2.1 compatible models from Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha. That prevents content from certain graphics cards, including the NVIDIA RTX 3000-series and the Xbox Series X, from passing through.

The issue itself causes a blank screen, which makes everything a little bit useless, and dampens what should have been a major selling point for these new HDMI2.1 receivers. Thankfully it’s not the console or the graphics cards that have the issue.

If you do have one of these receivers, and don’t want to (or can’t) return it, there are some workarounds (via Audioholics). The most obvious is to just plug your console directly into the display, while feeding audio back into the AV receiver via HDMI. That uses the display’s ARC/eARC functionality to feed audio back to the AVR, allowing users to decode native audio from the source. Just make sure to enable the display’s CEC/ArC option, as well as the AVR’s HDMI control or ARC option.

The other is to restrict your console’s output to 4K/60 fps until a permanent solution is found. That’s the default out of the box, so unless you try to change it up you shouldn’t notice the issue. Neither workaround is particularly ideal, but they’re still better than not being able to play at all.

Affected receivers include the Marantz SR range (SR5015, SR6015, SR7015 and SR8015), Denon X-series range (AVR-X2700H, AVC-X3700H, AVC-X4700H, AVC-X6700H) and Yamaha RX-V4A and RX-V6A. If you have one of these, you may well be in for a surprise when your Xbox arrives, so make sure to bear this news in mind.

Thankfully the PS5 doesn’t seem to be affected by this bug, so if you have both an affected receiver and Sony’s latest console on the way, you should be alright. But it’s worth remembering the issue, just in case. Especially if you’re planning on getting a machine with a new Nvidia graphics card.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • Rocky10025
    HEADLINE: Xbox Series X has a nasty compatibility problem — what you need to know

    Last sentence of the 5th graph: "Thankfully it’s not the console or the graphics cards that have the issue." - Its not the Xbox that has the problem its TV/Monitor.

    Shameless! I work at The National Enquirer and ever we would not be this disingenuous. Just saying
  • chriszun
    Such a misleading article title. The issue is not the Xbox, it's the receivers/TVs. You should probably think a little harder when it comes to titles. It's very clear that you're doing it for clickbait. Shame on you
  • MattimusPro
    Indeed! A true reporter worth his merit! Employed by the prestigious "National Enquirer" and would never make such silly misleading mistakes!

    "Thankfully it’s not the console or the graphics cards that have the issue." - Hogwash let me highlight "Its not the Xbox that has the problem its TV/Monitor." Oh wait....

    The HDMI 2.1 issue he was referring to has NOTHING TO DO WITH TVS OR MONITORS! How could this be! I mean accusing our man here of disingenuous headlines in an attempt to make a misleading article, when this clown over here can't even be bothered to read it. Let alone understand what is even being talked about.... it's certain chip-sets manufactured by Panasonic for HDMI 2.1 controllers, used in certain electronics (The Xbox Series X being one of them go figure) not interfacing well with integrated AV "RECEIVERS" 2.1 HDMI ports, and limited to certain models/manufacturers.

    Shameless! I atleast read the article I'm trashing and make sure I understand the basics, before throwing around my pointless credentials. Just saying.