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Oculus Rift Black Screen Issue - HDMI Cable is The Culprit

Shadowmask72Shadowmask72 Posts: 3,207 Power Poster
edited April 2018 in General
A number of Oculus Rift users have experienced issues with their VR headset (myself included) where the problem of intermittent black screens when looking through the Rift might not be down to a software problem as suggested. What seems to happen is any mirror on a desktop monitor still displays the screen and head-tracking, however the Rift itself is just a black screen. Oculus has advised users to check their drivers amongst other things however, in my experience a more glaring HDMI cable problem could be the cause.

I believe there is an inherent design flaw with the Rift HDMI cable and how it attaches itself to the headset. Depending on usage the problem might not manifest itself, but if you use the headset for vigorous activity (such as games like Space Pirate Trainer) or for many hours/days and weeks, over time the connection will begin to warp and snap due to constant movement of its housing. Because the cable drops down to the floor, a bend occurs which eventually wears down or breaks the connection internally. 





I have two cables (one was sent to me from the very kind CrashFu ) that highlights this problem and what is perhaps a little disheartening is Oculus offering replacement cables for quite a high sum of £49.99 on its official store which don't address the design issue. What is or was really needed at the design stage (considering this is a bespoke HDMI cable) is some strengthening of the cable where it bends rather than just a clip which doesn't prevent cable movement or eventual breakage. 

My only advice for people who are suffering intermittent black screens when using the Rift is to check the cable at the bend and perhaps secure it with tape or additional clips to prevent movement. If you get a black screen then be sure to restart the Oculus Service using the Oculus Tray Tool or Windows Task Manager. I believe over time more and more people will start experiencing this and that it's very much down to how often the rift is used and how it is used as to whether you will be affected or not.

For the record, this isn't the only cause of a black screen when using the Rift.


System Specs: RTX 2080 ti , i7 4790K CPU, 16 GB RAM, Win 10 64 Bit OS.

Comments

  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 5,507 Power Poster
    Yup, I've noticed that on my cable a few months ago. I put it down to me not straightening the cable anywhere near enough when it starts to loop up in places.
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • TadinTadin Posts: 280
    Nexus 6
    Kids for some reason only seem to spin one way when playing on the Rift, so after a couple of years worth of Job Simulator my cables entire length is full of kinks like the ones you pictured.

    I always have to spin the headset in the opposite direction 30 times after they finish playing :smile:

    My Rift still works fine luckily, although it has recently stopped working with my 2m HDMI extension cable, i had assumed it was caused by a power issue on my 1080, but maybe its the cable itself... in any case i'm going to try a HDMI repeater to see if i can get the extension working again.

  • Shadowmask72Shadowmask72 Posts: 3,207 Power Poster
    Hey Snowdog. This kink has nothing to do with the cable becoming tangled up through rotations when using. It's more a case of weight pull at the point where the cable has no support coming out from the headset. It dangles at an angle which causes the kink. You could get the same result by only playing seated experiences.


    System Specs: RTX 2080 ti , i7 4790K CPU, 16 GB RAM, Win 10 64 Bit OS.
  • NubasaurusNubasaurus Posts: 1
    NerveGear
    Thanks for the right up.  I can confirm that this just happened to me today.  The area where the cable is attached to the headset band via the clip.  there is a 90 degree bend as the cable heads to the floor.  When I touch that area, the screen becomes blank.  

    They need a way  of replacing this cable but not spending 50 dollars for it.  Maybe make the HDMI portion replaceable.  I love the rift but only got like a year out of it before having to spend another 50 bucks?  They need to fix this soon or else they will be in financial hell with all the bad cables coming back in the coming months.
  • MAC_MAN86MAC_MAN86 Posts: 1,097
    Neo
    edited May 2018
    @Zenbane can add this to his numbers! Mine has the same dude. So that's 5 sunshine ;)
    New cable from Support on it's way...



  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 12,409 Power Poster
    MAC_MAN86 said:
    @Zenbane can add this to his numbers! Mine has the same dude. So that's 2 sunshine ;)

    2 is a good start. Only 999,998 more to go!
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • MAC_MAN86MAC_MAN86 Posts: 1,097
    Neo
    Yours will be the 999,998th obviously.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 12,409 Power Poster
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
    Catch me on Twitter: twitter.com/zenbane
  • MAC_MAN86MAC_MAN86 Posts: 1,097
    Neo
    Support are very helpful on this matter I must add. It's a case by case situation even if you ever bought one second-hand. Oculus are great on this!
  • mgborgmanmgborgman Posts: 2
    NerveGear
    I will say, my Rift does not have the blacking out problem, but I have been afraid of that ever since getting one as like you all have mentioned the kinks in the cable are basically unavoidable. There really isn't much to do other than keep playing and hope that when something goes out Oculus will have my back. But I agree, I wish the design was a little better, but also i'm sure they were trying to have comfort and ease of use in mind, and as we all probably know from our other electronics, cables always seem to have issues if you have to move/bend them frequently. We need John Carmack working on this, Elon Musk called him one of the best engineers, surly he could come up with something. 
  • Protocol7Protocol7 Posts: 276
    Nexus 6
    I think this problem is affecting my cable. It worked fine for a long time but lately I have been getting a black screen in certain situations. I tried the graphics driver reinstall with DDU but unfortunately it didn't help. In Robo Recall I can load up the menu fine but when the game starts the Rift's screen often goes dead, while the game is visible still on my monitor. In Onward when a flashbang goes off sometimes my left-eye Rift screen goes black or they both go black.

  • HiThere_HiThere_ Posts: 1,251
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Funny thing for me is that the black screen flashes happen a lot in very PC intensive game(s), while not happening once in less PC intensive games. This might depend on sitting VS standing ?

    I was hoping new cables had improved over the initial iteration, but it's more like a new cable would just allow me to hold another 2 years, which is hopefully more then I would need really.

    And yes, I find ~59€ expensive for a cable, but it beats having no replacement cable for sale.
  • apadanaoculusapadanaoculus Posts: 1
    NerveGear
    helo
    Connection problem
  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    Did you try reattaching the cable (on both ends)? Downloading the Oculus setup installer again and choosing Repair? Can you try to connect to another port on the video card (for example, using a DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter)?
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  • xXSenjiXxxXSenjiXx Posts: 5
    NerveGear
    edited November 2018
    Its Hardware Design Failure. Nintendo Classic controllers and SNES get brutal treatment on the wires and still works over yrs to come

    I got the same problem aswell... my original cables is going dark on me even though it says its Connected on the Occulus Device.....Even ordered a new pair of cables for it and Guess what!!!.... IT DONT WORK EITHER.... I get no Tracking Issues on my original cable  than i do with the " Suppose NEW cable " they sent me that took over a week to arrive 
  • xXSenjiXxxXSenjiXx Posts: 5
    NerveGear
    ought to have the option to add a small adapter to the head piece so we can run our own cables in .... bad enough that this duel cable is getting alot of reports that its going dark and yet peeps points towards .... its ur PC
    [rant] [rant]
  • HiThere_HiThere_ Posts: 1,251
    3Jane
    To be fair, my CV1 headset took over 2 years to start falling apart (except for the scratched lenses, due to narrow faceplate pulling out everyone's glasses), that cable spent those 2 years getting twisted in 360° games, and what finished it off is the one time I bent down my head, stepped on the cable, and yanked my head back up... ouch.

    It's a bigger issue if the replacement cable doesn't fix this issue, if it's a cable issue to begin with.
  • HiThere_HiThere_ Posts: 1,251
    3Jane
    edited November 2018
    Question : Do you get those black screen flashes in every application, or a lot more often in some applications then others ?

    Because in my case I'm getting them every day up to once every ~10 seconds in one (very) PC intensive sitting game, and like not a single one in a low graphic level, standing up experience... and that's confusing me.

    I did try upgrading the GPU driver (GTX970), but this post is six months old and my cable is damaged, so in my case it's probably a cable issue, even if some games don't seem affected...
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