HDMI output keeps going bad on DVR - lightning related


Jul 12, 2017
I live in Florida where there's lightning almost daily in the summer. I have a Samsung HDTV I've had for over 7 years, and an Arris Enhanced DVR from the cable company. Everything is plugged into a surge suppressor and the cable itself is supposedly protected by a suppressor and grounding outside the house. We also have a "zap cap" on our incoming electric provided by the electric company to limit effects from surges and lightning. There are other peripherals (Xbox and Chromecast) attached via HDMI to the Samsung.

All these components have weathered intense storms until last week when lightning struck close to the house (blocks away). We had no surges, or electrical interruptions, but suddenly the DVR would not put out a signal. It was operable otherwise as the cable company could "see" it on their network as communicating and functioning.

I unplugged the Chromecast (on HDMI 3) and plugged that cable into the DVR. No signal. They came out and replaced the DVR with a Samsung.

Two days later, intense lightning storm again. A bolt hits relatively close. No surges, etc. DVR stops putting out a signal, but works otherwise. Again I try removing cable from the TV to the Chromecast and plug it into the DVR. It works this time.

Very next day - a storm. TV was not even on. Bolt hits nearby. An hour later I turn on TV & DVR - no signal from DVR. I try exchanging cables/HDMI ports. Won't work. I plug a monitor and a different HDMI cable to DVR. Again the output is fried.

All the HDMI ports on the TV are operable as are the HDMI cables, as Xbox and Chromecast work fine on them.

Just got another DVR today, but I still have no idea what's doing this or how I can prevent it. Anyone have any thoughts?
Lightning is much more powerful than the usual surges. It can also jump from point to point rather than travel over a wire.
I would guess that the entry point is the cable or RJ45 input (if it's being used) on the back of the DVR. There could be a grounding issue on the cable outside you home, inside the house, or the DVR has a problem. If the DVR has an issue then it's possible that it's a generic problem.
You can have your cable provider send a real technician to check the grounding of your cable wiring. You can contact Arris to see if they have any solutions.


Jul 12, 2017
"I would guess that the entry point is the cable or RJ45 input (if it's being used) on the back of the DVR. There could be a grounding issue on the cable outside you home, inside the house, or the DVR has a problem. "

This was my suspicion as well; the cable technician (or "technician") claimed that we have a surge suppressor on the cable entering my home and there is a ground wire that's properly installed. Of course the suppressor could be bad - but there's nothing visibly wrong, so of course he didn't change it out. They keep trying to blame my HDMI connections and TV, as though the TV is sending out the short. Sounds like BS to me but I'm no expert.

Two different DVRs fried (1 Arris, one Samsung, so it's not the DVR itself).

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