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My XBOX is connected through an HDMI cable directly to the TV and even though the picture remains perfect, the audio begins to crackle after it’s on for anywhere between 5-20 minutes.

It just started this weekend and has never happened before. It happens when I’m in game (even when nothing is going on, so not related to sound fx), and it continues if I exit to the dashboard. I’m playing Mass Effect right now, and the static gets progressively worse the longer I play, but gets momentarily better if I fast travel in the citadel or save and reload.

I sat on the galaxy map for 5 mins just waiting and listened to it go from a low crackle where I could still hear the background music to an overwhelmingly loud static where nothing in game could be heard.

Once again, it also happens when I exit to the dashboard, so it’s not in game only.

I have the XBOX connected directly to the TV to HDMI 1 port.

I tried connecting it to HDMI 3 and same static noise was heard (picture great).

I tried plugging into HDMI 4, but picture was blurry and came in and out (maybe HDMI 4 has different decoding, I don’t know).

I had this XBOX connected through this HDMI cable to this port for the last 2 months with zero issues.

I had my old XBOX connected to through this cable and this port for 3.5 years with zero issues.

I have sound sent to my receiver with composite rcas.

Sound from tv to receiver while watching tv is crystal clear.

‘Jiggling’ HDMi cable has no effect on sound (still static) or picture (still great) quality.

I tried connecting through 2 other HDMI cables in 2 different ports on the tv with no change in sound quality (still static).

Plugging my optical cable directly from XBOX to receiver has zero issues (sound is great).

I have yet to try another tv as I don’t have one with HDMi. I also haven’t tried composite, s-video, or component yet.

I have yet to try a different game or a movie.

My TV is a 46” Samsung a650 LCD. It is 3.5 years old. Just before this started happening, the TV did something random. While playing XBOX, it decided to change input back to TV (through analog wire, no set top box).

After I changed it back, a few minutes later the settings menu for the TV randomly popped up. I then closed it and turned off the TV and waited a few minutes. After turning it back on, 20 mins later the TV auto shut off. I turned it back on and another 20 mins later it auto shut off again. I waited a few more mins, then turned it back on, and since it has not done any of these things.

The static sound started a couple hours after this.

I thought it might be the XBOX itself, but it’s been working for months and the sound through optical is great. I also thought it might be my TV, but the sound is crackling on every HDMI port. I thought it might be my TV to receiver connection, but that works great for watching TV.

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Have a friend with an XBox you can borrow? That seems to be the only thing you haven't verified :) The XBox HDMI port could be bad –  Brian Apr 23 '12 at 17:52
    
Or the TV's HDMI decoding is the problem. HDMI 4 shouldn't show a fuzzy picture when 1–3 doesn't, and that won't be the XBox's fault. If HDMI + optical gives you decent sound, that points to the TV's HDMI decoder too. Try this XBox with a different TV. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 18 '12 at 16:21
    
did you end up figuring this problem out? i have the exact same problem with mine. corrupted sound, dots on the screen. when i play via optical output sound is perfect but dots still appear on screen. definitely htmi port problem. i tried multiple cables. but i found if changing colour away from auto or RGB it fixes –  wired00 Aug 20 '12 at 4:25
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