How to fix black screen output


I have OSMC running on the raspberry pi 2. I was tinkering with the different web based controller add-ons and took a break for an hour. When I came back I had no video output. I have powered the device off and back on a few times and still nothing. I have a black screen. I use the web controller and flirc to control it.

I do have SSH access to the box, although I have no idea where to start troubleshooting. Is it possible to FTP my settings and configs and recover them after doing a factory reset?

What I would try first is to rename .kodi in the osmc user home to something else (eg .kodi_save), and then reboot the system.
This should clear a lot of added stuff, and put you to where you have video output - you haven’t lost anything, as you still have the saved setup.

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately I’m ignorant when it comes to Linux but I’m trying to learn. Where would I find that file?

once I know the directory for the file then I can cd into that directory and use the mvcommand, right?

  1. login as osmc
  2. mv .kodi .movi_save

OK, did that. Rebooted and nothing changed. I had a spare sd card so I tried a fresh install and it’s doing the same thing. I reseated both ends of the HDMI cable and even replaced the cable. I’m starting to think it’s a pi problem and not an OSMC problem.

I don’t see any mention of you having tried another power supply - give it a go if you have something handy.

Be aware that many micro USB chargers don’t power a Raspberry Pi reliably.

tried a different psu, no change . The pi still boots and I can SSH to it, just zero HDMI output

After booting with the TV connected and already on run the following commands via SSH and post the results:

tvservice -s
tvservice -m DMT
tvservice -m CEA

These will list the currently active HDMI mode and also the modes the TV reports being available.

Also after doing the above, try unplugging the TV at the power for a couple of minutes to completely reset it, (if you haven’t already tried) then plug the TV back in and turn it on first then reboot the Pi.

I’ve occasionally seen monitors/TV’s that stop reporting any EDID data and have to be powered off and on to start sending it again.

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Do you have vga output from the regular video out? (On a Pi2 it’s in the audio/video out connector and needs an adapter)

Try adding hdmi_force_hotplug=1 to /boot/config.txt

osmc@osmc:~$ tvservice -s
state 0x12001a [HDMI DMT (4) RGB full 4:3], 640x480 @ 60.00Hz, progressive
osmc@osmc:~$ tvservice -m DMT
Group DMT has 3 modes:
(prefer) mode 4: 640x480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:25MHz progressive
mode 9: 800x600 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:40MHz progressive
mode 16: 1024x768 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:65MHz progressive
osmc@osmc:~$ tvservice -m CEA
Group CEA has 5 modes:
mode 1: 640x480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:25MHz progressive
mode 2: 720x480 @ 60Hz 4:3, clock:27MHz progressive
mode 3: 720x480 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:27MHz progressive
mode 4: 1280x720 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:74MHz progressive
(native) mode 16: 1920x1080 @ 60Hz 16:9, clock:148MHz progressive

And what is your display ? A TV or computer monitor ? HDMI or DVI ?

What size is it ?

I don’t have a video display with rca video in at the moment . I did enable hdmi_safe=1 which should enable the hotplug setting.

Cisco DX80 HDMI 23 inch

unplugging the monitor fixed it. I am relieved it’s working but I feel stupid because that was the problem.

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In my setup the Rasberry is powered from AV receiver USB port so when TV starts it kicks on AV receiver together with Rasberry…
Seems that the HDMI handshake between Tv and Rasberry didn’t work well as the screen was always black when TV and Rasberry started in the same time.

Then I tried the hdmi_force_hotswap=1 and screen came back but with low resolution and in 4:3 format only.

Ofcourse when I start Rasberry after TV is already on then screen is fine no issues

Is there a way to force hdmi mode with the hotswap option ?
I am also thinking to somhowe delay rasberry boot up process so TV will start first which could also solve the problem…

This is a path to disaster as it means unclean shutdowns of the Pi and also potential under power.