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Swallowing my pride...I need help.


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   ndl4

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Posted August 12 2012 - 11:05 PM

To narrow things down a bit, this thread will be about troubleshooting a few issues with my new home theater setup. Tech specs: TV: Samsung PN51E530 Receiver: Sony STRDH720 Speakers: Onkyo SKS-HT540 BluRay: Sony BDP-S570 Media: DirecTV HD receiver HDMI Cables: Amazon Basics Speaker Wire: Mediabridge 16ga HDMI cable from bluray to receiver, from satellite box to receiver, from receiver to TV. I consider myself slightly more advanced than a "beginner" when it comes to home theater and electronics in general, but I'm having some issues. I built this system piece-by-piece, on a budget (obviously), and it worked flawlessly for about 2 months. The first issue to arrive came when using the bluray player. I don't exactly recall whether we were streaming video or watching a DVD, BDVD...whatever... Anyway, all of a sudden there was a bright white flash...then another...then two more...and so on until we couldn't watch anything. The best way I can describe the "flashes" would be to compare them to a strobe light. They were bright white, only lasting for an instant. After this happened, I shut everything down and turned to the handy-dandy interweb for some advice. I combed through forums, answer sites, manufacturer product reviews, troubleshooting guides, etc., etc. The closest answer I could find was that perhaps I had a faulty HDMI cable...or maybe this was just wishful thinking. Anyway, I replaced the cable shortly thereafter, and things were back to normal. *Now I feel like I must note that we don't use our home theater a whole lot. I'd estimate maybe 2-3 hours, every other day. Maybe 20 hours a week. I know this is not optimal for troubleshooting purposes. Now last week my girlfriend was watching TV and our problem was back. Only this time she was watching DirecTV, not the bluray player. Now the flashes were "snowy" and dark/black scenes had red pixels showing up. Even the "guide" screen had the odd red pixels. This opened up a whole new can of worms. I ruled out an issue with the TV by running the "Self-Diagnostic" picture test. This is where the colored bars show on the screen, and the prompt reads something to the effect of, "is there still an issue with your picture? Y/N?" When I ran this test, there were no flashes nor red pixels in the black/dark part of the test screen. Easy enough. Next, I started wiggling cables...disconnecting, reconnecting. I made sure all connections were snug...easy enough. I reset the satellite receiver...worked for about 10 minutes, flashes returned. Ah-ha! moment #1: HDMI cable from satellite receiver directly to TV...flawless. Ah-ha! moment #2: The HDMI connector that I pulled from the A/V receiver was very hot... Ah-ha! moment #3: The top for the A/V receiver, directly above the HDMI inputs/output, was very hot to the touch... My entertainment stand, if you are looking at it from the front, measures approx. one receiver high, three receivers wide...boxed in on all sides, except the front. So from left to right, it's my receiver, center channel speaker, and bluray player and satellite receiver (stacked). Now I realize some of you may be yelling at your computer screen, with something like, "of course it's overheating, you knucklehead!" Please feel free to reply with this, haha. Anyway, I shut everything down, pulled out my center channel speaker, turned the receiver so that about 1/3 of it was hanging out in the open. The end sticking out also happens to be here the HDMI ports are located. I left the room for about a half-hour, came back, hooked everything up the way I had it from day one...just to see what would happen... I fired everything up, but I left the center channel speaker sitting out, and the receiver still hanging out in the air. Needless to say, the whole system worked flawlessly for the next 4 hours. UGH.................. Million Dollar Question: Knowing heat and electronics don't play well together, could excessive heat in my A/V receiver be wreaking havoc with my television viewing pleasure? Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?? The flashes? The red pixels? Is it excessive heat? If it's excessive heat, how many fans do I install in the back of my entertainment stand? Is my receiver permanently damaged? If you read this whole post, you are a saint...so thank you, even if you may not have an answer to offer.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted August 13 2012 - 04:19 AM

I can't add much except to confirm what you're thinking, I think the receiver's not handling the heat. Since it seems to work when you let it cool down or give it air it's probably not defective. Since it seems to work with some added air you could try a fan or two in the enclosure. I use one of these underneath my desk for the computer and it works pretty well: http and it's not loud: //www.amazon.com/Achla-Designs-Room-Minuteman-Doorway/dp/B001FXVJ1U/ref=pd_sim_lg_1. Even if you get another receiver, that entertainment stand will never be a good idea since the shelf is so narrow. Have you considered replacing it?

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   gartronics

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Posted August 13 2012 - 04:26 AM

I have not ever experienced this issue before but judging from what you have wrote I would say the heat is surely the issue. I don't think your a/v receiver is permanently damaged since it worked fine pulled out. If your entertainment cabinet has a backing on it that you can remove I would do that. It may look ugly but makes for better ventilation. I always hated entertainment cabinets that had that cardboard backing with wire holes punched out, I just throw that backing away. If you don't want to do that than I suppose you could get some computer case fans and stick back there. It is hard to power them though. You would have to buy a universal power adapter and splice the wires to the fans and set the voltage on it to what ever speed ran best. Keep in mind that they will make noise. Last idea would be to hook up bluray player and satellite unit directly to tv via hdmi and then run an optical audio cable from tv to receiver. That way the receiver won't overheat anymore. Hope this is helpful to you.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 13 2012 - 08:02 AM

I'm willing to bet your receiver(in the manual) states there can't be ANYTHING within 6-8 inches of each side and nothing within 12 inches above it. Rectify the heat problem by moving the AVR. You could mount the center speaker to the TV.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted August 13 2012 - 08:51 AM

Welcome to HTF, Nate! I don't have anything to add to the advice given, but we're glad you're here!

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted August 13 2012 - 10:46 AM

Another option as a fan would be a laptop or notebook cooler that is powered by USB and set one on top of the receiver, and possibly another on top of the DirecTv DVR. You can use the USB ports on the DirecTv DVR to power the fans.

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   ndl4

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Posted August 13 2012 - 08:10 PM

Wow...thank you all for your replies and the warm welcome. It's always nice finding a solid community of helpful people who aren't always trying to rip the "newbs" or tell people to search more. Kudos to you.

Anyway, I think it was helpful to sit down and write everything out in my original post. Being able to read and re-read, then look through all the comments, really helped verify my sneaking suspicions. With that said, I've begun looking into options to create some ventilation in my entertainment stand.

These fans are my initial thought. I would likely grab up 2 or 3 of them then run a USB hub out the back of my satellite receiver. I would then cut some holes in the back of the stand and place the fans accordingly. Additionally, I'd likely get one of the laptop cooling pads to place on top of the A/V receiver.

Quick questions...I've seen various fan options that use a molex connector. Does anyone have experience using a molex-to-ac power adapter? Are they reliable? Efficient? Better than something USB powered?

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted August 14 2012 - 07:43 AM

These fans are my initial thought.
The fan I linked to used a standard ac plug, so it saves the USB configuring. It's also moves slightly more air than the USB fan. It's more expensive from Amazon, but I didn't look around for a better price.




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