Things to check first. - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 10-29-2006, 12:53 PM
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Default Things to check first.

I've developed the following FAQ with a list of "things to check" similar to what they have in most operating manuals, but also based on the experience in this forum.

We know that most people do most of the following, but sometimes even the pros get caught out by the simplest things. So if you think you've tried "everything" look below for a "checklist".

- First rule of troubleshooting a component is to simplify the job and eliminate any other items that could be leading to the problem, so remove any splitters, switches, power bars, cables that aren't required for the particular device, receivers, etc.
  1. Read the manuals. Don't think: "I know it all".
  2. Is everything plugged in properly? If you're using a power bar, try plugging the component(s) directly into the wall. Also try a different circuit of the home (use an extension cord if necessary).
  3. Many problems are due to poor connections. Don't just check your connections, unplug the cable, clean the ends and the contacts on the components if necessary with "isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol" and if possible "reverse" the ends. Put what was at one end into the other component. Make sure that the "colours match". Red-red, Green-Green, etc. Make sure the cables are inserted all the way. Often, if the connectors are very tight, people don't insert all the way.

    If you've got anything "between" the component and the TV, like a switch box, or an A/V receiver, eliminate that item for troubleshooting.
  4. Speaker issues? Receiver shutdowns?

    Check the wires to ensure there is no fraying at the ends that can cause a short across the terminals.

    Ensure that + goes to + and - to -.

    Ensure speakers are connected to the proper terminals - RF to RF, LF to LF, C to C, etc.

    Do the proper setup in the A/V receiver so that the speakers are properly "balanced" - use the "test tones" and an SPL meter. (Yes it's basic, but this stuff happens all the time.)
  5. When plugging in, double check that you have outputs going to inputs and not outputs to outputs. Also, make sure you have the cable going to the CORRECT input/output - check again to make sure.

  6. If 're-using' (old) cables, and having a problem, Swap with known 'working' cables.
  7. DVD player: check that it's enabled for 'DD/DTS' bitstream etc, whatever is appropriate. Verify the video setup is set properly (widescreen-16:9 vs. full screen-4:3).
  8. Receiver: verify that the digital input is assigned to the device (STB/TV/DVD)
  9. To be safe, unplug the component from the power source before switching cables
  10. With 50+ function remotes, or any remote, make sure a switch or button has not been moved or pushed by mistake causing any number of things to happen or not happen. Especially if you've recently had company!
  11. DVI/HDMI Issues:
    • Many HDTVs have difficulty with the HDCP "handshake" with various STBs.
    • DVI may not be "active" on the STB.
    • Check the connection to make sure it's secure, especially if using an adaptor (HDMI). Try not to use adaptors, use the correct cable (HDMI to DVI)
    • Unplug/replug the cable a few times to ensure a good connection.
    • Check for bent pins.
    • Many issues exist, so many cable companies do not officially support DVI, even if active.
  12. Heat is a killer. Many STBs and A/V receivers get really warm. Do not enclose them and make sure they have lots of ventillation, put them "on top".
  13. If your problem is a STB, perform a reboot of the STB, by unplugging it for a few seconds and plugging it back in. Give it an hour after it reboots to allow it to download all the appropriate information, etc.
  14. Same for a TV or any other electronics, unplug it for a few minutes and replug it to see if it "resets", or see if there's a reset button. NOTE: Do not unplug any of the newer "bulb/lamp" TVs without first turning it off and letting it cool down for say 1/2 hour.

  15. If you're having problems with a cable DVR, often the signal strength can be an issue. Have the SS measured.
  16. If your component turns itself on or off, check for "timers" that can be set in the user menu. Some STBs also have a "powersave" mode that comes on in the early morning.
  17. Some compact fluorescent lightbulbs have caused problems with some TVs, some STBs and some remotes. If you are having problems and have CFs, turn them off to see if they are contributing to the issue. Some TVs (Sharp, Samsung) have also been known to cause interference.
  18. Check for any reset switches or blown fuses.

*Do you have updates for this FAQ? Post a note in our "Feedback" forum in the "Update for FAQ" and we will make the changes.*

(This FAQ was originally posted at HDTVoice and has been reprinted here with permission)

Last edited by JU1CYFRU1T; 11-13-2006 at 02:33 PM.
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