MY AV SYSTEM IS DOWN!! NOW WHAT?! AV System TroubleshootingAudioWorks
AV System Troubleshooting
It happens; usually when the big game is on or you have a house full of people. At AudioWorks we do everything we can to ensure our systems are among the most reliable out there but glitches occur, power outages happen and the witching hour of AV is very real. Here are the most common issues we see with customers’ systems when we go out on service calls.
DirecTV Code 771
One of the most common error messages in our state is the dreaded “771 Searching for signal” DirecTV code. This code indicates that the satellite receiver (genie, HD-DVR, etc.) is not able to communicate with the appropriate satellites. So how do you fix it without spending hours on the phone with DirecTV tech support?
- More often then not customers see this code during a snow storm. Snow accumulating on your satellite dish will block incoming signals. The quick fix is to take whatever you can and attempt to knock the snow off of the dish (BUT BE CAREFUL AS HITTING THE DISH TOO HARD COULD KNOCK IT OUT OF ALIGNMENT!!). A more permanent solution would be to have a dish heater installed that is designed to turn on when snow is detected keeping it free and clear.
- If nothing is blocking the dish a simple receiver reset could solve the issue. On every DirecTV receiver there is a red reset button (either behind a flap door on the front of the receiver or on the side of the receiver). Holding this button down for 5-10 seconds will reset the receiver. This is also known to clear up the issue.
- The last thing to try before getting on the phone is to locate and reset your SWM power supply (a device that is rather critical to your DirecTV system). This will be located wherever the most satellite lines are (mechanical room, behind the genie, in an equipment rack) and it looks like this- Unplugging this device will reset the power to the satellite delivery system.
- If none of those three fixes work you could have a dish alignment issue (common after heavy wind storms) or a more serious issue. After trying the first two steps it is now time to call DirecTV to have them look into the issue further.
Projectors and TVs generally have indicator lights on them that will tell you what is the matter. The most common issue we see when brought to a job with this issue is the lamp needs replaced (in a projector). This is typically determined by a flashing “lamp” light on the projector itself when you attempt to turn it on. If all lights are good, or you have a flat panel display, be sure the IR emitter is securely attached to the projector or TV (if you have a control system) or check the batteries in your remote. Very often the projector is on its own power source as well so be sure that no breakers are tripped in the electrical panel.
I have NO VIDEO, or NO AUDIO!!!
This is typically seen in systems with an AV receiver (surround sound receiver) and usually means the AV receiver is either locked up or not powered on. Rebooting the receiver is the most common fix however cables do become unplugged on occasion (during cleaning) and will need to be connected so the signal can flow to the correct devices.
“This” or “That” is not being controlled but everything else is!!
A very common issue in homes with a control system. This is typically caused by the little IR emitters (also called bugs because of how they look) falling off of the equipment. Whether the adhesive is years old and has worn off or they get knocked off by someone cleaning it happens. If everything else is operating correctly (TV is turning on, audio system clicking on, etc.) the most common solution is finding the dangling IR emitter/bug and reattaching it to the equipment. Just be sure to put it in the correct place (which is usually easy to find as there will be adhesive residue in the area it was stuck to). A permanent fix for this is to have IR boots installed on these emitters which have 10x the surface area so the adhesive does not so easily wear out.
My Internet is Down!! My Netflix is down (or slow)!! Pandora isn’t working!! My “insert other internet streaming service” isn’t working!!
All of these issues stem from a loss of or change in internet connectivity. Everyone knows the drill, reboot your modem or router, and you should be back up and going. If you are rebooting constantly (more than once a month) that could be the indicator of another issue and you should get a qualified network tech to assist you. Another solution is to have an auto-reboot device installed that will automatically reboot your networking equipment if it senses a drop in internet service.
If all else fails, reboot reboot reboot
Today’s devices are more computer based than ever before. Lockups can occur that are generally remedied by rebooting the device (either pulling the power cord or, if you’re lucky, flipping the manual switch). It is important however to reboot the correct device. Rebooting your router when your DirecTV goes down won’t have much of an effect. Start from the beginning of the chain and see if you can determine the device that is causing the issue. Here is a basic system diagram to show how the signal gets to your TV or speakers.
Source (directv, cd, etc) –> Audio Receiver (if you have surround sound) –> Display and Speakers
Starting at the source be sure everything in this chain has power and is turned on. The next step is to try using your control system again to get the system synced up or attempt to use the stock remotes to get the equipment to respond.
After all of that it is likely time to get help. Your AV contractor could be able to troubleshoot the system remotely or walk you through something over the phone. In the cases that cannot be fixed easily a service call may be your best option to get you back up and enjoying your system.