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    Not sure if you guys can help me but...

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    Constara
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    Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Constara on Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:21 am

    Not sure if you guys can help me at all but I figured it was worth a shot.

    We've had our Philips surround sound system for about 2 years now and it's always worked like a charm.

    About a year ago we actually set it up so that the wires were underneath the floor baseboards and were not able to be seen. (We had them strung and taped to the walls before lol) We used a staple gun to hold it in place and made sure none of the speaker wire was harmed.

    It's always had this problem where you would sometimes need to completely unplug it, wait 10 seconds, and plug it back in because it would freeze or static really bad. Okay, that's fine, we just deal with it. Maybe it's a short somewhere?

    However, now it's acting really strange. It's a little hard to explain so just bear with me. You push the power button on the remote and it automatically starts making a loud crackling, static noise. It's a constant noise that happens for about 20 seconds (I counted). After the 20 seconds it stops but then there is no sound! You have to turn it off and then turn it on right after to get sound. It happens in all the modes (I think my receiver has about 5 different modes). I've also noticed that the speakers sound a lot worse then they did before (I'm an audiophile so I notice these things.) The noise comes from all the speakers (it's loudest in the front).

    Now the problem with this silly system is that I can't change the speaker cords and I can't just get another receiver (unless it's the same model), This is because it's one of those home theaters in a box and everything is attached and made specifically for each other. I'm thinking it's the receiver. I'm also thinking that we may have an electrical short somewhere. I mean this is the second surround sound we've gone through in this apartment (the first one was because the cat chewed on the cords.)

    Anyone have any ideas? We were going to buy a different one eventually (HDMI capabilities) but we really didn't want to right now since we just bought school books. x.x
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Lontano on Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:56 am

    I'd have a look at Philips web site to find out whether it's covered by warranty. If it is, I'd send it back. If not... I'd suspect the hardware itself (not that it helps you any). HTIAB systems are usually lower quality components and react poorly to things like:

    - Brown outs
    - Bad grounding
    - Loud volume for long periods of time / heat
    - etc.

    The amps aren't made to last, so they go bad quite often and your symptoms sound familiar. My PC speaker system has been starting to throw some static lately, and I can pretty much guarantee it's the amp in the sub that's the cause. My speakers are about 4 years old so I'm not surprised.

    Funny enough I have some el-cheapo speakers / sub from the early 90's that I've beat on for years and they're still going strong after loads of abuse.

    They just don't make 'em like they used to...
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Constara on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:08 am

    Lontano wrote:I'd have a look at Philips web site to find out whether it's covered by warranty. If it is, I'd send it back. If not... I'd suspect the hardware itself (not that it helps you any). HTIAB systems are usually lower quality components and react poorly to things like:

    - Brown outs
    - Bad grounding
    - Loud volume for long periods of time / heat
    - etc.

    The amps aren't made to last, so they go bad quite often and your symptoms sound familiar. My PC speaker system has been starting to throw some static lately, and I can pretty much guarantee it's the amp in the sub that's the cause. My speakers are about 4 years old so I'm not surprised.

    Funny enough I have some el-cheapo speakers / sub from the early 90's that I've beat on for years and they're still going strong after loads of abuse.

    They just don't make 'em like they used to...
    We bought the 4 year warranty through Best Buy. The system itself had a 1 year so it's a no go from there. I just don't want to dig up everything to take it there. Maybe they'll just take the receiver...I haven't called to ask. I know that they don't even sell them anymore so I don't know what would happen. o.o
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Baradain on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:28 am

    Can you run a speaker wire over the floor to maybe the 2 nearest speakers and unplug all of the other speakers from the system and see what happens? It might just be a short in one of the speaker wires. Have you tried unplugging one speaker wire at a time from the back of the receiver to see if it is just one bad wire?

    Another thing is how much space do you have under the floor bopards where you ran the wiring? It is that time of the year where rodents like to move indoors and is possible something chewed through one of the wires and created a short. This would usually happen at the point where the cable goes through the wall or close to it.

    I would troubleshoot the wiring before spending any money. If you still have the problem after that, then you are looking at hardware. Above I mentioned unplugging the wires one at a time. I am now thinking it would be better to unplug all of them from the back of the receiver/amp and plug them back in one at a time making sure to unplug everything after each try. This way you can see if it works on any of the speakers. If all of the speakers work except one I would then try running a different speaker wire over the floor to that speaker, or if you can physically move the speaker, move it to where one of the good speakers is and use that wire. I think you are looking at one of three things, bad wire, bad speaker, or bad amp/receiver.

    That is about all I can think of.

    My speakers are some top of the line Kenwoods I bought back in the mid 80's same with my stereo system. The joys of being a single man in the Army living in the barracks with no place better to spend my money. The only thing I would really need to upgrade was if I wanted that front center speaker. MY old system is only setup to support 4 speakers. I usually only play the volume between 2 and 3. Usually only on 3 if we are watching something with the great special effects and sound. Pretty cool hearing the shell casings hit the floor to your right or left as they are flying around in the movie. This of course usually has the dogs running back to the back bedroom for some quiet time.


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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Constara on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:42 am

    Baradain wrote:Can you run a speaker wire over the floor to maybe the 2 nearest speakers and unplug all of the other speakers from the system and see what happens? It might just be a short in one of the speaker wires. Have you tried unplugging one speaker wire at a time from the back of the receiver to see if it is just one bad wire?

    Another thing is how much space do you have under the floor bopards where you ran the wiring? It is that time of the year where rodents like to move indoors and is possible something chewed through one of the wires and created a short. This would usually happen at the point where the cable goes through the wall or close to it.

    I would troubleshoot the wiring before spending any money. If you still have the problem after that, then you are looking at hardware. Above I mentioned unplugging the wires one at a time. I am now thinking it would be better to unplug all of them from the back of the receiver/amp and plug them back in one at a time making sure to unplug everything after each try. This way you can see if it works on any of the speakers. If all of the speakers work except one I would then try running a different speaker wire over the floor to that speaker, or if you can physically move the speaker, move it to where one of the good speakers is and use that wire. I think you are looking at one of three things, bad wire, bad speaker, or bad amp/receiver.

    That is about all I can think of.

    My speakers are some top of the line Kenwoods I bought back in the mid 80's same with my stereo system. The joys of being a single man in the Army living in the barracks with no place better to spend my money. The only thing I would really need to upgrade was if I wanted that front center speaker. MY old system is only setup to support 4 speakers. I usually only play the volume between 2 and 3. Usually only on 3 if we are watching something with the great special effects and sound. Pretty cool hearing the sheel casings hit the floor to your right or left as they are flying around in the movie. This of course usually has the dogs running back to the back bedroom for some quiet time.

    Thanks for the reply! Well if it is a bad speaker wire then I'm screwed. The wire is attached to the speaker but you can't un-attach it or replace it. If that makes sense. It was a cheap system.

    This is the one I have:http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/philips-hts3450-home-theater/4505-6740_7-31987193.html

    It got good reviews at the time we bought it. We were also much poorer back then and didn't really care what we bought. We just wanted to replace the one the cat killed. I'll try the unplugging thing today and seeing if it's one particular speaker that is making the whole thing freak out. If that doesn't work we can just live without it for now. It's no fun playing Left 4 Dead when you can't hear where the zombies are coming from IMO. lol

    We were going to get a bed frame next but I think I'll boot this to the top of the list...I think Best Buy is going to give me a little bit of trouble anyway.

    Anybody got any recommendations that won't cost us an arm and a leg? We need 1 HDMI input and 2-3 HDMI outputs. We want to try to stay under $500 if we do decide to replace it. clown
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Constara on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:53 am

    So I've been browsing reviews to see if others have had the same problem and it looks like a lot of people start having problems with it about a year after purchase. Even some similar. Mine lasted almost two years. So it probably is just a hardware thing.
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Evadrepus on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:54 am

    I ran my cable cable under the carpet at one point to get it out of view, and despite my greatest efforts, I managed to crimp it in one little spot. Everything was normal for a while, then we had this wierd thing where if you stepped in a certain spot of the floor, the reception went to hell. After trying a bunch of things, I dug out the wire, and sure enough, I bent it a bit there, and over time, it wore enough to cause an issue. I swear your issue sounds like that.

    Speaker wire should be splicable, I'd think?
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Constara on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:57 am

    Evadrepus wrote:I ran my cable cable under the carpet at one point to get it out of view, and despite my greatest efforts, I managed to crimp it in one little spot. Everything was normal for a while, then we had this wierd thing where if you stepped in a certain spot of the floor, the reception went to hell. After trying a bunch of things, I dug out the wire, and sure enough, I bent it a bit there, and over time, it wore enough to cause an issue. I swear your issue sounds like that.

    Speaker wire should be splicable, I'd think?

    It's not under the carpet. It's underneath the edges of the carpet against the wall by the floor molding. Nobody can step on it. I'm wondering if he accidentally split a wire with the staple gun and just didn't tell me. hmmm it worked fine for a while though. Now if he would stop spilling his drinks on the remotes, we'll be set! XP
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Lontano on Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:31 pm

    Constara wrote:Thanks for the reply! Well if it is a bad speaker wire then I'm screwed. The wire is attached to the speaker but you can't un-attach it or replace it. If that makes sense. It was a cheap system.

    If you already assume it's either not worth returning or that it's unreturnable, you could try going to the speaker and cutting the wire maybe 6 inches from the speaker. Then you can splice in a new piece and give it a try.

    If the static is coming out of ALL the speakers consistently, then it's probably your receiver and therefore unfixable.

    If you're replacing, here's a few thoughts for around $500:

    Onkyo
    Denon - A slight bit more, but I like their receivers

    General search on a few systems:

    About.com

    Now stop me before my technolust kicks in and I spend the afternoon searching only to buy myself new stuff...
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Mpire on Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:47 pm

    Could pop the top and look for obvious popped transistors or burnt diodes IF it doesnt have a sticker that would void the warranty binding the sides. Sounds like a power routing issue. Constant hiss in speakers. Has to warm up ,be turned off, then turned back on for each mode. Kinda hard though with those multi function home theaters though, but if you feel froggy Twisted Evil
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Kahan on Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:11 pm

    If you are going to replace your current system then I have only one recommendation, Onkyo. I just went through this process myself a few months ago, and after much research and himming and hawing over everything I decided on Onkyo. Their systems seem to be about the best systems that you can get short of spending 1k plus on a single speaker. The reviews and sound qualitites placed higher than even some of the well known higher end systems, i.e. Bose. Better quality for half the price. This would be considered a mid-level system, i.e. not htitb, and run you anywhere from $350-$700 for a 7.1 system. You can buy them at Amazon for a better price then at most retail stores. Check out the Onkyo website while you're at it.


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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Evadrepus on Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:54 pm

    Ya, mine was against the wall too, against the baseboards. Somehow, something happened...

    Anyway, hope it works out!
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    Re: Not sure if you guys can help me but...

    Post by Constara on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:38 am

    We took the receiver and subwoofer to Best Buy. They gave us no trouble and are going to send it out for repair. We still have 2 years left on the warranty so it will be fixed for free.

    It definitely is the receiver. When we unplugged all the other speakers and just left the subwoofer plugged it, it made the noises still. The Geek Squad member said that if they can't fix it then they can just give us a new one, same model.

    All I could think was good luck with that because Philips has said that they don't support or make that model anymore.

    I was kinda hoping I would just get some money back for the plan I bought at least instead of them fixing it lol. We've been looking at different ones. I am getting a little more tax money than planned back because of school tuition so we are thinking of just replacing it anyway since it is a cheap system. We are just not looking forward to messing with the wires again.

    We did find one we liked. It had 2 HDMI inputs and 3 component inputs which is what we needed (all 4 of our consoles all use component except for the PS3). However, the front speakers are those tall ones that sit on the floor. And with our bratty feline friend, we are afraid that he will knock them down or use them as a stratching post. They seem like that they would be tough to knock down but our cat is 14 pounds of muscle and still runs around like a kitten. Shocked

    I looked at Onkyo's website and they are a little pricey. We are looking at CNET reviews too.

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