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How to Fix Home Theater Turning Itself Off

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path by rating it at the end.

Introduction

Having a quality sound system within your Home Theater setup can make your movie and music much more enjoyable. But if your system turns off as soon as you get started with your movie you definitely have an issue. This guide will help you resolve the problem by checking settings and cables.

Because most home theater setups contain multiple different kinds of hardware components made by a variety of different manufacturers, many of the steps in this guide will be generic. While not all buttons or options that you will see will match your specific equipment, this guide will take you through the process of what to look for and certain steps you can take.

example picture of a home surround sound system setup

1 Turn Off Sleep and Standby

Sleep Timers

Using the Sleep timer, you can set your system to automatically turn itself off after a pre-set amount of time. The Sleep timer can usually be set in minutes according to how many times you hit the button or select the menu.
  1. Press SLEEP on your remote if available. If Sleep is on, it should tell you the set timer and give you the option to turn it off.
    Sony BDVE3100 Remote Sleep Button

Standby Mode

Standby Mode is similar to the Sleep timer in that the system will switch to it when it receives no input for a certain amount of time.

Not all home theater systems have standby mode, opting to instead use sleep mode, but if your system does have it you should access either the menu or display panel to disable it.

2 Check Receiver Cabling and Power

If your Home Theater System is constantly turning itself off there could be a short in the wiring causing issues.

Before moving your equipment or checking any cabling, make absolutely sure that your A/V Receiver and any other components that are currently on are fully powered off.

Adjust Your Power

Plug your device into a wall outlet you know is working, and not on a power strip or surge protector, to reduce the possibility of a short circuit. If that doesn't work try plugging your device into a different wall outlet.

Check Your Cabling

We want to make absolutely sure that all cabling on the rear of your A/V receiver is connected properly.

  1. Speaker wires can be inserted into receivers in a few different manners. Making sure that the bare wires of each speaker cable are making good contact with the binding posts, poles or ports and has not come loose is very important.
    • If your A/V receiver uses binding posts or poles, ensure that the speaker wires did not slide out or come loose while tightening things down or moving the receiver in place.
      AV Speaker wires being tightened
    • If your A/V receiver uses spring-loaded clips, ensure that the bare wire is inserted fully and making good contact with each port. This type of connection can be prone to coming loose if wires are pulled on.
      Spring loaded clips for speaker wires
  2. Some speaker wire is not color-coded for positive and negative, and may have text labels or only a line to indicate positive from negative. Ensure that positive and negative ends are connected properly at both the receiver and each speaker.
    Connected wires
  3. Aside from speakers, ensure that all other connections in the rear of the receiver are firmly and fully connected where they should be.
    Seating cables firmly
  4. After making sure your connections are all firm and seated, check if any of the wires has been damaged or frayed. Not only will these cause your system to power cycle due to improper power supply, they can also catch fire. If you encounter a frayed wire, make sure it isn't plugged in before you remove it.
    A frayed wire

3 Find Out if My Home Theater System is Overheating

Most electronics have a built-in fail-safe to protect them against overheating. Their systems are designed to automatically switch the device off before the level of heat causes permanent damage.

Checking If the System is Too Hot
AVR system with heat waves

Check if your receiver is overheating by placing your hand on the top and sides of the unit. If it feels uncomfortably hot to the touch, then overheating is likely the cause of your frequent shut downs.

Most of the time, the device won't be able to turn back on until the excess heat has sufficiently cooled. You can dissipate this heat often by just leaving it off.

You can also check the front panel display of the receiver since some systems feature warning indicators.

Avoiding a Overheating System

  • To avoid your system heating up too much you need to give it space. Make sure your unit has good clearance on the top and sides to dissipate heat and allow cooler air to flow around the case.
    A system with ample air flow
  • If your system is frequently overheating you may need to modify the shelf you have it on or even consider installing computer case fans to push hot air out and cool air in.
    An AVR with computer case fans
  • Heat rises. If stacking your equipment or keeping it close to each other, make sure the hottest piece is on the top. That way that piece of equipment doesn't push heat into the others.
    A crowded AVR system

 

4 If It Still Doesn't Work

Please contact the product manufacturer for further assistance.

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Having a quality sound system within your Home Theater setup can make your movie and music much more enjoyable. But if your system turns off as soon as you get started with your movie you definitely have an issue. This guide will help you resolve the problem by checking settings and cables.

Because most home theater setups contain multiple different kinds of hardware components made by a variety of different manufacturers, many of the steps in this guide will be generic. While not all buttons or options that you will see will match your specific equipment, this guide will take you through the process of what to look for and certain steps you can take.

example picture of a home surround sound system setup

Sleep Timers

Using the Sleep timer, you can set your system to automatically turn itself off after a pre-set amount of time. The Sleep timer can usually be set in minutes according to how many times you hit the button or select the menu.
  1. Press SLEEP on your remote if available. If Sleep is on, it should tell you the set timer and give you the option to turn it off.
    Sony BDVE3100 Remote Sleep Button

Standby Mode

Standby Mode is similar to the Sleep timer in that the system will switch to it when it receives no input for a certain amount of time.

Not all home theater systems have standby mode, opting to instead use sleep mode, but if your system does have it you should access either the menu or display panel to disable it.

If your Home Theater System is constantly turning itself off there could be a short in the wiring causing issues.

Before moving your equipment or checking any cabling, make absolutely sure that your A/V Receiver and any other components that are currently on are fully powered off.

Adjust Your Power

Plug your device into a wall outlet you know is working, and not on a power strip or surge protector, to reduce the possibility of a short circuit. If that doesn't work try plugging your device into a different wall outlet.

Check Your Cabling

We want to make absolutely sure that all cabling on the rear of your A/V receiver is connected properly.

  1. Speaker wires can be inserted into receivers in a few different manners. Making sure that the bare wires of each speaker cable are making good contact with the binding posts, poles or ports and has not come loose is very important.
    • If your A/V receiver uses binding posts or poles, ensure that the speaker wires did not slide out or come loose while tightening things down or moving the receiver in place.
      AV Speaker wires being tightened
    • If your A/V receiver uses spring-loaded clips, ensure that the bare wire is inserted fully and making good contact with each port. This type of connection can be prone to coming loose if wires are pulled on.
      Spring loaded clips for speaker wires
  2. Some speaker wire is not color-coded for positive and negative, and may have text labels or only a line to indicate positive from negative. Ensure that positive and negative ends are connected properly at both the receiver and each speaker.
    Connected wires
  3. Aside from speakers, ensure that all other connections in the rear of the receiver are firmly and fully connected where they should be.
    Seating cables firmly
  4. After making sure your connections are all firm and seated, check if any of the wires has been damaged or frayed. Not only will these cause your system to power cycle due to improper power supply, they can also catch fire. If you encounter a frayed wire, make sure it isn't plugged in before you remove it.
    A frayed wire

Most electronics have a built-in fail-safe to protect them against overheating. Their systems are designed to automatically switch the device off before the level of heat causes permanent damage.

Checking If the System is Too Hot
AVR system with heat waves

Check if your receiver is overheating by placing your hand on the top and sides of the unit. If it feels uncomfortably hot to the touch, then overheating is likely the cause of your frequent shut downs.

Most of the time, the device won't be able to turn back on until the excess heat has sufficiently cooled. You can dissipate this heat often by just leaving it off.

You can also check the front panel display of the receiver since some systems feature warning indicators.

Avoiding a Overheating System

  • To avoid your system heating up too much you need to give it space. Make sure your unit has good clearance on the top and sides to dissipate heat and allow cooler air to flow around the case.
    A system with ample air flow
  • If your system is frequently overheating you may need to modify the shelf you have it on or even consider installing computer case fans to push hot air out and cool air in.
    An AVR with computer case fans
  • Heat rises. If stacking your equipment or keeping it close to each other, make sure the hottest piece is on the top. That way that piece of equipment doesn't push heat into the others.
    A crowded AVR system