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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Troubleshoot Like a Boss

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

The day will come when you will press the “Watch TV” button on your fancy remote control – or however it is that you turn your system on – and…nothing will happen. Or something will happen, but it won’t be the right thing. Generally the problem will boil down to you’ll be able to see it but not hear it or you’ll hear it but not see it.

Before you panic and start spiraling down into an Apocalypse Now-level descent into madness, try these five simple troubleshooting tips. Chances are one of them will get you back on track before the first commercial break!

Go on, be a Boss!

Power Down

Before you get too deep into troubleshooting, check to see if this was just some one-off glitch. Press the “System Off” button on your remote (or manually power everything down), wait a second, and then try powering it back on. It’s possible – especially with a smart remote and if you control your system via infra-red (IR) instead of radio frequency (RF) – that some component just missed its turn on or input flip command and starting over from ground zero will get you back on track.

Check Batteries

The batteries in your remote control are going to die. And probably when you least expect it and when you need them the most. And I don't care if you just changed them; humor me and change the batteries anyhow. Because in my years of experience, “I just did it,” often means that you replaced the batteries about a year ago. Maybe. And even if the remote LOOKS like the batteries are fresh, let’s just change them for laughs. I don’t know how many battery milli-amps, milli-joules, pico-watts or whatever it takes to generate a significantly powerful IR signal to change your receiver’s volume or change the cable box's channel from 12 feet away, but I DO know that a battery change -- even when you have "JUST" done it -- magically seems to fix a variety of ills. Also, if you have a rechargeable model, at some point that battery is going to stop holding a charge and will need to be replaced. Might not be a bad idea to get a spare if yours is more than two years old…

Please click here to continue reading at Sound & Vision!

Categories: May 2014, Electronics

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