Having a home theater system is becoming more and more common in the United States.
This is likely because these days, more people prefer to watch a movie from the comfort of their couch than go to out to the cinema.
After all, what’s not to love about a home theater system? You don’t have anyone talking loudly on their cellphone behind you, you don’t have to race through dinner to make your movie, and you can wear your pajamas.
Everything is going great…until one day, something goes wrong. What can you do to fix it? How can you troubleshoot it on your own? When do you know it’s time to see a professional?
Relax. We’ve got you covered. In this post, we’re telling you everything you need to know about how to troubleshoot your home theater system.
If You’re Experiencing Loudspeaker Issues…
When the issue is with sound, it’s likely that a singular speaker is the problem. To identify what’s going on, first try to link up the problem speaker (“Speaker 1”) to a different channel (we’ll call this “Channel 2.” “Channel 1” will be the channel the problem speaker was on in the first place.)
If, even on Channel 2, the speaker still doesn’t work, you know you have an issue. What you don’t know is if it’s the channel or the loudspeaker that’s causing the problem.
To figure this out, try to connect another speaker (“Speaker 2”) to Channel 1. Does Speaker 2 sound just as bad as Speaker 1? If not, it’s an issue with the speaker. If so, it’s an issue with the channel.
Unfortunately, if the problem is with the speaker, then it’s time to get out your warranty papers and hope that your speaker will still be covered. It’s likely that you’ll either need a new speaker or that you’ll need to make a call to tech support.
If your problem is with the channel, then you can get new speaker wire. Hopefully, connecting a new speaker wire to the bad channel will solve the problem.
However, if a new speaker wire doesn’t fix things, it’s not over yet.
The problem could also be with the channel’s amplifier. Sometimes (in a best case scenario) it’s as easy as cleaning out the amplifier’s inside with canned air.
Other times, you could have a short circuit on your hands. At this stage, unless you feel confident in your abilities, we’d suggest calling in professional help.
If Your System Won’t Turn on…
First of all, just make sure that your surge protector is actually plugged in. It’s surprising just how easily these things can slip out of the socket.
If you’re still not getting any kind of reception, then check and see if the cable box itself is actually connected to your TV. Also, make sure that your TV is actually turned to the correct channel (for most, that will either be Channel 3 or 4.)
If you’re working with a High Definition (HD) system, then you need to make sure your TV connects to the system on the DVI or HDMI inputs.
If Your DVD Is Jammed Or Not Playing Properly…
Surprisingly, some of this may have more to do with the age of your DVD player than anything else. Sometimes, older players have a hard time synching up with newer DVDs.
Other times, of course, it could be the DVD itself. That copy of Casablanca you’ve watched thousands of times? Chances are, it’s a little scratched. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a DVD cleaning system to keep DVDs in tip-top shape.
Finally, your DVD player could simply be dirty. We know it sounds too good to be true, but you’d be surprised how often a large clump of dust can seriously back things up. Use lens cleaner to gently wipe down the inside of your DVD player (while it’s unplugged, of course!)
If that doesn’t work, it’s time for professional help…or a new DVD player.
If Your Image Quality Is Poor…
You didn’t get a home theater system so you could watch grainy or highly pixelated movies. This is one of the most frustrating things to deal with, but luckily there are lots of fixes out there.
Start by checking the weather. Yes, you read that right. If it’s especially stormy outside, you could experience some service interruptions.
Other times, your cable might not be fully connected to your projector or television. If your cable is connected, then the cable itself might be the problem. Switch out the cable to see if that’s the case.
If the color on your screen doesn’t seem right, then first check to see if your colors still look grey on different sources.
If that’s still true, then it’s time to ensure that your color preference setting haven’t been tampered with. If so, there are usually plenty of preset color options that you can quickly restore your settings to.
You can also play around with these preset options until you settle on a level of saturation that floats your boat.
If Your HDMI Connection Is Acting Up…
This is a common problem, and unfortunately fixing it is a little more complicated than most other issues.
Essentially, the issue likely lies in the order in which you’re turning your different systems on. It’s all about finding the exact right order. Should you turn your DVD player on first, then your TV, then the HDMI? Or should you flip that order?
Sometimes, it’s all about trial and error.
You Can Now Troubleshoot Your Home Theater System
Thanks to this article, the next time your home theater system experiences a glitch, it won’t be the end of the world.
Apply these tips to prevent a meltdown, finish your movie in peace, or avoid having to deal with the expense of a professional repair service.
Looking to learn more about home theaters? Need advice on the best projector systems to buy? From reviews, expert blog posts, and detailed product descriptions, we have everything you need.
We invite you to browse our website and to contact us with any questions!