News & Opinion

Your Reminder to Turn it Off and Back On

Have you tried turning it off and back on? This phrase (at least for me) was made famous by the IT Crowd. The idea is that many computer problems can be solved simply by turning your computer off and then back on again. If you’ve ever had an issue with a computer, specifically with adding a device like a printer, you’ve probably found that power cycling your computer fixed the problem. But does that work in home theater? Unfortunately, yes.

AV Receivers are Computers

Heck, everything these days has some sort of processor in it. My refrigerator has a control board somewhere in there (I know because it failed and had to be replaced). Nearly everything has at least some form of computer inside it.

AV receivers are no different. They have lots of functions that are controlled by a processor. When you make changes to your AV receiver, they should, and often do, take effect immediately. But sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it seems like you’ve made the changes and nothing is happening. Is your receiver broken? Did you do something wrong? Why isn’t this working?

Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

It Doesn’t Stop There

Displays are incredibly complex. Subwoofers have smart amps that include wireless connections, DSP, and other features. Heck, even your HDMI connection requires processing. When you put all these things together, it paints a bleak picture. Nearly all the devices in your home theater have some sort of computer in them. If you are having issues, it may not occur to you that the device simply needs to be reset. Powering it off and back on again could be the solution.

We Know It Sounds Dumb

Why did we write this article? Well, honestly, it’s because we ran into a situation in our home theater where power cycling was the solution. We’d made a bunch of changes to our projector’s settings, and nothing was happening. We gave up and powered everything down to take a break and get a snack. When we returned and powered everything back on, it was magically fixed!

And we felt dumb.

When we are working on something, we often get too myopic to think of easy solutions. Turning it off and back on again is the EASIEST solution. It’s so easy that we forget to even think about it. So this reminder is as much for us as it is for everyone else. When all else fails, turn it off and back on again. If that doesn’t work…call the manufacturer.

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