My Surround Sound Has Creashed!

I have a sudden problem that I thought you might suggest something - anything.
Seems my surround sound system on the porch has gone a little crazy.
It has happened twice, once this afternoon when I wasn't present (wife was), and tonight when I was.
First let me describe an overview of my setup, unchanged except for a new Verizon FIOS so-called set-top box two months ago. The set-top box of course passes high-def HDMI TV signal to the TV and sound through a Onkyo receiver, thence to several speakers, including a powered woofer. The TV is set to get its signal via HDMI. I also have a DVD player, but it is off and should not be a consideration.
What happens seems three-fold: 1) The sound volume at speakers goes unbearably loud (ka-boom!). 2) The TV changes from a currently watched high-def channel to a low-def channel (ex: 511 to 6). 3) The 'signal selection' of the TV changes to TV from HDMI, which I guess says it is now getting the signal (channel 6) off the air, and not via Verizon FIOS.
Has this ever happened to anyone? Hasn't happened to me certainly. Wife of course is screaming bloody murder, and has gone bananas. Even threatened to leave me. Hmmm.
I don't know quite where to start investigating. I guess I could take the receiver and speakers out of the picture, and run the TV connected directly to the set-top box. Nothing else. Then wait for it to happen, which it might not, I guess. I dread pulling and changing the cables.
Does anyone have any ideas, besides pity?
Thanks
JW
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On 12/30/2014 06:30 PM, snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

<snip>

yep you've got it
process of elimination
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snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

STB HDMI output to AV receiver HDMI input, DVD player HDMI output to AV receiver HDMI input, receiver HDMI output to TV HDMI input. Connected like this? All devices has to go through AV receiver, in another word AV receiver is a hub for all the devices(audio and video). You turn off(disable) the TV speakers and you control the volume with AV receiver volume control. Is this the case?
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Tony Hwang wrote:

And also all your speakers are in phase including sub woofer.
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wrote:

I am not knowledgable enough to know how I owuld know that. My stupidity I guess. My setup has existed for several years (except for Verizon STBs), with no problem. Shud I try disconnecting the powered woofer since that is the easiest to do? I plan to call Verizon today.
(I just noticed my word 'creashed'. Dang!)
Thanks
JW
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snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

In phase means all speaker cones move in unison. Woofer is not critical due to it's low frequency. Does your AV receiver have set up menu or room correction feature with microphone? Most receivers does. I used to like Yamaha or Denon but upgraded to Anthem which has fantastic room correction softwre called ARC. I can setp up 7 speakers and a woofer precisely and result comes out in graphic prints.
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Wow! Aren't you the smart one. I have a simple 5-speaker surround setup, plus a sub woofer, and the Denon AVR-881 receiver is set to 5-channel stereo. I should mention that just by circumstance the left/right front speakers are two antique quite-large Lafayette (loved that place!) Criterions, each consisting of their own woofers, mid-ranges and tweeters. You don't suppose.....?
Obviously I have no idea if my cones are moving in unison. Maybe I should watch them?
Thanks
JW
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 10:42:12 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

The speaker phase thing has nothing to do with your problem. Tony is right, though for optimal sound they should be connected in phase. All that requires is making sure that the (+) red terminal on the amp is connected to the (+) red terminal on the speaker. Many modern surround systems come with speakers, cables, where it's impossible to hook it up any other way.
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snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

So you have 3 way front units. That is OK, sub-woofer only works like under 100Hz audio signal. LFE connector on receiver is where sub-woofer plugs in. if there is no LFE output, then usually you tap off left channel by convention. Sub frequency low pass point is around 80 - 120Hz. If I jack up the volume I can knock off things on the wall, whole house shakes. 250W PSB(12") sub-woofer seems to have more Oomph than boy's 600W bass guitar amp., LOL! Usually speaker terminals are red and black color. Just make sure red to red, black to black connection to maintain phase.
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wrote:

When I disgorge the components (if I do), I will watch the colors. Won't have the new STB for a few days I think.
Thanks
JW
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:24:04 -0800 (PST), trader_4

OK
HNY
JW
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wrote:

Yes
JW
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On 12/31/2014 7:00 AM, snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

between the FIOS box and the AV Receiver or between the AV Receiver and the TV. Although HDMI handshake problems usually present as the blank blue or purple screen, HDMI also provides audio signal and I can imagine an unstable handshake possibly affecting the audio (although it doesn't account for the change in TV channel observed by the OP).
I had all sorts of video and audio problems when I used my AV receiver with the traditional hook-up (as described below) in conjunction with a FIOS STB. That was also the hook-up recommended in the manual for my AV Receiver. By simple experimentation, I found a different hook-up that provides no problems with either.
My hook-up: HDMI output of FIOS STB directly to an HDMI input on the TV. Optical audio output from TV directly to optical audio input of AV Receiver. Other connected devices with HDMI outputs (Roku, DVD, and free-standing DVR) likewise connected directly to TV's other HDMI inputs. Input selected with TV's input selector, not AV Receiver's input selector - which remains on "TV". Configure settings of AV Receiver to activate the specific optical audio input being fed from the TV. The OP may want to try this hook-up and see if it works better with his equipment.
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On Wednesday, December 31, 2014 9:31:16 AM UTC-5, Peter wrote:

I basically agree with the above. And I know where I would start. I'd check all the relevant cable connections. You can skip the speaker phase thing, it can affect sound quality, but it has nothing to do with the current problem. After that, I'd swap the cable box. It's free and fairly high probability that it's the problem. Something is going wrong in audio *and* video.
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Peter wrote:

Yes, in multi device environment sequence of powering up each device can be an issue. Also there are different version of HDMI specs. I always program my remote to power up receiver first and STB or Blue ray player or network streaming device and then power up HDTV. I give about few seconds wait time for receiver to come up fully ready to hand shake. Your set up is unusual. HDMI cable carries audio/video, how come use extra digital audio cable? My HDTV has only one HDMI cable coming from receiver and just power cord. Nothing else connects to TV set.
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On 12/31/2014 6:56 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Sorry for any lack of clarity in what I wrote above. Yes, I realize that my setup is unusual, but it solved the video distortion and blank screen problems I was having when using the more typical setup.
My current setup only requires one HDMI handshake (between the TV and the device providing the audio/video input). I know that HDMI carries both audio and video and for many setups it works without problem. The redundant optical audio connection (via TOSlink) between HDTV audio output and AV receiver audio input as well as the connection of HDMI input sources directly to my HDTV uses my AV receiver only as a traditional audio amplifier rather than as a combined audio amplifier/input switch, but most important for me, eliminates the second HDMI handshake (i.e. the interposition of the AV receiver between the HDMI input sources and the HDTV). It's no more work when I select my input using the TV's input selection function versus the AV receiver's input selection function. By the way, through the magic of HDMI, regardless of input source, the volume is controlled at the AV receiver even when I use the TV's remote or the STB's remote, and turning on/off the TV automatically turns on the AV Receiver.
Bottom line: Try an alternate setup if the first one is problematic.
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Peter wrote:

Did you check if there is firmware update for your receiver? Maybe your devices have different HDMI version specs. between them causing problem defeating the purpose of using HDMI. Cheap cable is also known to cause funny troubles. One touch programmed remote does every thing at my home.
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On 1/1/2015 10:57 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

[snip]

Haven't checked because I'm totally satisfied with my current setup. It's been connected that way for more than 2 years and the family has learned how to change and use all our input sources. I see no reason to improve on a problem-free solution that provides the same quality audio/video as what the alternate setup is supposed to provide.
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2014 06:39:24 -0800 (PST), trader_4

I have ordered a new STB. Should have it a few days. I hope that turns out to be the problem. Might save my marriage, although at 84, I don't think I should worry about that. OTOH, she is on me about it. :<)
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On Tue, 30 Dec 2014 19:30:22 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@cal.com wrote:

If surround sound crashes and no one is around, does it make a sound?
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