[SOLVED] Vizio Sound Bar Sound Cuts Out

I have a Vizio Sound Bar VSB210WS and it’s great. The sound is superb, it was super easy to install, the subwoofer puts out great sound and I love it. But recently, it started acting strangely. It would cut out for maybe 10-20 seconds and then come back. All the lights came on and the center one was kind of blinking a little – so you know it still worked but there was some sort of problem.

Here’s how that looked:

Vision sound bar lights

I tried a number of things to try to fix it:

  • Turned it off then on
  • Unplugged it for 30 seconds
  • Tried to pair the subwoofer again
  • Changed the battery in the remote
  • Did a factory reset

None of the above worked for me. I did some searching online for ideas. I found a Visio blog but they didn’t seem to have any answers there – all the person moderating that blog would post is that they should contact Visio for support… so that got me nowhere.

I was wondering if it was heat related because it felt warm and when I’d power it down for 30 seconds to a minute and then try it again, it seemed to stay on longer.

I then found a blog post about cleaning it out with a can of air. I had a little bit left, so I tried it. BAM! It stayed on now after spraying the compressed air into the slots on the back. Great. This makes sense and actually tells you that Visio designed this well because they made the sound bar so that it would shut off the amp to cool down before frying the board (electronics) that’s in there, rendering it useless. The lights are there to tell you what’s going on, too. Nice job, Visio!

This morning I tried it again and it was back to cutting in and out again. I figured the next step was to open it up, get another can of air and then give it a better cleaning (which you should do with all electronics – dust is a killer).

Here are the steps I did to open up my Visio sound bar:

  1. I prepped the area by putting a blanket on the table so that I wouldn’t scratch the sound bar.
  2. You can take the feet off of it if you think that’ll help you work… I did this.
  3. Carefully pull of the grill in the front. It might be glued a little (mine was a refurb so maybe that’s why). I didn’t need a screwdriver or anything, I just tried working it from different sides and it came off pretty easily.
  4. Next, there are 16 screws that you have to remove (yes, 16). Be careful not to strip them because they’re in some wells. You will have to take out the suction cup type things that are used to hold the front grill on. Some might still be on the grill piece. Just sort of pinch them and pull with your fingers and they’ll come out.
  5. Once you have the screws out, the speaker unit should separate – do it carefully as some wires are attached to each side and there’s a small board for the LED lights. You should be able to get the two pieces apart though. I had some trouble with a few of the screws on mine. There are glue or something in there and I actually had to get out my Dremel and sort of clear out some of the holes to get the screws to fall out. It was a pain.

Here are some pictures I took while opening it up:

opening sound bar

sound-bar-opening

sound-bar-insides

With mine, I thought there would be more dust – there really wasn’t much. I blew the compressed air in and gave it a thorough cleaning but since there wasn’t too much dust, I figured that maybe the design needed to be improved so that there would be more air flow.

There are some thin slots on the front and back that sort of line up where the power supply is. This must be how they set up the cooling for it but it might not be enough. What I did was drill some bigger holes into the speaker side to make those slots bigger and increase air flow – here a picture:

sound-bar-new-air-vents

Make sure you start with a small drill bit, make small holes and then work your way up to larger bits/holes. The grill will cover up the holes, so they won’t be seen.

I put 4 of the screws back in and then watched a movie to test it. At first, the sound was getting quieter but I live in a condo and my guess is that someone else is using that frequency for their system and the two were interfering. I set the volume manually with the buttons on top and then it stopped. I was able to watch a full movie and there was no cut out or dropped sound anymore – fixed!

I then put it back together and it seems to be working fine. The issue was heat. Use some compressed air to clean it out and then if that doesn’t work, try opening it up to clean it out. If that doesn’t solve it, then you might want to try drilling larger air holes like I did.

With all electronics, if you’re having problems you should first try cleaning it out with compressed air. I actually had to do this with my laptop about a month ago and now it’s running cooler. The dust prohibits airflow, which makes it run hot. When there’s good airflow, electronics run cooler and more efficiently. I would bet that 80% of the reasons electronics fail is because of dust. I think I’ve heard an electronics or computer repair guy say that before and that would make sense.

Good luck!
-Tony

eHarmony Scam?

I started getting more matches in the last few weeks… actually, I haven’t received any in a while. I was wondering if they were sending me more because my subscription was ending.

Sure enough, they’re trying to renew it now.

This smells like scam to me, so no thank you.. NOT renewing.

Someone please contact me when there’s a class-action lawsuit. I’d like to get in on it. This stinks.

-Tony

TV Caters to the Dumb People

I’ve been suffering through jet lag the last few days. After 10 time zone changes, it takes a little bit to recover. Because of this, I’ve been waking up earlier. Sometimes turning the TV helps me get back to sleep if what’s on isn’t too interesting, so that’s a trick I like to employ.

the-dbzThis morning, I happened to catch a morning show (syndicated, apparently) called “The Daily Buzz” or actually they’re just calling it “The DBZ” because their audience apparently can’t handle large words – they have to go with some initials that aren’t even initials for anything. Maybe they’re trying to be trendy and be like “TMZ” but whatever.

I watched just over a half hour and was trying to catch a bit more sleep but there was this annoying sound in my ear… it was our nation getting dumber. I mean the fluff and dribble they were talking about was just meaningless. The only good segment I saw was where one of their producers was trying to stay off Facebook for 10 days and it looked like she was suffering through it and about ready to hang herself… signaling to the audience that it can’t really be done.

This quote comes to my mind from the movie Billy Madison: “Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.”

The show is a little bit genius, too. They found a market segment which likes crap and they’re giving it to them. That’s smart business in one way. This is what as described as the “low information crowd” who just reads headlines or takes in crap like this and they form strong opinions based on nothing – but they don’t know it. Pretty scary. This is the next generation coming up and it’s frightening.

All they were talking about on the show was social media and what’s going on – like that matters. I use social media because I’m in online marketing. I have to know what goes on there. More and more, through, I get frustrated with what I see there. You can tell people’s lives are being ran by Facebook. It’s a drug. I’m happier when I don’t go on it. If I do, it’s to see what friends are up to or get some news about online marketing but I skip all the dribble and don’t pass any on unless it’s significant and has value.

Ok, there are some good shows on TV… I admit that. There are shows that would have been considered movie quality when I was growing up. It has really improved in some ways. I even got a degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis on radio, TV and film, so I’ve studied it.

Back to the DBZ show… some of the production was sub par. They did a split with the hosts one one side (really small) and then a graphic on the other side and clearly that graphic was meant to be full screen. They did this several times. It looked strange. I’m not sure they thought through that.

I got to a point where I had to just turn it off. I guess I thought they maybe hit bottom and it was going to improve but it didn’t – it just got worse. The content was just useless fluff – no meat at all.

I actually can imagine the people that watch this – you see them all the time. They hang out at malls, they yell at one another in public places (no control of their emotions) and they just look like drones – drones conditioned to hang on every word coming out of the screen and buy whatever they’re told to buy.  They just can’t see their lives from the outside and how dumb they look. It’s pathetic.

Sorry for the rant here but this has been on my mind a while. I just got back from visiting a third world country that actually has its act together… India. The improvements you see there are mind blowing. I’ve been traveling there for 12+ years, so I’ve seen a lot of change. You compare some people I saw there who live on the streets and do whatever they have to do to survive with what we have here and the kind of Americans I’m talking about look lazy and clueless.

I know someone who worked at Charter (cable TV company here) and they said that someone came in and said how they were late on their electric bill but panicked when their cable TV was shut off. They came right in and paid their cable bill when that happened. Yeah, paid their cable but not their electric bill… I guess they don’t understand how a television needs electricity or something. Crazy.

I’ll conclude with a message to the youth of today and parents of these kids: don’t allow them to get sucked into this kind of culture. It’ll take work to do this and won’t be easy. Since there are so many parents out there being lazy and letting TV influence their kids’ minds, your child is going to have a huge advantage by not being a part of that crowd. They are going to be the ones running things. There’s going to be a divide and it’s just going to grow and grow. You have the task of deciding which side your children are going to be on. Are they going to be mind-numb drones controlled by the screen or the smart ones?

-Tony

My Portfolio on Fotolia

Last week, I submitted some more of my photos to Fotolia. I’ve tried before and they were not accepted but I got a few in this time. I also kind of understand better the kinds of photos they want, so I’ll be looking through my collection and maybe taking a bunch of photos to send in. The ones I was submitting we more “artsy” and what they really want is more like pictures of stuff… with objects in the center, etc.

Check out my photos.

-Tony

Please Turn Your Phone When Creating a Video

Televisions are… horizontal. Yup, I just verified that this makes sense:

turn-your-phone

If this still is unclear, check out this article:

PSA: Please Turn Your Damn Cellphone Sideways When Recording Video (gizmodo.com)

-Tony