Does your Sony Bravia KDL-46W5100 TV spontaneously reboot while playing content via HDMI? Mine did, until I got it fixed under warranty. It took several weeks of diagnosis, attempting various fixes, sending emails and making phone calls before I finally persuaded Sony to fix it.
On Boxing Day last year I bought a Sony Bravia KDL-46W5100 television from Future Shop. For the first three months I owned it, I was really pleased with it. The picture quality was fantastic and I liked using the network-enabled features such as the DLNA streaming media player.
My problems started in the Spring of this year. The TV started to reboot spontaneously while playing content input via the HDMI ports. The screen would turn black for a few seconds and then I would see the Bravia logo splash screen. A few seconds later, I would see “HDMI 1″ in the top left corner, indicating that the TV was connecting to the input device on HDMI port 1. Finally, after a few more seconds, the content would be displayed. You can watch my Youtube video to see this in action.
At first, this behavior was rare, happening only once every few days. Then, after about a month, it became much more frequent, happening several times a day. Sometimes it would even reboot every 15 seconds for several minutes!
I believe the increase in frequency might have coincided with the warmer spring temperatures. In other words, I think the problem might have been somehow related to ambient temperature. However, it’s not like there was a huge change in temperature in the house between winter and spring. After all, our house has central air conditioning. Furthermore, the TV and the HDMI source devices were all very well ventilated.
After a few weeks I couldn’t stand this any longer so I emailed Sony Technical Support. Here is the advice they gave me:
1. Make sure that you have connected the source to the Television properly and securely.
2. Unplug the power cord of the unit from the wall outlet for few minutes, then connect it to a different wall outlet and check the operation.
3. Connect the video source to a different input on the Television and check the operation.
4. Connect a different video source to the Television and check the operation.
5. Replace the connecting cable and check the operation.
6. Reset the TV to factory settings. To reset your TV to factory settings, turn the TV ON. Then, while pressing the UP ARROW button on the Remote Control, press the POWER button on the TV. The TV will turn itself OFF then back ON.
If the issue persists, service will be required.
Yada, yada, yada. Of course I had already tried all of those things and none of them worked.
Next, I phoned Sony Technical Support. The technician I talked to was rude and arrogant. He seemed almost offended that I was suggesting there was something wrong with my Sony KDL-W5100 series TV. He insisted that the problem was caused by my Motorola DCT3416 HD PVR and not my Sony TV. He said that I should get my cable company to replace the PVR.
Well, that rude Sony technician was persuasive. The next day, I called my cable company and a few days later, the cable technician showed up at the door with a brand new PVR. Unfortunately, after replacing the PVR, the TV still rebooted randomly. Luckily, the cable guy was still there to see it. He went to his truck and brought back a component video cable. When we used that component cable to connect the PVR to the TV, instead of the HDMI cable, the TV stopped rebooting. Unfortunately, the picture quality wasn’t as nice as with the HDMI cable and my wife also complained about the unsightly proliferation of wires behind the TV (the three wires of the component cable plus the two wires of the related audio cable).
After a few days, I got used to the video quality of the component cable connection and I decided that I would live with it for a little while before doing battle with Sony again.
Then my big brother came to town, with his fancy Oppo blu-ray player and a stack of blu-ray movies. My brother is a bit of a videophile so he helped me diagnose the problem one afternoon. To rule out that the problem was the Motorola PVR, we plugged in his Oppo blu-ray player via HDMI. Guess what? The TV rebooted with the blu-ray player too so the PVR was not to blame.
Next, we turned our attention to the HDMI cables. We went to the store and bought three different brands of HDMI cable, including the grossly expensive Monster brand. Guess what? The TV still rebooted with all of the cables, even the Monster. After some more testing, we discovered that the problem happened mostly on HDMI ports 1 and 4. It did happen on ports 2 and 3, but only a couple of times.
Armed with this new knowledge, I called back Sony. This time they were very receptive and admitted that it was probably a problem with the TV. I made arrangements to have a Sony repair guy come and fix the TV. Unfortunately, it took a few more weeks before the repair guy could come over because he had to order a replacement part from Sony. Sigh…
Finally, the magic day was upon us and the Sony repair guy came to my house. He took the back off the TV and replaced a computer board that was inside it. The whole process took only a few short minutes. Guess what? The repair job worked! The TV no longer reboots spontaneously while displaying content via HDMI!