How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Louie Your Own Question
Louie, Technician
Category: Consumer Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 12461
Experience:  25+ yrs. experience in the field and 5+ yrs. online, down to component level.
Type Your Consumer Electronics Question Here...
Louie is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Yamaha a820 suddenLy displayed decoder off and I have no

Customer Question

My Yamaha a820 suddenLy displayed decoder off and I have no sound.. Tried to reset, turn off and disconnect for 30 mins. Nothing worked..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Electronics
Expert:  Aric replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and sorry you're having problems. We are now connected on this website- which saves you money over having a Tech come to your home, and in many cases we can fix the problem you're having.

From YAMAHA on this issue:


The DECODER OFF message is purely an information message. It can mean one of two things - a two channel source is input or there is no input. In either case the receiver would not need to turn on a decoder to play sound. You can toggle this informational display by pressing the INFO button on the front panel of the receiver or on the remote control (depending on your model receiver) – you will have three choices: DSP Program, Audio Decoder, and Input.
The INFO button basically tells you the status of the receiver. You cannot "turn the decoder on" - the receiver is designed to automatically select and activate (turn on) the proper decoder based on the input signal from the source (DVD player, BD player, cable box, etc.). For example, if your DVD player sends a Dolby Digital signal to the receiver the receiver will see that and automatically activate the Dolby Digital decoder.
If the decoder off message is accompanied by a loss in picture and/or sound, we would suggest double checking all your connecting cables between the source component and receiver. Just one bent or damaged cable or connector can cause a loss in picture and/or sound.

Now the above is straight from Yamaha pointing to what this message means. In short- there's usually nothing ever wrong with the receiver, and it's generally the "Source" causing this.

As a test, select the FM tuner- chances are there will be sound on that Input.

So you would want to go through checking the sources- most commonly the Cable Box has dropped sound and needs to be rebooted. To do this disconnect the cable box from power, then disconnect and reconnect it's HDMI cable on both ends. Make sure the cable's secure, then plug the cable box back in.

Once it's rebooted, check the Yamaha for sound and see what happens.

Feel free to reply back if you need more help, or want to reply back with more details. It does not cost you anything more to reply back once you've rated. Please do rate me positively (at least 3 STARS) and I will continue with you until this is sorted. The positive rating ensures I am credited for my work.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know the audio from cable box is good.. When connected directly to tv I have sound from my cable. On the receiver even playing test tone has no sound on any of the speaker.. I know the connections to the receiver is all good. The sound suddenly stopped.
Expert:  Aric replied 1 year ago.

How old is the receiver and have you performed a "reset" of the unit yet?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At least 3 years old.. I just did a reset 2 times
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JustAnswer,

Thank you for the question and your patience. Should you still need assistance for information purposes only...

Initially, have you tried unplugging the Yamaha for an extended period of time? ...and likewise all the sources/devices connected to it? well as disconnecting the Yamaha from these devices?

Please post back results / observations of the above once tried.

Still and if not corrective, then we would run the built-in/Self-Diagnostic Function to identify if an internal hardware issue exist. I would provide the link for the procedures upon results of the unplugging/disconnecting.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have done the disconnect everything for about 1 hr.. That did not fix it..
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Please confirm; no sound in FM? ...even with PURE DIRECT enabled?

Click HERE for the Yamaha RX-A820's built-in Self-Diagnostic function; excerpts from the repair/Service Manual. This is a TEST to determine/confirm which section has faulted. This is in preparation of internal hardware repairs. Of particular interest would be:
• p. 25 on how to initiate the Self-Diagnostic function;
• p. 26 how to cancel/terminate this function;
• p. 21 the main menu for the suspect section;
• p. 29 on how to operate inside the Self-Diagnostic main and sub menus;

• pp. 30 to 36 for the various checks of the suspect section.

Please familiarize yourself with the contents before proceeding.

The Yamaha RX-A820's built-in Self-Diagnostic procedure is in a Portable Document Format (PDF) file and can be viewed in most web browser. Click on the link to open the file or right click then select “Save As…” to download the file. It would require Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent for this purpose.

Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Incidentally, is a subwoofer connected to the Yamaha? If yes, did it also exhibited the same symptom; "...sound suddenly stopped..."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
a sub is connected to the receiver, but that has its light on. And the sound for the sub also stopped along with all the other speakers..
And there is no sound in FM even pure direct enabled.I will try the self diagnostic now..
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I even start the self diagnostic function. I am able to browse through the selection, but how do I start the diagnostic..
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

As posted above, please see "... p. 25 on how to initiate the Self-Diagnostic function..."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As shown on page 25 I am in the menu where it shows the various diagnostic menus. But what do I start the diagnostic ?
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Bear with me as I can not see what you are seeing. Please post back what exactly is displayed ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
DSP marginThere is no over protection error.. Even the history has no error
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Press the RADIO button to advance 1 test in the sub-menu at a time.

Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

The PROTECTION is normally displayed only if a fault existed in the power amplifier board and/or any of the regulator circuits.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I press the radio button to advance how do I know when the test finishes and if there is an error
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Are you hearing any sound at all from any of the speakers?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know the speakers are working because I connected a different receiver to the speaker to test and I get sound..
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

I understand and that there is no sound in this early stage of the diagnostics is rather worrying as it is indicative that the DSP circuit is not functional.

Can you please press the RADIO button a couple of times with slight pauses in between?

...and post back any observation and displayed messages?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pressing the radio button just advances to the next sub menu.. No other message. Just the next sub menu.
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Using the TV button, can you please advance through all other main menu until A7 MANUAL TEST 1 TEST ALL?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

...and no sound from any of the speakers including the subwoofer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

Then we are looking at an internal hardware issue.

If comfortably able and feel safe to do so, are you then considering a DIY (do-it-yourself) repair approach? If yes, do you have access to and familiar with a multi-meter and even a soldering iron?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No.. I don't have the tools
Expert:  Louie replied 1 year ago.

I realize that the above information may perhaps be not what was expected. Unfortunately, there is no quick-n-easy fix and neither is there a workaround; sorry for having to be the bearer of bad news.

Please post back how you would want to approach this and/or should additional information be needed.

Related Consumer Electronics Questions