Sunfire FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Sales F.A.Q.


Q. Can I upgrade my Theater Grand Processor to the latest model?


A. All Sunfire products and current product upgrades are only available through authorized Sunfire dealers.


Q. Where can I buy Sunfire products?


A. Through and a local authorized Sunfire dealer. (Dealer Locator Coming Soon).  

TGR-401 Receiver & TGP-401 Processor F.A.Q.


Q. Why doesn’t my composite/S-video/component input doesn't show up on the HDMI output?


A. The TGR/P-401 does not upconvert from analog video to digital. It does convert from composite s-video component. Therefore, you should connect both the component and HDMI cables to your display to view all sources.


Q. How do I get the OSD to show on the HDMI output?


A. The TGR/P-401 uses a 1080p HDMI switcher. This is a very robust solution as it doesn’t “touch” the video signal in any way. Whatever comes in gets fed out. For this reason, setup menus and OSD overlays are not available on this output.


Q. My TV gets sound from my Sat/Cable box/DVD when connected using HDMI, why doesn’t my receiver or processor?


A. The TGR/P-401 uses a 1080p HDMI video switcher. This is a very robust solution as it doesn’t “touch” the video signal in any way. No audio is stripped or decoded from that connection. For multichannel Dolby or DTS, you should connect a coax or optical digital from the source component. If you are using a BluRay player, please see below.


Q. Is it possible to take advantage of the new high-res formats found on some BluRay discs, like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD?


A. To get the full benefit of these formats when using a TGR/TGP-401, your BluRay player will need to support decoding these formats to the multi-channel analog outputs. The 8ch outputs from the player would then be connected to the 8ch input on the TGR/TGP. For a list of players that support decoding both of these formats to analog, please see below (NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list, merely a representation of what was available as of this writing). 

Oppo Digital BDP-83
Panasonic DMP-BD55
Samsung BD-P2500
Samsung BD-P2550
Sony BDP-S550
Sony BDP-S5000ES
Denon DVD-3800BDCI
Marantz BD8002
Samsung BD-UP5000



Q. Why doesn't the ELAN Plasma Friendly Tabletop IR Sensor work when I plug it directly into the 1/8" mini IR input on the back of the receiver?


A. The ELAN tabletop sensor uses a different pin-out than the TGR/P-401. Your dealer should be able to make a custom connector for this.


Technical F.A.Q.


Q. What is the power consumption of my Sunfire component?

A. The easiest way to calculate this is to use the value of the line fuse in the Sunfire component. A Cinema Grand Amplifier has a 10 amp line fuse. We multiply 10 amps times 120 volts to get 1200 volt/amps or watts. However, 1200 watts is the absolute maximum the amplifier will consume, in normal operation we can multiply this times 0.7 to get our normal power consumption of 850 watts. A True Subwoofer Mark IV has a 6.25 amp line fuse; times 120 volts produces 750 watts. Times 0.7 equals 550 watts normal power consumption.


Q. What is the IEEE 1394 (Firewire™) connector on the Ultimate Receiver and TG-III used for?


A. The IEEE-1394 (Firewire™) port is provided for future use once a standard is adopted and accepted by the major source component manufacturers. In the consumer electronics market, video transfers from camcorders to PCs are commonplace, while multichannel audio transfer schemes are not yet *fully* standardized such that equipment is interoperable among different manufacturers. Consumer audio companies currently shipping product with IEEE-1394 interfaces have incorporated their own proprietary systems. 

An optional IEEE-1394 update card will be made available for the Theater Grand III and IV if and when suitable market demand warrants it. Until such a time comes, the wide-bandwidth direct-path 8-channel input is intended to be used for such high-resolution sources.


Q. What is the blinking green light inside of the Ultimate Receiver and Theater Grand Processor?


A. If you look through the ventilation openings on the right side of the Ultimate Receiver you will see a blinking green LED. This is the 'heart beat' of the microprocessor. It's there as a convenience for the technicians when the unit is being assembled and tested in the manufacturing process. Basically it's just a indicator that tells them the microprocessor is alive and well. This is totally normal and will continue to blink even when the power is switched off, see below.


Q. Why does my Sunfire component stay warm even after the power is off?


A. As with most modern components the internal circuitry in Sunfire products is always active even when the power is switched off. This allows the units to respond to remote control turn-on commands and also enables the "Fully Automatic Operation" to sense signals. In the standby mode the units will only draw a few watts from the AC mains.


Service F.A.Q.


Q. How do I get my Sunfire product serviced?


A. If you suspect your Sunfire product has a problem, please do everything you can to confirm it before calling for service. This includes reading through the Troubleshooting Guide of your user's manual, also see the FAQs Product section on this site for issues that may be specific to a particular model. A large percentage of products returned for service are coded "NTF" or No Trouble Found, which usually means the problem lay somewhere else in the system. If you have determined you need to return your Sunfire product for repair, go here for instructions or call us at 1.800.472.5555 and follow the prompts to Technical Services, Audio, and then Audio again to reach the Sunfire Tech Support team.


Q. What is the warranty period?

A. Details of the warranty period can be found here

Q. What was done to my repaired unit?


A. A Repair Log with the technician's comments and what parts were used for the repair will be included with your repaired Sunfire product.


Q. Why did my unit fail?


A. This question is asked almost every time we receive a unit in for service. Then usually followed up with, “Was there anything I could have done to have prevented it?” or “Was it something I did wrong?” Most of the time the answer is no, normal everyday use should not cause a problem. 

Sunfire equipment has many protection features built in to safeguard against what would be considered abuse by some manufacture's standards. For example, compressor and soft clipping circuits utilized in our subwoofers are used to protect against over-driving the transducers. Protection at the component level can be also be found through out Sunfire products, examples are, voltage regulators with internal over-temperature shut down protection and transformers with internal thermal switches that disconnect the power at high temperatures. 

Now for the "Why did my unit fail?" question. This can be one (or more) of dozens of believable or farfetched answers.

  • Power Surges Line conditioners regardless of quality or price may or may not protect you audio components from damage due to power surges.
  • Heat One of the most lethal conditions for electronic devices is excessive heat. Semiconductors (transistors, diodes, ICs, etcetera) are usually rated for operating temperatures between -55°C to +150°C, this rating is given for the actual surface temperature of the device, not the ambient room temperature or the temperature of the unit as a whole. Power transistors and voltage regulators are normally mounted to some sort of heat sink to dissipate heat away from the device. The common practice is to use part of the case or enclosure, for example, the amplifier plates on Sunfire subwoofers and the bottom chassis of the Ultimate Receiver serve as both housing and heat sink. Guidelines for proper ventilation can be found in your Sunfire product's User Guide.
  • Lightning Strikes The actual strike could possibly be miles away but can follow the power lines straight to your audio equipment. Here again, line conditioners may or may not protect your components from damage. Remember, lightning has been known to arch across miles of thin air (sky), what's to stop it from jumping across the .100” space between contacts in a power conditioner or for that matter arching and bypassing the entire power conditioner altogether. Lighting has also been known to get in via cable TV lines.
  • Mechanical Vibrations can cause broken solder joints or wires to come loose. If you were to look at inside our products you would see many of the susceptible components and wires are reinforced to reduce the effects mechanical movement and vibration.
  • Component Failure Semiconductor manufactures estimate failure rates in parts per million (PPM ) and long term failure rates in units per billion device hours. Although these number are quite impressive, they do fail. That being said, even the best designed electronic circuits can fail under optimum operating conditions.


When asked this question "Why did my unit fail?", the response from most service technicians is usually, what parts had failed and what was replaced or that some thingamajig was probably the culprit, then at best, a guess as to what may have caused the problem. The reason for the vagueness is, 99 percent of the time it is literally impossible to tell exactly what caused the component(s) to fail or the exact sequence of events after the fact. 

For example, integrated circuits such as BIFET op-amps can be damaged by voltage spikes or surges. Components such as CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductors) can be damaged merely by static electricity (electrostatic discharge). Bipolar power transistors such as those used in most modern amplifiers can breakdown when operated outside the rated for operating temperature. Excessive collector to emitter voltage can destroy power transistors. And the list goes on and on and on... 

That being said, the exact explanation as to what actually caused the malfunction would require, sending each failed device from the unit being serviced to the manufacture for analysis as to why it failed, then attempt to determine the component-level sequence of events and why. In other words each failed device would have to be labeled as either the cause or effect of the malfunction. As you can see this would not be very practical.