THIS IS AN OLD THREAD, BUT CAN STILL BE OF HELP TO A FEW PEOPLE. SEE LAST POSTS FOR REASON FOR BUMP. Hi, first post here. I have an Arcam AVR300, with firmware version 3.01 and DSP 1.12. The unit has pretty much ran flawlessly for the about six months that I've had it (bought new), but recently it's started to misbehave. What happens is that after having been turned on for a while, the sound suddenly started crackling on all speakers, and the voices of people (and sound in general) got warped/distorted - it sounds like the voices are run through a "cartoon filter", and they get deep and weird - all the while lots of crackling and static noises comes out of all the speakers as well. I've had this happen before, but then all I've had to do was to turn the unit off, then on again, and it would be fine. Tonight, that hasn't worked. Well - it has worked but after about a minute, it's back to crackling again, and that hasn't happened before. So obviously, I thought that this must be caused by overheating. Although, I find that weird, since the receiver has lots of air around it. But anyway - I turned it off properly, waited an hour or so, felt the unit with my hand and it was cold, so I turned it back on. Again, it sounded just fine. -But after about a minute or two, the noise starts again! And now the receiver is still cold! To try and trouble shoot this problem, I have done a couple of things; I used to have the receiver hooked up to the digital TV decoder/tuner via a digital coax cable (for sound), and so I swapped this with an analogue stereo pair instead. No change. I have as mentioned tried to cool the unit down, no change. I haven't noticed this behaviour before on DVD, so I turned the DVD player on, and pressed the DVD input button. Here, the crackling and noise weren't present, but there was NO sound! Initially there was, because I also turned the receiver off and on for this "experiment", but as soon as it had been on for a short while, the sound disappeared. When I then pressed the SAT button, I could hear that the sound was crackling from that input. But no sound from the DVD player. Again - the crackling/distortion has been there before, but tonight it seems whatever causes this, really reared its ugly head for keeps. Then I tried something: I pressed the Direct button on the front panel of the receiver. And - the crackling disappeared! Now the unit is starting to warm up again, so heat cannot be the problem. I turn the Direct function off again, and now the sound in Dolby PLII Movie is again perfect. But after a short while, it starts crackling again. I press the Direct button again, and again - sound is perfect. I have now had the TV and receiver on for about half an hour with the Direct function active, so the receiver is again warm, but the crackling/distortion has not started. So it seems I'm in the clear as long as I use the Direct function. But that means I can't watch movies in surround etc., so that won't do... So - what does this mean? My own theory so far is that since the sound is OK when I use the Direct function, something must have happened to the decoder chips in the receiver. But what? I could understand it if it was a heat problem, but when it happens even with a cold receiver? And it works fine now when warm too, as long as I use the Direct function. Has anyone even heard of something like this? Could a firmware update possibly help? The unit has worked well apart from the occasional hiccup since I bought it. Thanks for any answers.