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There is a good chance you have a faulty capacitor. There are lots electronic devices out there right now that are failing to power up or just shutting down on there own these days. Turns out many manufacturers of electronic boards installed faulty caps in their products.
I hate to say it but that sounds like the problem to me.
1. Have it fixed by a professional 2. Open it up, Inspect the power board for bulged/leaking caps. If you find some you know you have found a problem. Replace the board. 3. Replace individual caps that are faulty. This takes a few soldering skills but can save you $$$$$$
Caps are very inexpensive and can be found at your local electronics store or online.
YOU MAY HAVE A PROBLEM IN THE OUTPUT SECTION OF THE AMPLIFIER AND THUS ACTIVATING THE PROTECTION CIRCUITRY. MAKE SURE IT IS NOT BEING CAUSED BY BAD SPEAKERS. REMOVE THE SPEAKERS, THEN POWER THE RECEIVER UP WITH THIS NO SPEAKER LOAD CONDITION. IF IT STILL GOES INTO PROTECTION, THEN THE RECEIVER WILL NEED TO BE SERVICED. THIS IS ALL YOU CAN DO AT THIS POINT, AS YOU HAVE MADE SURE THAT THE INSTALLATION IS NOT CAUSING THE PROBLEM, AND THE SERVICE OF THE AMPLIFIER OR POWER SUPPLY SECTION IS VERY INVOLVED AND TECHNICAL IN NATURE. IF YOU SEND IT IN FOR REPAIR, I SUGGEST SENDING IT TO THE SONY REPAIR CENTER, AS THEY HAVE A FLAT-RATE REPAIR FOR THESE RECEIVERS AND YOU WONT BE CAUGHT OFF-GUARD WITH A HIGH PRICED REPAIR. YOU CAN CONTACT THEM AT SONY STLYE=800-571-7669 OR TRY 800-222-7669. THEY WILL TELL YOU WHICH OF THE FOUR REPAIR FACILITIES TO SEND IT TO AND ALSO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE RMA AND FLAT-RATE REPAIR COST. LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED FURTHER ASSISTANCE.....V
It is unlikely that the pushing of buttons caused the problem. The protect flashing means that a problem was detected and the system has shutdown to prevent further damage. The most common cause of this is a failure of the output transistors. Plan on a parts cost between $20-$40 for this repair.