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The subwoofer is normally the main power supply for the other speakers. When setting up the system, there is a set up guide which allows you to control the power supplied to each speaker. You may have inadvertently set the subwoofer to have 0 output.
You shouldn't connect the subwoofer to the TV. Just connect the Right and Left audio cables (red and white RCA plugs) to the TV audio out and then the other side goes receiver's audio in. If you are using the subwoofer that came with the unit, connect it to the sub port (purple and grey or black striped). The red and black striped cable goes to the subwoofer control.
If you are using another active subwoofer, connect it to the RCA jack labeled Subwoofer Audio OUT.
If you have a 3-plug RCA cable that is a composite video cable. The yellow plug carries the video, the red and white carry the audio signal. This cable is most often used for connecting older VCRs and game systems to a TV (or newer devices to an older TV). Thus leave the yellow jack dangling if using it for an audio cable.
Set your TV to use the external audio speakers and the receiver will take care of the signal to the subwoofer. (You only would connect the speakers individually for a computer sound system.)
Well, I just returned the unit. RCA replied with the following solution: Let the unit sit with the AC power cord out of the wall for a couple of hours. Then hit the power button 10-15 times (with the AC power cord still out of the wall socket!) and then try again.
My best solution that I've found was disconnected a white ribbon cable behind the case that seemed to reset the system. Its the one that seems to control the power and the front face buttons. Ofcourse when you do this leave the power off for about 10 minutes, theres capacitors that could shock or worse kill you. Pull the White Ribbon cable and wait and plug it back in.
*I do not condone to opening your RCA Surround Sound System, You should take it to a professional TV/Stereo technician to troubleshoot your stereo to protect you from shock or death! Myself or FixYa.com is not responsible for the decision of its users based on instructions left. Do this fix at your own discretion. Thank You*