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This is an indicator of an output load problem, turn unit off! remove the speaker wires from the back of the stereo, now turn power on and turn the volume down. If the word protect stays off there is a short in the wire or one of the speakers, but! if the word protect comes on " with the speakers and wires dis-connected " it indicates a short in the audio output ic pack in the stereo.
try unplugging the speakers and then turning it on...if the protect goes away then you have a bad speaker or wiring...if it still displays the same message then the amplifier output may be blown and will need to get it repaired at a shop
The protect has come on because it senses an output load problem, Turn the unit off, unhook the speakers and wires from the stereo, now turn the unit on and turn the volume down as far as it will go, this should reset the processor ic, if the word protect stays off you have a short in the wiring or bad speaker. If the protect comes back on with everything unhooked the problem is in the audio output ic pack in the stereo and will require a technician to remedy.
It is most likely an amplifier problem. I had this problem before. It went into "Protect" mode and shut down. When I turned it back on, my left channel speakers made a buzzing noise and did the same thing again. I got it diagnosed at an electronics repair shop and they found that the two STK amplifier IC's were bad. One is about $106 and the second one is about $78. I got it fixed for about $200 and works basically like new again.
It may be that there is a problem with a fuse inside the stereo. It may say protect because the fuse has broken a connection that allows it to turn on. If the protect goe sup it is trying to help save the stereo from cooking its self, and give you a chance to get it fixed. If that is not the problem then it may be easier to just buy a new one, because a fix may be expensive if you don't have any warranties.