Ok. After reading what seems like a hundred threads on this issue, I thought I would summarize what I've learned in hopes that it might help someone (if not me). Below is what I've found relating to the "12 blinks," TVGuide, and "Starting up Please wait" issue.
Pioneer PDP5010FD. Unit is wall mounted, connected to analog cable (no cable card or digital cable box), HDMI is connected to a Pioneer Blu-Ray player. Power connected through a surge protector.
After powering the unit on it will display a black screen or (about 1 out of 3 times) display a small message "Starting up. Please wait." The message will disappear, but the unit is unresponsive to any remote or keypad input; it will then power down after 1-2 minutes. Once powered down, the blue light on the front panel will blink 12 times and pause.
When I unplug the unit (from cable and power), and plug back in 5-10 minutes later, the TVGuide screen will appear. In some instances, I can navigate back to the analog cable channels, however, if I navigate to the digital channels (my cable provider broadcasts local channels in digital), the unit returns to displaying a black screen and will no longer accept any input from the remote; it powers down within a minute or so.
The TVGuide feature worked up until about 2-3 months ago. I assumed Brighthouse had stopped broadcasting the TVGuide, but had no reason for concern as it affected the guide functionality.
POTENTIAL CAUSES (according to the many posts I've read...)
- Issue relates to a TVGuide signal that was lost (or is no longer provided from the cable co) [I'm confused as I seem to have lost the TVGuide signal months ago...]
- Issue relates to a faulty tuner
- Power off and unplug the TV, wait 15 minutes. Re-connect and turn unit back on. [this doesn't seem to work for many people, but is the solution Pioneer Customer Support and the owner's manual recommends]
- Do the factory reset procedure [this seems to work for some]
- Disable the TVGuide [this doesn't seem to work for many; I could not figure out how]
- Add an antenna [still need to try this; I gather this works if the problem is truly the TVGuide (not a system fault) AND the TVGuide signal is being broadcast over the air...]
- Complete the firmware update [This seems to work for some; I have a request in to Pioneer for this update, although I've yet to confirm its existence and fear Pioneer will not offer it willingly]
Hopefully this will help someone...hasn't helped me yet. My next try is the antenna route...if that works, I'll request the firmware update. If not...it's the repair shop