Thanks SO much for the advice. That solved the shutting off problem. I am currently using Monster Flex Pins to connect to my center channel speaker and I recently moved the speaker around a bit and by doing so caused the the Flex Pins to touch resulting in the receiver shutting off.
After I got it up and running, I decided to play a blu ray for a bit to test out the receiver. It all appeared to be working flawlessly for the first 15 minutes until the video and audio signals started to short in and out before finally loosing the signal all together.
I unplugged the blu ray player's HDMI cord going to the receiver input HDMI 1 and plugged it back in. The same thing happened. I feel that there is either a short in the HMDI cord connection or in the HDMI 1 port of the receiver. The HDMI 2 port has my cable box running to it and I didn't seem to have any signal issues with that port (so far).
I tried plugging the HDMI cord running from the blu ray player to an empty port in the receiver (HDMI 3) and it worked without any issues for 20 minutes. As of now, it looks as if I may just need to avoid using the HDMI 1 port in the receiver or I could try another HDMI cord (all of which I purchased from Monoprice).
Thanks again for your help Winston! I'm quite pleased with the initial performance and I haven't even begun to tweak anything. I just hope I don't end up having issues with other HDMI ports on the receiver.