Panasonic VT30 Plasma - 7 Blinks + Picture Issues - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 111 Old 05-29-2013, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello-

Thanks all for the great advice on here. I have a P55VT30 that just died after about 1.5 years (approx 2000 hours use) with the 7-times blinking red power light. I understand this is a problem with one of the boards that many others have also had. As the set is now out of warranty, I am not that optimistic about getting it fixed but I am going to try to convince Panasonic to do it for me when I call tomorrow. I know this has been discussed already on this board, but I searched all through here and I haven't found any discussion of this issue in combination with picture quality problems that predated it. Specifically, what I experienced with this set was the following:

-after about 1 year, there was distinctly noticeable noise on dark backgrounds, like green and red snow. It was just barely enough to notice and be distracting, if you were 6 feet away or so it wasn't so bad... I finally convinced myself that this is just how plasmas are, but maybe this was an early sign of problems?

-about 2 weeks before failure, there was a very loud buzzing sound (loud enough to be noticeable and annoying) coming from the right side as you look at the screen. Its strength was correlated with the brightness of the image on the screen, and I could diminish it by squeezing the right side together with my hand. Note, this set is located at sea level, so it's not an elevation issue.

-starting 2 days before the failure, it developed very noticeable picture issues, that looked like IR (image retention)... purple/magenta ghosts that were most visible on a very bright or white background. I could make it go away by running the anti-IR sliding white column on the set, or by displaying an all-white image for a half hour or so. What was strange is that the image being retained was never something that had been on the screen for a long time -- rather it would be something that was just there recently and had only been displayed briefly. So e.g., flip to some random channel I never watch, then flip to an all-white background, and the logo from that random channel would show up in magenta faintly for a few seconds. It was most noticeable when watching anything, if it suddenly went to a white background, you would have the ghosts of the previous scene there for a few seconds.

Basically, I am curious if anyone knows whether the above 3 symptoms are all related to this one bad board, or if there are multiple issues. I don't want to spend any cash to fix the bad board, if it turns out I will still have the other problems anyway. I got burned by this with my previous set, a Samsung... it also had a power supply board die out of warranty, I opted to replace it, and when that was done, it worked again, but there was still horrible red snow (which had been there previously, and I assumed would be fixed by the board replacement) that was very visible on dark images and made it unwatchable.

Thanks if anyone has any advice. At this point, I am pretty much ready to give up on plasmas as I have had two different sets from two different manufacturers, and despite a relatively moderate level of use, and me being aware of burn-in type issues and taking care to "be nice" to the set, and leaving the brightness and contrast below 50% -- neither of them has lasted two years.

-lewis
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post #2 of 111 Old 06-05-2013, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewishyatt View Post

-about 2 weeks before failure, there was a very loud buzzing sound (loud enough to be noticeable and annoying) coming from the right side as you look at the screen. Its strength was correlated with the brightness of the image on the screen, and I could diminish it by squeezing the right side together with my hand. Note, this set is located at sea level, so it's not an elevation issue.

-starting 2 days before the failure, it developed very noticeable picture issues, that looked like IR (image retention)... purple/magenta ghosts that were most visible on a very bright or white background. I could make it go away by running the anti-IR sliding white column on the set, or by displaying an all-white image for a half hour or so. What was strange is that the image being retained was never something that had been on the screen for a long time -- rather it would be something that was just there recently and had only been displayed briefly. So e.g., flip to some random channel I never watch, then flip to an all-white background, and the logo from that random channel would show up in magenta faintly for a few seconds. It was most noticeable when watching anything, if it suddenly went to a white background, you would have the ghosts of the previous scene there for a few seconds.

My VT30-55 has had a buzzing sound that gets much louder during bright scenes for quite a while although I'm not sure if what I experienced is a problem or just the nature of this particular set. I did see the ghosting issues you described a few days before my set died entirely with the seven flashes issue. Fortunately I bought this with a Mastercard so I'm currently going through the process of getting it repaired and then covered using the extended warranty protection service that the card offers. Fingers crossed.

This is actually the second time this set has had this issue. Whether it's the exact same cause I don't know but they did replace a board almost exactly one year ago but I didn't bother recording which board was replaced.
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post #3 of 111 Old 06-05-2013, 08:03 PM
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It looks like the last time this happened they replaced the P board. Hopefully I'll have someone out on Friday to diagnose this one.
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post #4 of 111 Old 06-06-2013, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I ended up having the SC board replaced. Was $600 or so for parts + labor. I am waiting now to see if Panasonic will compensate me at all since it's only a few months out of warranty. After the replacement, the picture does seem fine to me so far.
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post #5 of 111 Old 06-13-2013, 12:42 PM
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A bad SC board was my diagnosis as well but I haven't had them try and fix it yet. They also said the buzzing was caused by some screws that got loosened up over time and there is a new type of screw for this set to address the issue so they'll put in the new screw kit as well.
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post #6 of 111 Old 10-25-2013, 04:45 PM
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Going through the exact same issue...11 months out of warranty. I was getting the purple tinge, and then the unit stopped turning on with the 7 blinks (literally as I was on the phone with Panasonic, it died).

I bought my unit in November '11. $600+ to fix a board, that is clearly an issue multiple folks are having, just doesn't seem reasonable when it's less than 2 years old. Did you guys end up getting Panasonic to cover any of the costs?


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post #7 of 111 Old 10-26-2013, 05:34 AM
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You can usually coax Panasonic into paying parts but not labour. Maybe you can find a friendly TV shop you can order the boards from so you can install them yourself and avoid labour charges.
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post #8 of 111 Old 11-13-2013, 08:13 AM
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I have the same issue.  It started about a month and a half ago with the screen flicker in mostly white screens, like ratlhead's pic.  About 3 weeks later, a pop, and that was it.  I started getting the 7 blinking lights.  I called Panasonic, explained that this is my 2nd set in 3 years with a defect, and they asked that I supply them with an estimate and proof of purchase so they can review and possibly offer me something.  I am also out of warranty.  

 

I sent all the documentation as they requested 8 days ago.  I have not heard anything back from Panasonic.  I sent another email, 3 days ago, asking that they at least confirm that they received the info, but still nothing.

 

Has anyone else had any luck dealing with Panasonic?  The local authorized repair shop's manager told me that Panasonic is usually pretty good about out of warranty repairs, but so far, the communication at least has been terrible.  I've actually had a much better experience dealing with Onkyo (another sad out-of-warranty story)

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post #9 of 111 Old 11-14-2013, 03:04 PM
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My vt30 died the 7 blinks of death at approximately 26 months of age. Picture was perfect up to the moment t it died. I did have the buzzing/humming sound people have mentioned which would get louder as the picture scene brightened. After scanning the forums and you tube videos and looking for common symptoms it appears to be the scan (SC) board. Several of the mounting screws that affix the board inside the TV were loose as has been reported by others. For those screws that were loose, a small dark smudge, which is seemingly a burn mark, appears at the board mount points on both the board and the metal to which the mounting screws mount. Pictured below is one of the mount points on the bottom of the SC board which shows where the burning or arcing occurred :-(

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post #10 of 111 Old 11-19-2013, 10:27 AM
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I bought my tc-p55vt30 in Dec 2011 from Best Buy.  Yesterday I got the 7 blinking lights.  Today I called Panasonic and they were not helpful at all.  Instead the agent constantly reminded me that my warranty expired after a year and that if I had purchased an extended warranty, it would be fixed.  I cant believe what I paid for this TV, only to have it die in less than 2 years. 

 

Does anyone know where I can order the boards for this thing?  I will try an fix it myself…

 

George

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post #11 of 111 Old 11-20-2013, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ77 View Post

I bought my tc-p55vt30 in Dec 2011 from Best Buy. Yesterday I got the 7 blinking lights. Today I called Panasonic and they were not helpful at all. Instead the agent constantly reminded me that my warranty expired after a year and that if I had purchased an extended warranty, it would be fixed. I cant believe what I paid for this TV, only to have it die in less than 2 years.

This is such a common problem with the Panasonic 2011 plasma sets. Panasonic had faulty firmware with these 2011 models, which killed the SC-SU-SD boards. Problem is, when these defective boards get replaced, the firmware has to be updated also, else the boards will burn out again.

Panasonic should have an extended warranty at no additional cost for the 2011 sets, just like they already have for the 2007 sets with faulty firmware.

That which may be known of God is evident within man, for God has shown it to them, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
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post #12 of 111 Old 11-20-2013, 07:16 PM
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Did some troubleshooting tonight and i seem to have narrowed it down to the SC board. While taking it apart I noticed two loose screws on the SC. I plan to order a new board tomorrow to see if the problem goes away. As for the new firmware, how do I update it?
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post #13 of 111 Old 11-21-2013, 01:12 AM
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It's a good idea to check SU,SD as well because if they are bad, they can damage your new SC. Firmware is updated in one of three ways, through USB, through SD or over cable/antenna, depending on the model.
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post #14 of 111 Old 11-21-2013, 06:00 PM
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The service manual just shows me how to troubleshoot to determine if the failure is in the SC board or if the failure is in the SU or SD board. But it does not go into detail with regards to isolating if the problem is the SU or SD. It just states it may be either one. Do you know how I can tell?
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post #15 of 111 Old 11-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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Same problem last Friday. I have read that if you had any screen anomaly it is not a board. Your panel is bad. If your picture was fine up until the 7 red lights it may just be the SC board.
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post #16 of 111 Old 11-25-2013, 07:10 AM
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Pretty sure that was on Panasonics forum.
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post #17 of 111 Old 11-25-2013, 10:43 AM
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And now I've also read there are no more SC boards avilable. ANYWHERE. Didn't see this one coming did they? Lol. What a joke.
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post #18 of 111 Old 11-25-2013, 03:49 PM
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I managed to be a SC board from Panasonic a couple weeks ago and the SU/SD boards from tvparts.com for short money...
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post #19 of 111 Old 01-18-2014, 12:08 PM
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Just had the same thing happen to my 55VT30, starting with the buzzing on whites then the discoloration of the top half of the screen on whites.  Have sources for all 3 boards.  For those that have done the repair, can it be done while the TV is on the stand or do I have to lay it flat (which, IIRC, was never supposed to be done to a plasma).


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post #20 of 111 Old 01-21-2014, 06:48 AM
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I completed the replacement of my SC board this past weekend. I purchased the board from Moduslink which also offers a repair service as well. I had my TV laying flat on a billiard table and that made it easy to perform the diagnostics and remove/replace the boards. You could certainly do this with the TV on the stand if you wanted to.

If you don't get all of the connections on the SU/SD ribbon cables seated properly, you will have black horizontal lines going across the screen. Pretty simple to reseat the cables though.

Back to the great picture this TV had several months ago now - just in time for the Super Bowl.
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post #21 of 111 Old 01-21-2014, 09:24 AM
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Do I really have to peel off all of the boards/terminal covers/whats its just to get to SC/SD/SU or can I attack them directly (looking at section 9 of service manual)?  I'm used to laptop repair guides where to remove the board listed in step 8 (the SU board) one MUST do whatever is in steps 1-7.


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post #22 of 111 Old 01-21-2014, 11:04 AM
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You do not need to remove all the boards listed in section 9. Just the steps 9.7 through 9.10. If you really wanted to just pull the SC board, you could do just that. You would have to take out the ground screws in the SU/SD boards and disconnect SC41, SC42 and SC46. The steps are really quite straight forward and can easily be done in 10 minutes.
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post #23 of 111 Old 01-21-2014, 06:23 PM
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Good to know.  Saw what was involved in steps 1-7 and was having second thoughts.


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post #24 of 111 Old 02-01-2014, 01:22 PM
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Success!!!  Replaced all 3 boards and she's back to normal.  The company that sent the SC board even included gratis a package of the new screws which hopefully won't back out unlike all the loose ones on the original SC board.  TV had already updated firmware to 2.22 on its own.

 

Damn SU/SD ribbon cables gave me no end of trouble; had to pull and reseat 3 times before I got it right.  The first time I'd fully screwed down the back cover.  Removing it again was a bit demoralizing.


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post #25 of 111 Old 02-02-2014, 03:26 PM
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Hey guys, looks like I've been hit with the same issue. I don't have the blinking lights (yet) however a few months ago I started to notice a loud buzzing from the back of the set (sounds like it's near the SC board). Now I get this when I turn on the set:

 

 

It goes away after a minute.

 

 

*sigh* :( Am I right to assume that I'll need to replace that board?

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post #26 of 111 Old 02-02-2014, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trilobyte321 View Post
 

Hey guys, looks like I've been hit with the same issue. I don't have the blinking lights (yet) however a few months ago I started to notice a loud buzzing from the back of the set (sounds like it's near the SC board). Now I get this when I turn on the set:

 

 

It goes away after a minute.

 

 

*sigh* :( Am I right to assume that I'll need to replace that board?


Yep.  Finding all 3 boards (SC/SU/SD) was a tussle, but everything I've read says you really need to do all three to be sure.  The SC I sourced from Amazon, SD & SU came from other less reputable suppliers.  If you can't find new parts, this place will fix your existing boards for a good sum less than I paid for new ones.  Send 'em all 3 and be prepared to suck up the $50 bench fee for those that test good.  I saved the 3 I took out of my TV for the express purpose of sending them in and having spares (or EBay fodder).

 

http://www.moduslinkptstvboards.com/

 

EDIT:  If you pull the back off now and tighten the screws on the SC board (a tiny drop of threadlock might help) you may be able to forestall the inevitable failure for a few months.  IE, enough time to have all the parts on hand when you're forced to do it.


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post #27 of 111 Old 02-02-2014, 05:05 PM
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I'll give that a try

 

Why all three? I just bought a replace SC board from Amazon

 

I may just buy the others before they get completely impossible to find

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post #28 of 111 Old 02-02-2014, 06:20 PM
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The SC was easy.  SU/SD took some serious searching.

 

The rationale behind replacing all three is that a dying SC board may so damage SU/SD that when you replace SC the damaged SU/SD kill the new SC.


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post #29 of 111 Old 02-05-2014, 09:29 AM
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I had the same picture before things went south. The upper half of the screen is controlled by the SU/SC board. While you might be able to get away with only the SC board, it would be a shame to replace it and have it taken out by a bad SU/SD board. I was lucky to find the SU/SD boards from shoptvparts.com and the SC board from moduslink at reasonable prices. I probably wouldn't have paid the $270 that the SC board is going for on Amazon.

When I called Panasonic, they wanted me to get an estimate from an authorized repair center and stated that "they might pick up some of the repair costs but wouldn't promise anything". The service call was going to be $200+ and I was able to repair it myself for that price. The actual repair is a lot easier than finding the parts....
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post #30 of 111 Old 02-06-2014, 07:55 PM
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Can someone post a guide or "how to" on replacing these boards? Any special tools needed?
I noticed some SC Board repair kits. Do these work? What's involved?

Please advise. Thanks!
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