I recently purchased a Panasonic TC-P65VT50 to replace a TH-58PX600U (2006 model). The new TC-P65VT50 requires a higher speaker volume (i.e. about 35 to 40) to achieve the same sound level as the old TH-58PX600U would achieve at a lower speaker volume (i.e. about 20). The poor sound level seems to be a common problem among many of the newer, thin TVs according to reviews and comments on the internet.
To remedy the situation, I purchased a Panasonic SC-HTB20 sound bar. Although most reviews indicate that Panasonic sound bars are not among the best, my primary criteria was to have the Panasonic TV remote also control the sound bar volume. This seemed to be the only way to do that. The sound bar is connected via HDMI (ARC) to the TV (ARC enabled). This allows the SC-HTB20 to operate via the VIERA Link and by all indications, it is functioning properly. Using the VIERA Tools function on the TV I can easily switch from the TV internal speakers to the sound bar speakers. However, I have found to my surprise that if I set each set speakers to the same volume level (i.e. about 30), the TV speakers are much louder than the sound bar speakers. Is there any explanation for this? If this is the case, I plan to return the sound bar; it has no value. Thanks for your help.