AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SoCal (L.A. area)
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The problem may be the TV since you say it's not holding the "external" setting, so if it's changing back to TV that would explain why no audio is going to the soundbar when you power on the TV.
Suggest you contact Panasonic to see if they have any idea why it won't stay on "theater". Or go to the Display subforum here on AVS and find the thread for your model. Perhaps other owners have run into this.
When you change the setting, are you going in through the Menu>Settings>Viera Link, or are you using the Viera Link button on the remote? Whichever way you're doing it, try the other one.