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Forcing 16:9 on Panasonic CT-27HL14

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello, new member here. Sorry for a new thread but I found a similar topic after a search and the thread was locked.

I picked up this TV for $20 off craigslist. It works great. I only wanted it for some retro gaming on the PlayStation 2, for a few titles that can do 480p. It's a 27" 4:3 that does 480p and 1080i. My problem is it won't allow me to select 16:9 while in 480p mode on the component inputs. However, in service mode, it defaults to 16:9. Odd.

Is there a way for me to force it to stay in 16:9 while in service mode, so it stays that way once I exit service mode? In other words, what settings do I need to adjust in SM to force it into 16:9 all the time?
post #2 of 23

There's no "V-compresion" (vertical compression) option in the regular User Menus that allows you to turn 16:9 mode on/off?

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
No. When the tv receives 480p over the component input, the option to change aspect ratio is grayed out in the user menu. It's 4:3 only. However, in service mode, it defaults to 16:9. I'd like to force it to stay that way.

The dumb thing is aspect ratio can only be changed when a 1080i signal is received. Why we can't change it for 480p, I don't know, especially when it defaults to 16:9 in service mode.

I suppose could play games while in service mode but don't want to see numbers overlaying the screen all the time. I thought maybe there was a service menu item I could set to keep it in 16:9 all the time.
post #4 of 23

Hmm... that seems odd. I'd try posting your questions in one the official Panasonic HDTV CRT threads, and see what folks say. I don't know a whole lot about the Panny tubes or PS2. And I'm not sure why the TV isn't giving you different display options for 480p. Some TV's will look for a flag in the SD video signal to tell it which aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9) to use though, and perform the switch automatically. Maybe the PS2 isn't sending the right flag in 480p mode, or somethin?

post #5 of 23
My 16:9 Panny also has frustrating restrictions on aspect ratio. With 480p all I get are FULL and ZOOM but with 480i I get all kinds of whacky options including what I call the funhouse mirror (JUST - converts 4:3 to 16:9 leaving the middle normal but stretching the sides). With 1080i I get nothing. This is how I can tell what the input is if the source isn't known since the Panny doesn't display it. Other than digging around in the Video menu (mine has some strange settings that change with input) I'd try to correct it from the source end.
I wish I could figure out how to get in my service menu including some setting info, haven't found much here or on the 'net.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'll ask this again in case anyone new has been lurking around.

-Panasonic CT-27HL14
-4:3 screen
-480p only displays in 4:3 mode. Regular menu will not allow me to change to 16:9.
-Service mode does allow me to change to 16:9
-When I exit SM, aspect reverts back to 4:3

I'd like to know if there is any setting in SM I can change to keep it in 16:9 when I exit SM. Why Panasonic's engineers thought it was unnecessary for users to switch aspect ratios while viewing 480 proscan content is beyond me. Even stranger is when you go into service mode while viewing a 480p source, it defaults to 16:9. If it's okay in SM, why not in regular mode?

All I want to do is watch 480p at 16:9. The regular menu won't allow me to do that, while service mode does. I'd use the tv while in service mode but then I have that red CHK and line of numbers on all the time, not to mention the dangers in making an unwanted adjustment.

Have the feeling I'm asking a question with no answer. See a 30" widescreen Panny CRT on CL nearby. Maybe I should just go for that if I want 16:9 so bad.
post #7 of 23

The widescreen Panny CRTs had a very nice picture. I often wish I'd waited a bit and gotten one of those instead in my Sony XBR, which has higher persistence phosphors that are more fatiguing on the eyes. (At least the Sony is still working though and it has some great calibration features.) Hopefully a 16:9 model would display 16:9 480p content correctly.


I'm still somewhat mystified why your current TV will not switch 480p to 16:9 though. The only thing I can think of is to look for a vertical sizing control in service mode, and just scale the image down to 16:9 yourself.

Edited by ADU - 4/2/13 at 1:49pm
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ADU View Post

I'm still somewhat mystified why your current TV will not switch 480p to 16:9 though. The only thing I can think of is to look for a vertical sizing control in service mode, and just scale the image down to 16:9 yourself.

You know, I had the same idea but when the set is getting 480p over the component jacks all of the geometry settings are greyed out in service mode. In fact, just about everything is greyed out. I can't change a thing. All that stuff is available with 1080i, but not 480p. Very frustrating.

The good news is, I've adjusted the 1080i geometry to near perfection. It was stretched vertically, off-center, and had about 1.5 inches of overscan before. Looks ace now.

I use this set exclusively for gaming. I have a 22" Samsung LCD HDTV that I use to play on, but I use that as a PC monitor now. I wanted a bigger screen. I mostly play racing games with a force feedback wheel. I sit an arm's length away from the screen. I tried a 32" LCD which was too big. Then I tried a 26" 1080p which was just about right, but I could see the pixels as close as I sit. LCD/LEDs above 24" as close as I sit have images that look like clolored sand to me, because of the pixels.

That's why I prefer CRT tech. The image size at 1080i w/ horizontal black bars on this Panny is just about 25" diagonal. I think it's the perfect size for as close as I sit. I think the lighting in games looks more natural on a CRT. So I checked out craigslist to see what CRT HDTV's were around and found what I have now.

The Xbox 360 looks great. I set it to output 1080i-job done. Same with the PS2 and GT4. Set GT4 to 1080i in the menu, and we're gold. The problem is the PS3. It won't upscale 720p games for me, and the tv won't accept a 720p signal. I only have 1080i selected in the PS3's setting but it will default to 480i/p with games that only support up to 720p. I do have a few games that support 1080i and they look as good as the 360.

Pretty happy with the set, just frustrated at the anti 16:9 for 480p attitude.
post #9 of 23
Hey Heavyset, sorry I couldn't help but if it's not too much to write can you tell me how you access the SM on your Panny? I can't find anything on my CT-34WX50 and the closest Panny method I found that did anything only took me into a mode that doesn't have any adjustments (may be a factory info mode). Your procedure is worth a shot. Thanks!
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's pretty simple for my particular set. It's the same procedure for most Panny CRT sets built after 1996, except there is one thing I'm not able to do that I'll touch on later. Here's the exact procedure I use:

-In user setup menu, set antenna to Cable
-Set timer to 30, then exit out of user menu
-On the remote, press 124
-On the remote, press Vol. to zero
-On the set, press volume to zero
-A red CHK with numbers next to it should show up at the top of screen
-On the remote, change input (TV/VIDEO button) to component (or whichever input you want to change settings for)
-Make sure you have the correct input at the correct resolution you want to change
-On the remote, press power button
-You should now see an alphabet soup of letters they call the service menu.
-On the remote, use the CH and VOL as directional buttons to navigate up/down and left/right through the settings
-Now, don't do anything else until you have what you need to write down the settings before you change them
-On the remote, press the Action button to enter a setting
-Write down what you see, specifically the 2 numbers/letters on the right
-On the remote, change the value with the VOL up/down buttons
-On the remote, press the Action button to lock in the setting and return to the service menu
-On the remote, press power button to get the red CHK to show up again
-On the set, press power button to turn off tv and get out of SM

Now, what doesn't work for me according to the proper procedure I've read about is when that red CHK shows up they say I should bring up different menus by pressing the power button on the remote. All I get is one menu. Pressing power keeps going back and forth from the red CHK to the same menu. Maybe that's why nearly all the stuff for 480p is greyed out?
post #11 of 23
It works on my CT-34WX50 until pressing the power button which turns the set off (I had to start off with input set to RF or the first setting didn't show up in the Setup menu). Also no red CHK, instead a box like this:

InterCAT 1999
Concurrent 97/98/99
i.Trace 94-96
Premium 94
eXtended 92-93/95
hyperOne 94

Concurrent (using ACTION) gives me a box like this:


FLESH TONE...............................ACTION toggles between these two and I can change the second number
........................................................with Vol but the two (FT and R-Y) just track each
R-Y ANGLE...................................other. The first number appears to hold the previously set value before
........................................................leaving the menu.
0 0.....................................These are hex.

Here's the weird thing, I see another box with several parameters pop up below this box but it only lasts a second. mad.giftongue.gif

i.Trace just gives some MTBF numbers.

The other 3 do nothing and hyperOne is greyed out.

Hey at least maybe I can soften my red problem on SD (currently set to B). Excellent info and a keeper - thanks! smile.gif

It appears I'm missing some SM procedure specific to my model and strange that we both have problems around the 'power button' part of the procedure. Maybe some other remote buttons like Mute... (hopefully not some combination and/or sequence of buttons eek.gif).

About how many (ballpark #) adjustable parameters do you see on your set?

Back to your problem - have you tried changing the source resolution while in the SM?
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
I don't have anything connected to any jacks but the component. However, if I leave it on channel 124, the backround is snow, and the red CHK is very hard to see, but after pressing power on the remote I can see the menu. Res is 480i and I can adjust just about anything. I don't have an accurate count but it's gotta be close to 2 dozen parameters, from sound stuff like upper and lower freq. to the clock frequency, whatever that is. I can change color cuts and geometry too..

It's the same for the composite inputs. 480i and nothing is greyed out.

For the component inputs, parameters for 480i and 480p are mostly greyed out. It does let me change aspect ratio though, why it won't let me change it out of SM, I don't know. There's a couple DAF settings I can change but I don't see any difference when I do. There's also an EEP thing I can change, ALL - ADJ - or FIX. I'll admit I'm scared to mess with that. EEP is short for EEPROM, right? I worry I might screw something up major messing with that. It's set to ALL right now.

1080i over component lets me change just about everything too, except for the sound and clock stuff.

I really feel bad for your situation. I hate it when you keep seeing stuff on the net that works for all these other people who have sets over a ten year span yet you have the one set where none of that works for you. It stinks.

I don't get the need for this service mode garbage anyway. Any PC monitor I've ever used allowed me to adjust geometry and stuff from the user menu. And things aren't labeled goofy either. TV engineers must be a subgroup of extreme nerdism.
post #13 of 23
I noticed on mine that it detected and displayed the proper info in the SM box when I changed source resolution (component input). But I forgot your problem is out of SM. See if there's an auto-detect setting in the user menu, mine is like ID-1. I think it can force certain aspects depending on the input signal type. All kinds of settings on these sets and manuals are clear as mud.
I've been having a similar problem with my RCA 27" HD CRT (with 16:9 capability) but running from an s-video DVD player. Some DVDs I can change the aspect from the player and some the TV just ignores, I think an input detect issue. The TV has an aspect function but it only works on component.

I figured there was a lot more to adjust than what I'm seeing. The stuff I see on similar Sonys is crazy-long.

Yeah don't mess with the clock frequency, I think it's for the TV's scanning. An old 27" GE of mine has that if its horizontal clock frequency is set too low it will shut down and require EEPROM replacement. eek.gif
EEP could very well mean EEPROM but who knows with this nonsense?
Yeah most of the things I'd like to adjust I've also done on my PC monitor in a matter of minutes. tongue.gif

So far I think my red adjust (Flesh Tone thing) is working after I quickly changed the B to a 0.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
The manual clearly states that aspect ratio cannot be selected for 480p sources, so it's not like Panny was deceiving anyone. I'm just puzzled why AR is selectable in SM. Doesn't really matter anymore. Now that I have 1080i dialed in, I play all the games I can at that res. For the couple I had for the PS3 that don't support 1080i, to hell with them. smile.gif

I almost nabbed a tv like yours. Same model in excellent shape. There were 2 ads on CL for it a 2 months ago. One was nearby posted for a month, and the other was 50 miles to the south, posted for 1 week. They were both worded exactly and had the same pictures. One line was different: The older ad for the set nearby said "I'm selling it because I'm moving and it's too heavy to take along". He wanted $100. The newer ad for the set 50 miles away was missing the moving line and the price was reduced to $75. Obviously they were overlapping ads, pre and post move.

I though hard about it but I had a 32" LED and as close as I sit, it was too big. Gave me bugeyes. What would a 34 do? I'd go blind. And 200 frikken pounds!!!!!! My 27 inch is 100 and that's plenty. I can handle that myself but bolt 2 of them together? Anybody I know that could help move it already has a bad back.

Still feel like I let one go. Was too big and heavy but still a gem. Bet I could have gotten it for $50 if I had seen the first ad sooner. I'd be cross-eyed and in traction, but.........smile.gif
post #15 of 23
My bad, I should have read the detail in my re-read. My manual isn't bad but nowhere near as clear&concise as my Sony manuals.
Yeah that's just bizarre. I could see AR being transparently coded in the SM but why hide it from ya when using 480p confused.gif

I'm surprised they didn't want more money for that Panny after moving the beast. biggrin.gif I suspect an LED is better for your eyes eek.gif than a CRT of the same size and sitting close.

Heck they're almost free now. I saw a wide CRT free today, didn't show the size or brand but looked about the same size and newer. I got mine free from my friend's work (car audio distributor), they used to use it for marketing shows and were going to ship it back to Kenwood in CA but Kenwood didn't want it back - not worth shipping. The more recent ones are probably better in terms of features like HDMI and built-in ATSC tuner. Does have a great pic and sweet on SD (other than the red but I've figured ways to tone it down including this more recent development). Killer sound too, 5 speakers and some sort of acoustical waveguide built into the case; as close to surround without being real surround. I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for a Sony KD-34XBR960 or 960N (N preferred, no anti-glare film that I read folks ended up having to painstakingly remove) although the hassle of moving another beast makes me think twice about it. I think I got a small ab hernia last year helping lift that Panny off the loading dock...
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Are all these SM codes listed here at AVS? Might be one that works better for you? http://www.riddledtv.com/forums/panasonic-service-menu-codes-plasma-lcd-crt-rptv-t287.html

Also, this is what the SM looks like on my tv. Some stuff is greyed out depending on input. like all of the geometry stuff (HDEF,VDEF) when it's getting 480p over component. One line missing from the pic is the EEP line. By pressing power on the remote I go back and forth from this to the red CHK. This isn't my pic, it's from keohi.com

Edited by Heavyset - 4/7/13 at 7:37pm
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by Heavyset View Post

Are all these SM codes listed here at AVS? Might be one that works better for you? http://www.riddledtv.com/forums/panasonic-service-menu-codes-plasma-lcd-crt-rptv-t287.html

No but to you my friend I give a BIG YES! smile.gif This one:

* Hold down the {VOL -} button ON THE TV.
* Press the {RECALL} button 3 times on the remote.
* The Service Menu will be displayed.
* Use {1} {2} on remote to navigate main menu items.
* Use {3} {4} on remote to navigate sub-menu items.
* Use {VOL+} {VOL -} on remote to change item value.
* Write down all values before changing
Once a value is changed, THE CHANGE IS MADE.
* Power off to exit service mode and save.

I'd seen the first part before but it gave me the same result as the other [red CHK] method (but I never get a red CHK). Although when I first tried the number entry part it just changed the channel. Then I tried the INFO button and that mysterious disappearing box appeared and stuck, then the number entry part worked. So that InterCAT box is my SM, in the plasma SM posts in that RiddledTV thread they say that CAT stands for Computer-Aided Test mode.

Yeah the symbols in your pic look somewhat similar. Now all I have to do is figure it all out, some are obvious but many are not. The first post in that RiddledTV thread (a keeper!) has some basic descriptions. Hey if you know of a link describing these modes in greater detail and can post it here I'd greatly appreciate it. Nonetheless I can probably figure it out with some 'net searching, I suspect the symbols for the modes are somewhat generic; the posts I saw on a similar Sony should be a good start.

Thanks again! smile.gif
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Glad you found a method that works! If you like that then you'll love this: http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/brandspecific/panasonic/panasonic_alignment_ct36hx41.html

Pretty much explains them all. It's all silly though, isn't it? Simple icons on a PC crt monitor menu allow us to do what we want, but for tvs you need your Dick Tracy decoder ring.
post #19 of 23
Excellent, thanks again! Plus some bonus new TV website resources.

Dick Tracy decoder ring - biggrin.gif
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'll slide this in here since it's my thread. I scored a Panasonic CT-30WX54 off craigslist. It's in excellent condition inside and out. Pulled the cover to clean dust from inside but there was hardly any. Manufactured Sept. 2004 but looks new.

Geometry is good as is. Centered and no bowing or waves. Only about an inch overscan all around. no need to adjust that at all. I didn't mind the black bars in 1080i mode on the 27", but now I have a true wide screen with none at all. I'll hang on to the 27" as a back up.

Got the 27" for $20 and now this 30" for $70. Dude listed it for a month at $110 then dropped it to $90 recently. Talked him down another $20. 2 TVs in 4 months for $90. Gotta love people tired of moving the big heavy beast one too many times and giving in to the flat panels.
post #21 of 23
Sweet, enjoy! Hey you can put the 27" next to it for watching 4:3 as I think the 27" will be a few inches bigger in 4:3. I have an old 27" RCA next to my Panny for coon-ass Picture 'n Picture (term coined by my Louisiana neighbor).

Hey does it have a built-in ATSC tuner? I just missed a steal of a deal on a CT-34WX54J (and what's the J mean?). Spotted it last week for free but listed in the pay section rather than the free section (where they go fast) with no pic and not much description - needle in a haystack. Poster said someone was coming to pick it up that evening but would let me know if they didn't show up. They didn't show up but he didn't tell me until this week while also reposting the ad which didn't give me enough time to do anything before someone else got it (2nd floor, need help, Dallas and I'm in Fort Worth). He said the PQ was still great but who knows about overall condition at that price...
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
No ATSC tuner, but it does have PiP. Fat lot of good that does me because I only use it for gaming.

The 4:3 27" has a taller screen (22W x 16.5H) so naturally its 4:3 image is bigger than the 16:9 30" (26.5W x 15.25H). I only use 1080i for the games so of course the 1080i image on the 16:9 30" is bigger than the same on the 27". The image on the 27" is about 24" diag. with black bars top and bottom.

This SONY is nearby but I've sent 3 emails and they haven't answered yet. Looks like one of the coveted models. Not as interested anymore now that I've got the 30" Panny. http://lancaster.craigslist.org/zip/3700821099.html
post #23 of 23
You might have a game mode in the video menu based on my WX50; my remote also has a game button that takes me to whatever input I want set for gaming. Nevertheless sounds like a great gamer for ya. I wish mine had its HDMI.

Interesting Sony, based on the color it might be a 960 or 970 (based on their age 'claim' I'd say a 970). Can't tell the size but seems like a small stand. Yeah I know what ya mean about interest, I still keep watch (mainly for a 34" 960 but...) but I easily blow some ads off; distance and need for help are big issues.
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