Hi guys, 1st time poster here, it looks like there is a lot of knowledgeable folks here. Maybe someone can provide some insight to what is going on with my much loved plasma.
The background: purchased new in September 2006 and has been a stellar performer...it is just for the past year...
Back to the background: TV is fed by a coax cable directly into the TV, Comcast Digital Preferred with a cable card. The house coax goes to a splitter, one side goes to the TV, the other side to the small Comcast digital adaptor, then to a DVR for recording the lower range/grade channels. TV is Serial # MA61800308. Panasonic firmware update done May 26, 2011.
I've tried Panny tech help for this problem, went thru a bunch of menus with the phone rep, but didn't get anywhere. I took it to an authorized service center, but they couldn't replicate the issue and were no help after $85.00. They claimed it was the cable card. I didn't think so, but I tried two replacements from Comcast with no change in behavior so I don't think the cable card is the issue.
The problem started on the 14th of November, 2012 (there was no lightening strike or power surge to my knowledge FWIW). When turning on the TV as you normally would, the power indicator light illuminates, you can hear the cooling fan start up, the screen slightly changes color to a light grey, but then that is as far as it goes. It remains in a static condition like that. No messages or such appears. I then tried disconnecting the power by unplugging, waiting a few seconds, then plugging back in. Doing this, the TV turned on normally. After responding to a few menu commands, the TV operates normally.
This behavior has continued for the past year, meaning, one has to to disconnect the power each time before turning on the TV to get it to turn on at all.
There are a couple of other behaviors that it does now regularly since this all started.
1) 30%-40% of the time the TV does not respond to remote commands immediately, such as the Info button, TV/Video button, Favorites button, channel up/down, volume or R-Tune button. There there is a 5-10 second or more delay before the tv responds or the menus come up on the screen. Then after a few minutes, they will flash up after this delay. I have installed fresh batteries in the remote and see no change in the behavior.
2) Often the channel box that displays the channel number and call letters in the upper left hand of the screen when switching between channels does not display for several minutes. The TV will still change the station, but this info box will not display. Then it will start displaying, flickering however many times one had hit the keys.
3) Rarely, if you try to power up the TV without unplugging it first, it will turn on, but it will be on a different channel than when you left it when you turned it off last, and it won't change channels or volume, etc. at all, you will need to cut power and start over to get any response.
4) After this unplugging routine (my wife and kids are getting tired of it, but I don't want to give up my cable card!) and the TV powers up, after a 1 minute or two time playing the screen goes black, and in white lettering, the screen displays the following:
In order to start service for this device,
please contact customer service at ph# 1-800-XFINITY.
CableCARD (tm) 0-011- 478-068-296.
Host ID 0-020-004-715-213
Host Type: One-Way
Hitting the "EXIT" button on the remote gets rid of it and we can watch tv somewhat normally, until the volume or channel changing freezes up again. In this case the TV doesn't respond to the manual buttons for channel up/down or volume either.
And...sometimes when you power off with the remote, the screen will go out, the fans stop running, but the red power light on the front remains illuminated. Pressing the manual power off button on the front of the unit doesn't even cut power, you have to unplug from the wall. FWIW, thru all this I get the metallic clicks that previous posters have mentioned when I plug in or unplug.
I'm not adverse to buying a board or two and trying a repair myself, I just don't have a clue where to start - suggestions anyone?