Panasonic TH-42PW3

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Thomas Sturm

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Jun 25, 2001, 2:26:08 PM6/25/01
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dear chip, tim, tony and other owners of this tv!
in the past few weeks I have been quite frustrated with panasonics
customerservice regarding one problem I seemed to be having with my tv: I
noticed on ntsc-dvds that every so often the tv would flash, switching as it
seemed to a black screen and returning immediately (on average every 10 to
15 minutes). today, as everybody knows, wimbledon started, and with quite
superb widescreenpictures, the best, I have seen to date on this panny.
and... it started to black out every 15 minutes or so. I discovered early on
(with the help of tony, I think), that if I turned the contrast down to
under zero, the flashing would stop. well, I now did turn the contrast down
to -3 on pc input and the flashing stopped. so, where lies the problem, or
is it indeed no problem and only a high sensitivity to high contrast. so far
nobody else seems to have come across this "blacking out", and panasonic
haven't answered an e-mail I've send them almost 2 month ago. I don't want
to give the tv back. panasonic seems to want to have my tv back for "repair"
and don't want to swap it over, so my dealer tells me today.
my only worry is what might happen in a years time when the guarantee has
run out and it might start to get worse. I have tried to find an extended
warranty but without success.
can anybody give me advice on this? where has everybody set their contrast?
and have you watched "traffic" all the way through, because it is the only
film I've come across where lowering the contrast doesn't make any
difference to the problem.
sorry for writing a novel
thanks and regards
thomas

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Tony Gamble

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Jun 26, 2001, 3:53:00 AM6/26/01
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Thomas,

I have never had any blanking, or flashing, since my plasma was
delivered in January. I use mine for ON Sky DVD and a Humax linked to
Eutelstat 13 and Astra 19.

It was Chip (I think) who suggested reducing the contrast - so I can't
help on that front.

You say the problem occures on ntsc DVD's.

You say that it now occures on Wimbledon off-air broadcasts - which
must be PAL. Yes?

Has the problem never emerged on other off-air broadcasts?

I'm not sure whether you are feeding your DVD and your digital decoder
direct into the 42PWD3. Are you one of the Iscan brigade? Or are you
using some other form of AV switch gear?

If so then I'd suggest that you try feeding the DVD and decoder direct
into the plasma. You can get an RGB image from the scart of either by
getting a cable that supplies R G B and composite video. The composite
video BNC goes into the composite socket and that, with the correct
alteration to your 'set up' will derive the H and V sync you need.

This will identify whether the problem is within the plasma.

We know that Andy Guy tested an Iscan and found it hopeless. Andrew
Forkes is now on his second Iscan (the first had a red hue) and can't
get used to a 2/3 second delay in lip sync (what does he
want...perfection?). They are not creating what we call happy bunnies
around here.

Anyway, can you confirm that you are feeding direct to the plasma -
and, if not, can you try?

Then we can talk about replacements, warranties, etc.

Bye for now.

Tony

Chip

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Jun 26, 2001, 4:07:15 AM6/26/01
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Hi Thomas

When the screen goes black, does it display "no signal" in the top right of
the screen for a few seconds?

Chip.

Thomas Sturm <Thomas...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:000501c0fda4$b445a1a0$ac9101d5@oemcomputer...

Chip

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Jun 26, 2001, 5:33:13 AM6/26/01
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Tony Gamble <tonyg...@compuserve.com> wrote in message
news:VA.0000037...@compuserve.com...

As I have mentioned before, very occassionally I get some tearing on the
screen, followed by the picture going black and displaying "No signal". The
whole "event" lasts maybe 1 second and then the picture is restored to
normal.

This only happens on very bright / contrasty images. Interesting then,
Thomas' comments about a partial fix to his problem being to turn the
contrast down! It sounds like a similar (if not the same) problem. BTW it
wasn't me who suggested to turn the contrast down. I wonder who it was and
if they have had a similar problem? It seems like divine inspiration if
not.

My problem *never* occurs on any s-video, composite video or component video
feed and its really no big deal. I have only detected it when viewing RGB
(via John's sync splitter), and even then only once every few days or so. I
had deduced (perhaps wrongly?) that John's box was the cause. Perhaps its
not as simple as that, since I don't believe Thomas is using John's box.

It seems to me like perhaps the Panasonic demands a really high quality sync
signal, and it struggles if it doesn't get one. This is only speculation,
but the tearing of the image is very reminiscent of monitor trying and
failing to sync properly.

Incidentally, what brightness / contrast settings have you got your plasma
on, for viewing via the PC input? I wonder if the fact that you have never
seen such an effect is because you prefer these settings lower? And maybe I
am somewhere between you and Thomas in this respect?

I do notice that the "default" image through the PC input is much brighter
and more contrasty than the other inputs and I have the settings
correspondingly lower. Its perhaps still a bit high though.

Chip.

Tony Gamble

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Jun 26, 2001, 6:38:43 AM6/26/01
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Chip wrote:

> BTW it wasn't me who suggested to turn the contrast down.
>

Might it have been you talking about turning the brightness down in one
of those 'how long does a plasma last' threads? Or it may have been
Tim.

<<since I don't believe Thomas is using John's box.>>

But I thought he was using an Iscan....Hi Thomas, time to join the can
of worms you have opened! This is *your* thread!!!

<<Incidentally, what brightness / contrast settings have you got your
plasma on, for viewing via the PC input?>>

I'll check tonight. They are probably very high. I like my money's
worth....

I'm actually using the R G B V and H. I hit a problem getting sound
into the PC circuit (sloppy adaptor on my part and when I found out my
error I could not be bothered to swop over). However, if I get the RGB
to Component system I will probably move back to the PC socket so I can
alternate between RGB and Component.

<< I had deduced (perhaps wrongly?) that John's box was the cause. >>

I have had very slight tearing with John's Svideo converter, again with
very contrasty images - but never a problem with RGB to VGA.

Your question to Tom about whether he gets the 'No signal' message was
very astute. We await his reply with interest.

Bye,

Tony


Steve Roberts

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Jun 26, 2001, 7:44:00 AM6/26/01
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On Tue, 26 Jun 2001 09:33:13 GMT, "Chip"
<nospam...@nospam.virgin.net> wrote:


>As I have mentioned before, very occassionally I get some tearing on the
>screen, followed by the picture going black and displaying "No signal". The
>whole "event" lasts maybe 1 second and then the picture is restored to
>normal.
>
>This only happens on very bright / contrasty images. Interesting then,
>Thomas' comments about a partial fix to his problem being to turn the
>contrast down! It sounds like a similar (if not the same) problem. BTW it
>wasn't me who suggested to turn the contrast down. I wonder who it was and
>if they have had a similar problem? It seems like divine inspiration if
>not.
>
>My problem *never* occurs on any s-video, composite video or component video
>feed and its really no big deal. I have only detected it when viewing RGB
>(via John's sync splitter), and even then only once every few days or so. I
>had deduced (perhaps wrongly?) that John's box was the cause. Perhaps its
>not as simple as that, since I don't believe Thomas is using John's box.

I'm sure you're right and I know exactly what is happening. The sync
separator in John's box is being fed composite video via a capacitor -
either in his box or on the output of the source into his box. What
happens is that the DC signal level going into the sync separator
moves around in response to changes in the average picture level.
Something like a sudden change from a dark scene to a white one will
cause a rapid change in the DC level and this may cause the sync
pulses to be driven too high or low for the separator to detect them
properly, hence the picture loses sync.

What is required here is a DC clamp to clamp the sync pulses to a
known level before the sync separator. I'm sure John could probably
sort out a modification to his box to avoid this happening...

The contrast setting on the screen would have no effect on this
problem, though...

Steve

The Doctor Who Restoration Team Website
http://www.restoration-team.co.uk

Tony Gamble

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Jun 26, 2001, 10:24:41 AM6/26/01
to
And, Chip.....

You are on cable I think.

Might it be that your cable signal is stronger than my DTT and DSAT
signals? Thus aggravating the variation that Steve has just identified.

All part of the contrasty image causing the problem symptom?


Bye,

Tony


Thomas Sturm

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Jun 26, 2001, 2:03:53 PM6/26/01
to
thanks to everybody, who has replied so far; if I didn't know you guys I
wouldn't really know what to do next. let me go through the questions:
the dvd-player is connected directly, and for the last three month was
leading me to the conclusion that it must have something to do with ntsc(it
never happened on a pal disc, although to be fair, I've only got about 10).
now it happened on skydigital (only on the wimbledon live broadcasts), it is
clear to me,that it has nothing to do with colorsystems.
all my other gear (sky,ON, technisat for astra and d-vhs jvc) goes through
the panasonic tunerbox and so far has given me no trouble at all. for the
first few weeks even the dvd (it was then a panasonic rv60) went through the
box. and initially I only changed the dvd-player to a pioneer 737 because I
thought that there was something wrong with my rv60 and I fancied having
progressive scan.
I've never tried the Iscan, but have tried a very expensive faroudja
linedoubler. the panasonics scanconverter is clearly better and I dropped
the idea of joining the "iscan-brigade" within 2 days of having the tv.
I contacted panasonic straight away, and so did my dealer. only yesterday,
almost 3 month on, was my dealer told by panasonic, that the tv should go to
panasonic for repair, which I think is a joke. if it is a fault then I
should have a new tv!
weeks in to experiencing what I described as blackouts did I read a
suggestion by tony or timothy in the newsgroup to turn the contrast down to
zero on first switching the tv on. I had mine on +20 (which was set up with
videoessentials), but was slightly alarmed by that suggestion. so I turned
it down to zero, checked with videoessentials, and the blackouts stopped.
until I got "traffic" last week - on that film it would flash with the
contrast down to -20. and suddenly yesterday I saw it for the first time on
pal (sky), turned the contrast down to -5 (the same as on comp.) and it
stopped. to answer chip: when it blacks out it does not come up "no signal".
last night after posting my "novel" I was contacted by a company called
"audiovisualdirect.com", who suggested yet another reason: overheating of
the screen. I don't know who they are and how they got my e-mail before it
was posted on the net, but it at least sounds interesting. I do not believe,
that heat comes into it; the tv is positioned in a windowbay with plenty of
circulation.
I have really tried not to worry too much about the problems; but the idea,
that it might get worse and before you know the guarantee has run out. and
then what? an extended warranty I've been trying to find; noone seems to
want to know (not even domestic&g).
I really appreciate your help and hope I've anwered all questions.
sincerely
thomas

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Tony Gamble

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Jun 27, 2001, 5:25:43 AM6/27/01
to
Chip,

As I suspected my setting are quite high.

In RGB mode they are Contrast +20 and Brightness -15.

But never a glitch.

Rgds

Tony


Tony Gamble

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Jun 27, 2001, 5:25:40 AM6/27/01
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Hi Thomas,

If you are not getting the 'No signal' message it seems that the
problem is inside the plasma and not your sources.

<<now it happened on skydigital (only on the wimbledon live
broadcasts), it is clear to me,that it has nothing to do with
colorsystems. all my other gear (sky,ON, technisat for astra and d-vhs
jvc) goes through the panasonic tunerbox and so far has given me no
trouble at all>>

In the above para you say the problem does occure with Sky on Wimbledon
and then you say your Sky box goes through the Panny tuner and it gives
no problem. You contradict yourself. Is this a clue somewhere?


My settings are Contrast +20 and Brightness -15.

I have never had the problem.

My guess is that you do have a faulty screen. Whether it is heat I
cannot guess.

Nobody will sell you an extended warranty on a screen that has already
been diagnosed as faulty. Would you?

Our attempts to get Panasonic UK to come to terms with the Svideo
mis-timing issue shows them not to be over-sensitive to customer
relationships. So I would not put too much store in help from that
source.

Chip is better on *the law* than I am. My experience with regard to
goods that are faulty 'out of the box' is that suppliers usually
replace them. With regard to goods that prove to be faulty after some
use is that suppliers repair them.

I took out a swop in warranty with mine so that, if it does need
repairing, I get a replacement - but that is academic to you now, I
regret, and of little consolation.

Others may have a tougher view but I see very little alternative to
letting Panasonic have the screen back for repair and, if you can't do
without a plasma, getting another on rental. It is damned annoying -
but the same would apply if you'd bought a new car and found it playing
up after three months.

Sorry I offer no happier suggestion.

Tony


Chip

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Jun 27, 2001, 6:24:04 AM6/27/01
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Thomas Sturm <Thomas...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:000901c0fe6a$c26596c0$f5537ad5@oemcomputer...

Hi Thomas,

Since your screen doesn't display "no signal", then its not the same problem
that I get. My plasma has never just blanked out in the way you describe
and I can understand why you are worried.

Can I ask, did the set *always* exhibit this problem, or did it start to
happen sometime after you first got it? This doesn't have any relevance
legally, but it might affect how Panasonic look at the situation, from a
customer service point of view.

Unfortunatelly, you now have no rights to a replacement in UK law, since you
didn't reject the set at the time you took delivery (or close to it). So,
whether it has the fault or not, you are deemed to have legally accepted it,
and the best you are then entitled to is a repair or compensation.

However, it is possible you could get Panasonic to replace it as a goodwill
jesture, *especially* if the fault existed from the start. Like I said, you
don't have a legal right to this, but you would have a good moral argument.
My plan would be to insist that with sophisticated equipment like this, it
takes time for someone to completely check it out, and now you have been
able to do that, you can confirm that the goods are defective, and that you
would therefore like a replacement. Still, I don't know whether they would
go for it. £6,000 is a *lot* of "goodwill"!

Before any of that, I guess the first thing I would do is to insist on
getting an engineer to come and look at it. Its possible that some software
setting needs tweaking, or maybe its got its configuration settings messed
up and some kind of master-reset will fix it. Its at least worth a try, and
I would have thought it was in Panasonic's interest to check this out first.

Assuming these approaches yield no luck, then I guess the choices are to (a)
do nothing, or (b) go for the repair. And I can understand that neither is
very appealing.

I think (a) is very risky. I have no idea what the fault is, but what if it
gets worse? I can imagine you could easily end up with a £1000 repair bill
if it fails next year. Maybe less, but who knows? Its unlikely, but given
that it cost £6000, I guess your maximum repair bill could even be thousands
:-(

So I guess reluctantly (and if all else fails), I'd probably go for (b) and
send it back for repair. BUT I'd make it very clear to Panasonic that you
want it back in a "reasonable" timeframe, and that you will be demanding a
replacement if they are not able to fix it in a "reasonable" timeframe.
I'll leave you to think about what would constitute reasonable. I think a
few days would be unreasonably short - they couldn't be expected to repair
it in that time. On the other hand, it would be unreasonable for them to
take the set away for months. They are legally olbliged to fix it or
replace it / refund your money. "Fixing it" doesn't mean hanging on to it
for 3 months. Equally, returning it back to you a few weeks later, but not
fixed, doesn't get them off the hook either. Any court would not look
favourably on any repeated unsuccessful attempts to fix it.

Sorry I can't help any better.

Chip.


Andrew Forkes

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Jun 27, 2001, 11:55:32 AM6/27/01
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Mine in RGB mode are: Contract +10 and Brightness +1.

"Tony Gamble" <tonyg...@compuserve.com> wrote in message
news:VA.0000037...@compuserve.com...

Thomas Sturm

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Jun 27, 2001, 1:50:06 PM6/27/01
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dear chip and tony,
thanks for your replies. I have today already spoken to panasonic who seem
to be willing, to get the set replaced. what has'nt come across very well is
the fact, that the problem was there from the start, but as it only appeared
on the dvd player I assumed it to be the culprit. my dealer was told within
days and he contacted pansonic, but even with repeated phonecalls they never
got in touch with him. I replaced the dvd player after a week, but the
problem persisted. only about 6 weeks in to having the set did I turn the
contrast down to zero and the "problem" seemed to disappear. I then did'nt
push my dealer into action and that is where the delay has come in, because
only within the last few days was the "problem" reappearing even at reduced
contrastsettings. as you have got your contrast at +20 and not experienced
blackouts I really think that there must be something wrong with my set
(could it be the powersupply?) to tony's reply I have got to add that I
did'nt mean to contradict myself; what I meant to say was, that until 2 days
ago my gear through the tunerbox had given me no trouble, only the dvd
beeing connected directly to compon. now it has shown the problem through
the box I can be sure, that it is not some sort of colorsystem fault. the
extended warranty I tried to get within days of buying the tv, without
success. by the way the blackout sometimes accures when I call up the
picturemenu of the tv. would that be a clue to technicians out there?
the course of action I've taken is to ask panasonic for a replacementset as
the fault was there from day one and was reported repeatedly. they (steve
lee at customerservices) seemed to be prepared to do just that, although I
will have to wait and see. by the way how do you rent a plasmatv? for now
I've changed my settings to the one's you both seem to agree on (the
brightnesslevel is far lower, the contrastlevels far higher than mine). I
see how I get on. for now many thanks!
yours truly

Tony Gamble

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Jun 28, 2001, 3:39:05 AM6/28/01
to
Thomas,

> now it has shown the problem through
> the box I can be sure, that it is not some sort of colorsystem fault.
>

Yes, it does seem that your screen is showing a steady deterioration.

>>the extended warranty I tried to get within days of buying the tv,
without success.<<

Not surprising as the warranty company would want to know they were
taking on a good plasma and not one with already established faults.
(Similar to the way a health insurance company would want you to have a
medical before offering you any cover) The only lesson, for anyone
planning to buy a plasma, is to consider the extended warranty as part
of the purchase package. I have three years for £550 and that includes
supply of a replacement.

<<they (steve lee at customerservices) seemed to be prepared to do just
that,>>

The replacement. Well, you are OK then.

<< by the way how do you rent a plasmatv?>>

From an AudioVisual hire company. People rent them for exhibitions,
promotions, etc all the time. Yet another advantage of buying from
someone other than a box shifter.

Sorry, Thomas. These are not comments knocking what you have done. You
are suffering enough. They are advice for anyone else who picks up this
thread and is considering buying a plasma for the first time.

<< by the way the blackout sometimes accures when I call up the
picturemenu of the tv.>>

Well, at least you've a way of demonstrating the problem. There would
be nothing more annoying than getting an engineer to your home and then
not being to show him the problem.

Thomas, all the pointers are that you have a faulty screen. Panasonic
are the only people who can help you.

Rgds

Tony


Chip

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Jun 29, 2001, 3:54:55 AM6/29/01
to
Hi Thomas,

Good news about getting the set replaced. I think this demonstrates how
important it is to tell the supplier straight away, if you notice a problem.
Then, even if you carry on using the set, you can in law still be entitled
to a replacement later on.

I wonder if Panasonic would have agreed to replace it if today was the first
time they had heard of a problem? I suggest perhaps not.

Cheers and good luck!

Chip.


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