The PT47/56/65 and WX51/49 series of Panasonic rear projection TVs have a glitch that results in what appears to be a hardware problem with the sets. If power is lost (a fuse shorts out, or even if your surge protector trips) and is then restored, the TV picture suddenly looks strange. No matter what you try, you won't be able to get that picture looking good.
The easiest way to verify that this is indeed the glitch discussed here is to examine the picture on the screen (with the TV on, of course). The top and the bottom of the picture will be cut off if you've got this bug. If you're not sure how to check for this, tune to either a sports channel such as ESPN or a news channel such as FOX News. These types of channels usually have a ticker running at the bottom of the screen. If it's cut off, you're missing part of your picture. Additionally, you'll often see a fishbowl effect, where the picture almost appears to be curved on the sides; convergence won't help this, either.
Entering the Service Menu
The first thing you need to do is enter the Panasonic service menu. This requires your remote (often, programmable remotes are a pain for this; the original remote is recommended). Then, follow these steps:
In the setup menu, set the antenna to "cable."
In the timer menu, set the sleep time to 30.
Exit all menus and tune to channel 124.
Adjust the volume (on the TV, not your receiver) to 0.
Press the Volume Down button on the television set panel until a red CHK appears on the screen.
Once you're in this menu, you should know how a few buttons on your remote function, until you exit this menu:
The TV/Video button changes video inputs.
The Power button (on the remote) toggles menus.
The up, down, left, and right arrows are used for navigation.
Once at this point, you can actually fix this power glitch once and for all.
Fixing the Picture
Here's what you need to do:
Move the cursor to VER and press the Enter button on your remote.
Select 16:9 (you are able to choose either 4:3 or 16:9), and press Enter.
Unplug the TV set.
Wait 60 seconds.
Plug the television back in.
When you plug the TV back in, it should still be in service mode.
Save your changes and exit the service menu.
Things should work normally now. The key thing to look for is that curved image, and check out the top and bottom of the picture. If you can see those news tickers, you're all set.
Panasonic's 4:3 and 16:9 TV sets share some common parts. In fact, when Panasonic started producing 16:9 TVs, it used the majority of the guts of its existing 4:3 TVs. Essentially, a 51-inch 4:3 set is the same as a 47-inch 16:9 set; you're getting the same basic display unit, with a different cabinet and aspect ratio (not to mention, you're paying a good bit more). However, some of these widescreen TVs don't "realize" they are actually 16:9s; the VER parameter in the service menu takes care of this. In particular, when power is lost, these sets often will revert to the 4:3 setting, causing this glitch.
What's even more interesting is that you can make your 51-inch 4:3 TV behave just like the 16:9 set, using the same procedure! The image area on the 4:3 TV is reduced to—surprise, surprise—a 47-inch 16:9 image! Of course, you'll need to perform a lot of calibration to get the picture to look right, but that's still a lot cheaper than buying a widescreen set!
Keep in mind that if your TV is hit with a power shock again you might have to repeat these steps. Also, understand that none of this has to do with the Aspect Ratio button on the remote; this problem affects all pictures, in all formats.