How to Troubleshoot a Panasonic Plasma TV

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Plasma screen TVs provide great picture clarity.

Panasonic plasma TVs are high-quality models with great image clarity and a lot of extra features. Like many other plasma TVs, however, they can be complicated, which means that a mundane problem may appear to be a serious issue at first. Before contacting a repairman, conduct a little basic troubleshooting with your Panasonic plasma TV. You may be able to correct the problem with very little effort.


Tips to Troubleshoot Plasma TVs: Panasonic

Step 1

Undertake a few generalized troubleshooting steps that are common to every TV. Adjust the antenna to correct the signal, examine the connecting cables to make sure they are secure and test the batteries in the remote control. Change your position to give the remote a clear line of sight to the plasma screen. Problems may also arise if there is a fluorescent light in the vicinity, or electric devices such as a hair dryer are being used nearby. None of these problems are unique to plasma TVs, but they may affect your reception just the same.


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Step 2

Be aware of some normal functions of the Panasonic plasma TV that might look like problems to you. For example, many plasma TVs have an internal cooling fan, which creates a low whirring sound when it operates. This is a perfectly normal function of the TV, though it may be alarming when you hear it for the first time. Similar functions may include the occasional dark spot and the words "Press any key to return" floating on a dark screen. Both of these functions are used to prevent plasma TVs from burning out; they are not a sign of a faulty TV.


Step 3

Turn the TV off and then on again if your image appears cut off or distorted. If that doesn't correct the problem, you may have your TV set to the wrong aspect ratio. Press the "Aspect" button on the Panasonic remote (it's usually just above the numbers, next to the "Mute" button). That allows you to cycle through the aspect ratio options until the image looks the way it should.


Step 4

Eliminate the closed captioning setting if a black box appears on the screen. The box is used by viewers who are hard of hearing. You can get rid of it by pushing the "Menu" button on the remote, then selecting "Setup" on the screen, then scrolling down and pushing the "CC" option. You'll see a list of controls, the top of which reads "Mode." Highlight it and cycle through the options until you come to "Off." Select it and exit the menu with the "Exit" button. The black box should disappear.


Step 5

Adjust the SAP setting if the sound isn't coming in, or is coming in oddly. The SAP button should be in the top right-hand corner of the remote. Pressing it lets you move through the various options. Set it to "Stereo" or "Mono" to see if it corrects the problem. You might also check the "Mute" button to see if it is activated, or simply adjust the volume.


Plasma TVs are very complicated machines. If you've exhausted all your troubleshooting options, call a repairman rather than cracking open an expensive plasma screen and tinkering with it yourself.