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Panasonic Support - Very Frustrating

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by nheather, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. nheather

    nheather
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    I've just had two very frustrating telephone conversations with Panasonic Customer Support staff.

    Having established that discrete IR codes (for Pronto type devices) probably do exists - I have stumbled across one that directly switches the aspect to WIDE, I decided to ring Panasonic Technical Support to find out more information.

    The first point of contact, Jenny, wasn't any help as she really didn't understand at all. The trouble is she wouldn't accept this and just kept telling me nonesense - eventually I got her to arrange for a 'technical' engineer to call me.

    To his credit Shane (the technical engineer) did call pretty promptly. However, he was quite arrogant and patronising. Firstly, he told me I didn't need a code for 'Component'. I simply select 'Component' once and then whenever I select AV4, the set will automatically remember 'Component'.

    But what if I want to switch between HDMI and Component I asked.

    "That's a very unusually configuration - not many would want to do that" I was told.

    I explained that an HD source such as Sky (next year) would use the HDMI and so asked him what connection he would recommend for the DVD

    Reluctantly he replied "Component" but then added "But not many would have this config"

    When I suggested that they would be wasting their time buying a HD television Shane refused to comment.

    He then accepted my requirement and stated that NO Panasonic devices support discrete codes.

    I explained about my experience with the 'select WIDE aspect'. He didn't really beleive me, but then concluded that I had downloaded a code for a different TV (such as Sony) and it happens to do something different on the Panasonic.

    I asked him, that surely that was a discrete code.

    "No, you just found something that works by accident" he said.

    I asked if it could be that there are discrete codes but he hasn't been made aware of them.

    "No, I am responsible for all technal training for Plasmas in the UK. If there were discrete codes, I would know about them. NO Panasonic devices support discrete codes"

    So there you have it.

    It may seem petty, but one of my aims is to have a simple system that my wife and children can use easily. So I want a 'DVD' button on the Pronto which

    Sets the TV to component
    Sets the TV sound to mute
    Sets the AV Amp input to DVD

    I'm very frustrated because at the bottom of my heart I reckon the PV500 does support this but the guys at Panasonic say no. This level of usability is a bigger issue to me so it looks very likely that I will be cancelling my order to give me more thinking time or to select a different panel.

    Anyone know if the Hitachi 7200 handles (or needs) discrete codes?

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    Hitachis have no discretes, you need up to 5 presses of the input button to get where you want to go. Panasonic used to have discrete input codes, the PW5 panels had them, but they were dropped on the 6 series, though the discrete aspect commands still work. It might be worth a try of the PW5 codes, I've never programmed for a PV500. On and off will work, I'm sure, and you could use a macro switching to TV, then the required number of 'input' commands. I never use TVs like this in my installs cos of the remote hassles. We use the panels, and switch all video with an external device, an AV amp or scaler.
     
  3. StrongSilent

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    I've also just heard back from Panny's customer services (Amanda) who after referring to several tech support people, tells me there's no way round the cycling through inputs/signals. She did actually understand the problem as she could read recount in her own words what the problem is.

    If this is true, it will also prevent universal remotes from being able to correctly store macros for different activities (watch a movie, play a videogame etc.) as the toggling will be totally unpredictable..

    This could well be a deal-breaker. As it stands I can just about figure out how to get to what I want to watch - the kids and their mum can't be bothered with all the faffing.

    Anyone know of an IR fingerprinting, capturing device (or software) that can translate and then replicate signals?

    Cheers.

    H.
     
  4. mjm2705

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    Incorrect !!!

    My Hitachi 7200 has a separate button on the remote for ALL inputs. Every single one of them !!
     
  5. nheather

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    I'm sure this is true for some items but I have just downloaded the 7200 manual and that appears that the hanset has a seperate button for each of the 6 inputs. Therefore, on the face of it, the Hitachi will do what I want.

    I'll have to go and look at the many '7200 vs 500' threads.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  6. mjm2705

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    I just said that :D
     
  7. TeresaTT

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    I can select my PWD6 inputs with my Pronto by using macros. There is a discrete code for the VGA input, so I start each macro with that and then send the input command the required number of times to get to the input I want. Therefore to get to my component input, which is in slot 1, I send VGA then input. To get to my scart input in slot 2 I send VGA, then input, then input. This works fine and I have no difficulty in changing between devices with a single press of a button on my Pronto.

    I also have disctrete codes for on, off and each of the screen aspect settings. They're all available at RemoteCentral.com.

    Teresa
     
  8. MAW

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    Teresa is right, it's down to a smart programmer to get around these things. Apologies if this is another thing Hitachi have put right on the 7200, the 5300 in front of me when I typed that it is true for. Nasty sky picture too, I hope that's better on the new ones.
    Most TV's are like this, Panasonic's CRTs involve a button followed by a colour button to select inputs. Let me say again, and underline what teresa has said, for simplicity a panel only is the way to go, and video switch in an amp or scaler. It really works, is way simpler and more reliable, gives you top sound for all inputs, works with almost all universal remotes, but usually can be made to work with the amp remote anyway. Maybe it depends on what you want from a system. If you want a TV again, go that way, but the idea of the modern, 'connected' home would be to combine film, TV, games, web, music, all into 1 system, 1 control, 1 display, though possibly distributed round the house. A display only model is the place to start. They are also more easily tweakable, easily calibrated, etc. No drawbacks except for those bound in to the concept of a television just like John Logi Baird invented. Think outside the box. All manufacturers do them, so whatever your picture preference, it can be accommodated.
     
  9. nheather

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    MAW

    I agree with you. This is how I started

    1) I wanted a panel. Wife wasn't happy about losing TV (teletext mostly). Wife gave in.

    2) Went through a list of SD options and had decided on an NEC VR5. HD sets were way out of my budget.

    3) Time to buy and noticed that HDs were down in price. Looked at the PV500 at which point my wife revealed she hadn't been happy about losing the TV.

    4) Now this dilemma. There isn't a HD panel available until Oct (est) and it is likely to be out of my budget. Wife is getting fed up with the decision dragging - wants a plasma now.

    TeresaTT

    I am pretty sure the discrete codes are there, just that Panny support/dealers don't know about them.

    I did find some codes on RemoteCentral and tried them out -

    Component = didn't appear to do anything
    AV 1 = didn't appear to do anything
    PC-VGA = sets the aspect to WIDE

    Unfortunately, none of the codes on RemoteCentral are a good enough starting point to do what you suggest.

    I suspect that they will come out eventually - question is, am I prepared to risk it?

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  10. TeresaTT

    TeresaTT
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    I didn't use any discrete codes for my input changing macros, only codes from the original remote. Perhaps your Panasonic screen doesn't have the same remote control codes, which one is it? I used the VGA/PC input button and the Input toggle button. Both of these buttons are on my Panasonic remote.

    The discrete input codes at RemoteCentral only work on older Panasonic screens and don't work on my PWD6, however all of the aspect change codes work and the power on and power off codes. Perhaps the newer Panasonic screens use different codes. Can anyone else confirm this?

    Teresa
     
  11. hornydragon

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    it doesnt matter what the monkeys in the UK say or do its down to to the guys in japan that designed it an IR code is not much special just a coded signal normally represent to a user in hexadecimal form. the important bit is that the IR engine in the device is connected to the control system......there are devices that will read IR siganls but thats not much use in fact i the harmony and Prontos can both read the HEX but that wont mean much to anyone

    A Psuedo discrete code like what terresa uses is the best way round it if possible
     
  12. nheather

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    TeresaTT

    It's a PV500 - Unfortunately, Panasonic seem to have gone for the approach of having as few buttons as possible.

    Thie means there are very few direct input buttons - most are toggles or scrolls.

    It also has a nasty habit of trying to help by remember what you were last on, so the sequence of keys are not always the same.

    The worse case to switch the TV into HD is this

    To get to HDMI ...
    Press TV/AV - Toggle
    Press Blue Button (for next)
    Press Yellow Button (Component/PC/HDMI)
    Press Yellow Button (select HDMI)

    That's four buttons to enter the mode for which the set was designed for.

    I have loaded my Pronto up with 20 codes downloaded from RemoteCentral.

    I'll try them out tomorrow and let you know what they do.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  13. TeresaTT

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    Oh dear. It does look like a mess to try to program into a Pronto. I'm sure that you won't be the only one to come across this problem. There must be other PV500 owners with programmable remotes trying to set up device change macros. I don't know how people find discrete codes, but if they exist I'm sure that someone somewhere will find them and post them at RemoteCentral. I can't believe that Panasonic would only have such a limited set of remote control codes for their flagship plasma. I'm very aware that in a few years time I'll be upgrading my PWD6 and the ability to fully control most functions by programmable remote will be an important feature for me.

    Teresa
     
  14. Ekko Star

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    Totally correct. The UK customer care know very little techno stuff about the product. Speaking with my dealer today and he said not to bother talking to the monkeys. He said they will simply be making a list of comments to pass onto the bods in Japan, all the answers come from there.
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    I've had a look in the Nevo database, and downloaded some stuff onto my SL. It has 5 discrete video buttons!!!!!!! Could this be the holy grail? Now I don't have a PV500, anybody mind being a guinea pig in the surrey area? Come on guys, for the common good? If it works, I could 'learn' the code with a pronto and send a config, or I'm open to other suggestions.
     
  16. nheather

    nheather
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    I've downloaded the 20 codes available from the RemoteCentral.Com (under Plasma Display and HDTV).

    Just popped into Comet and tried them.

    The only ones that appeared to do anything were the 'Power On' and 'Power Off'. Both sets worked.

    Strange though, previously the PC-VGA code switched the PV500 into 'Wide' aspect but didn't this time round - perhaps the set was already in Wide and there wasn't a remote control to set it to anything else.

    What is the Nevo database? - Is it publicly accessible? I would like to try them.

    Alternatively, if you let me have the codes I'm bold enough to go to a Panasonic store and try them.

    Cheers,

    Nigel

    Currently swaying from the Panny PV500 to the Hitachi 7200
     
  17. MAW

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    Nevo codes do not work like hex codes, you need a nevo to use them. Do you have a CE handheld?
     
  18. nheather

    nheather
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    Not personally, but I may be able to borrow an iPac (PocketPC rather than CE).

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  19. MAW

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    I need to try the ones I've got, if they work then I can find a way to make them available to you I'm sure. Shop@panasonic in Guildford is an option I suppose, just don't know when I can get there.
     
  20. nheather

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    I've just received a more positive (but unhelpful) response from Panasonic

    ISSUE RESOLUTION: Dear Mr Heather,

    Thank you for your email enquiry.

    In response, unfortunately our factory will not release the IR codes for
    our units, therefore we are unable to assist you.

    I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Of course, if you should
    have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 08705
    357357 or customer.care@panasonic.co.uk and we will endeavour to assist.

    Regards,
    Customer Support



    So at least they've moved from "Discrete codes do not exist for any Panasonic device" to hinting that they do exist but I can't have them.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  21. MAW

    MAW
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    As I say, I may have them, I need to check. Nevo has the biggest IR database in the world, if they haven't got them then they don't exist I reckon. The other approach is RS 232. does it have one of those, I've never looked.
     
  22. nheather

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    MAW

    Thanks very much, your assitance is really appreciated.

    RS-232: I didn't notice when I last looked but I wasn't really looking for one. The manual doesn't list an RS-232 though.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  23. UglyMoose

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    MAW did get chance to test the codes, I have been working through hex codes but havent come up with anything useful yet. We really need to get either PC / HDMI or Component discrete, to be able to switch inputs reliably.
     
  24. hornydragon

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    not seen RS232 on the PV/PE/PA screens so dont think that is an option, if anyone has a Harmony and a PV then a call to Logitech support my help, i dont have a PV at home so cant really help i am afraid
     
  25. UglyMoose

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    Bad news on the discretes from my camp, I only found the following discretes after testing 5 different subdevices (0,1,2,4 & 9) for device 128 I found the following:

    All these were on 128.0
    15 - timer off function (15 - 90 mins in 15 min increments)
    49 - ambiance toggle (sound enhancement)!
    92 - still picture
    254 - service menu 1
    255 - self check - wipes to factory settings!

    PM me if you want the hex codes, professionals may find the service menu access easier than the base / treble - up / down, scratch armpit press TV/AV on panel to access.
    I dont think its possible to switch to the PV500 inputs directly, and all of the good inputs are on the same silly section sub menu section. I am sending my PV500 back and will be waiting to see if the PHD8 solves the missing 50hz support, or is it 60hz - well as long as it does both
     
  26. MAW

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    If any B*****D with a PV cares to ring me I can test the codes. Otherwise not.
     
  27. UglyMoose

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    Just spoke to my mum and she assures me she was married at the time, but I do have a PV500 here you could test the Nevo codes on, trouble is I live in Essex. PM me if so, left a voicemail for you aswell.
     
  28. MAW

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    Kind of you, mate. I don't get out to Essex a lot, though I look like being on my way to Leytonstone this week. Do they still eat babies there? What I need is someone in commuter Surrey who does not mind me pointing a new Nevo SL at their PV for 5 minutes.
     
  29. nheather

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    Wish I could help as I would rather buy a PV500 than a Hitachi 7200.

    Can anyone else help?

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     

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