Three weeks ago lightning struck near our house and fried the TV and surround sound system (plus some other stuff) and within a couple of hours we had made a trip to Sears and bought a new flat panel TV and a home theater setup. They had a sweet deal on a Panasonic SC PT760 HTIB, so we opted for a Panasonic TC L32C12 TV so that they would talk to each other and there would only have to be one remote on the coffee table.
Because we were in such a hurry, it was nearing closing time, that it wasn’t ’til we got home that we realized they hadn’t given us the remote for the HTIB & one of the rear speakers. We went back on Sunday and collected a remote and the speaker. When we got home and I started setting up the surround sound, I noticed that the remote they gave me was not the same as the picture in the owners manual. It had most of the buttons, some in different spots, but it didn’t have other crucial ones. Because it was Sunday, Sears closed early, so the right remote would have to wait until Monday.
On Monday I took back the wrong remote only to be handed another Panasonic Home Theater remote that was not the correct one either, but it did have more buttons, so I took it hoping that it might work out. Didn’t.
Called the store on Tuesday and they said they’d order me one. At no cost. Shipped to me. At least the latest remote allowed me to set up the Viera Link on the surround sound unit so it and the TV would talk through the HDMI cable. Success. I could turn on the surround sound amp, turn off the TV speakers, pipe the audio from the TV into the amp and the TV remote made the volume go up and down with the hutch doors closed on the surround sound system. It worked for about 2 hours. The remote no longer controlled the volume. I checked the settings and it looked like it should be working, but it wasn’t. I decided to wait on the correct remote before trying again.
Fast forward to late last week and the correct remote arrived at the house. Reread the instructions in both the TV and the HTIB, reset both units to factory defaults and ran the set ups. The displays read like I had both boxes set to use the Viera Link, but the TV remote would not control the HTIB volume. I swear it did work the once.
Thinking maybe it was the cheap $20 HDMI cable, I bought a $40 version with gold plated ends. Didn’t help.
I was now almost positive it wasn’t the cable. (I mean I could have bought two bad cables, but what were the odds that two different cables from two different stores made by two different companies would both be no good? So did the TV’s Viera Link chip stop working or was it something in the HTIB?) My money is now on the surround sound system being the culprit.
Now if I could find a local store with another Panasonic HTIB I would buy it and try it to see if that fixes the problem. This is not as easy as one would think. Choices in Aiken for electronics is very limited. There is Walmart, Target & Sears. Neither Walmart nor Target carry Panasonic surround sound systems. All Sears has left in stock is the $400 SC-PT770. Best Buy in Augusta has the next model down, SC-PT760, for $300, so we drove over there this morning.
We didn’t see the $300 one on display, only the more expensive one, so when a sales guy shows up I ask about the SC-PT760. He says, “I don’t think we have those, let me check.” Off he goes. We wander around a bit. We stand and wait. We shuffle our feet. We wander some more. We stand around some. We give up and walk out. Silly us for thinking the sign out front that said – No Interest on Anything in the Store – meant on your Best Buy credit card….
This afternoon I dismantled the Panasonic HTIB and returned it (and the $40 cable) to Sears. We are keeping the TV. For now.
Because my birthday is in September and I gave Donna a hang dog look, plus she is thoroughly disgusted with me and this whole surround sound mess, she upped the budget a couple hundred bucks and the current plan is to pick up the low level Samsung HT-Z320 at Wally World and order a slightly larger TV that will just squeeze inside the hutch, the Samsung LN37B530. When the Samsung shows up we will take the Panasonic back to Sears…
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
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