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Re: center of screen goes black
Check your closed-caption settings and make sure you have captioning turned off. You'll probably find it set for "text" mode right now. This causes the set to blank out a portion of the screen for the text, but there isn't any text to display.
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I had this problem on my 42" Philips. Just got it yesterday and worked fine on the tv stand. As soon as I mounted the TV to the wall via wall mount system, I had the exact same issue you did. Figured it out today.
The wall mount was putting pressure against the center of the back of the tv (tv set had a slightly rounded back plate, and the mount was a flat plate). As soon as I put spacers (part of the wall mount hardware set) between the wall mount braket and the tv so there was no contact except at the mounting holes, the tv worked fine.
My theory is the pressure pushed the tv back plate against some board components which caused them to overheat (no air flow); or put pressure on internal connectors. I dont know.
This sounds like a mainboard problem. Unless you do not see a back light flash when you turn on the TV, which may mean it is an inverter board problem, this is most likely fixable by replacing the mainboard.
The Panasonic call center helped us with this one. Our Closed Captioning had been turned on through the TV settings. This made us have a black box with everything besides our cable. Turning off CC on our TV Main Menu solved the problem for us.
I have determined that mine had a problem with the composite input board. I was able to unhook the connections to this board inside the TV, after Akai, and the local repair guys couldn't figure it out....
The problem hasn't come back in a while, and since my setup is all HDMI/Component ins, I didn't affect me at all.
It looked like there was slight heat damage to the board, but not enough that it was caused by a design flaw, more like a manufacturing "accident".