PMCv2: Panasonic Black Level (MLL) Restoration Device

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What is a PMCv2?

Simply put, a PMCv2 (which stands for Panasonic MLL Clearer, version 2) is a device that connects to the “secret service connector” inside the back of your Panasonic Plasma television (model years 2008-2010). Once installed, the PMCv2 periodically and automatically resets the black level of the TV to its original, inky black, fresh-out-of-the-factory settings.

NOTE: All PMCv2’s Sold Out!  Thanks for all your support!

How can I buy a PMCv2?

Step 1: Verify TV Model

Verify Your TV Model Number

Model Number Note: Unless otherwise stated, only the bolded part of the model numbers below need to match your model number.  If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email.

Supported Models:
2007: Tx-xxPx70x
2008: Tx-xxPx8xx
2008: Tx-xxPx80xx
2008: Tx-xxPx800xx
2008: Tx-xxPx81xx
2008: Tx-xxPx85xx
2009: Tx-PxxG10xx
2009: Tx-PxxG15xx
2009: Tx-PxxS1xx
2009: Tx-xxPS14xx
2009: Tx-PxxS10xx
2009: Tx-PxxV10xx
2009: Tx-PxxX1xx
2009: Tx-PxxZ1xx
2010: Tx-PxxGx2xxx (see Gx2x/Vx2x note below)
2010: Tx-PxxS2xx
2010: Tx-PxxU2xx
2010: Tx-PxxVx2xxx (see Gx2x/Vx2x note below)

NOT Supported Models:
2007: Tx-xxPx77x
2008: Some Gx2x and Vx2x models (see below)
2010: Tx-xxPX24xx
2011 and later: No 2011 or later models are supported

Unverified / Unknown Models:
NOTE: Discounts are available to customers buying a PMCv2 for an  ‘unverified’ model!  Buy a PMCv2 (at regular price) and let us know how it goes — if it works, we’ll give you a 50% refund!  And if it doesn’t work, we’ll give you a 100% refund!  (Fine Print: Discount percentage does not include eBay shipping fees.  Discount must be negotiated via email with me before the purchase is completed.  eBay customers must communicate with me directly through eBay for proper record-keeping.  Discount feedback must be received within 30-days of the purchase date to qualify for discount.  My decision is final.  [In other words, I really am a nice guy, as long as you’re not trying to take advantage of me.])
NOTE: The unverified discount program has been stopped as of 5 April 2017.  You may still purchase a PMCv2, of course, but the standard sales terms and conditions will still be in effect.  There will be no special returns allowed for unverified model customers.
2008: Tx-xxxHD18xx
2008: Tx-xxPx850xx
2009: Tx-PxxC1xx
2009: Tx-PxxU1xx
2010: Tx-PxxC2xx
2010: Tx-PxxS20xx
2010: Tx-PxxX2xx
2010: Tx-PxxX20xx
2010: Tx-xxPS24xx
before 2008: Generally expected to be not supported
after 2010: Generally expected to be not supported

Gx2x/Vx2x Model Support:
The models listed below have mixed feedback from customers.  Some models support the PMCv1/v2 and some do not.  It seems that some Gx2x and Vx2x models were transitioned to use 2011 model communications (unsupported by the PMCv2 or by mironto’s DIY method).  Below captures that data that I currently have.

Gx2x:
2010: Tx-PxxG20xx (Currently Unsupported)
2010: Tx-PxxG25xx (Currently Unsupported)
2010: Tx-PxxGT20Exx (Supported)
2010: Tx-PxxGT20xx (Suffixes other than “E”, Untested)
2010: Tx-PxxGT25xx (Currently Unsupported)

Vx2x:
2010: Tx-PxxV20Axx (Supported)
2010: Tx-PxxV20Exx (Currently Unsupported)
2010: Tx-PxxV20xx (Suffixes other than “A” and “E”, Untested)
2010: Tx-PxxVT20xx (Supported)
2010: Tx-PxxVT25xx (Supported)

Can’t find your model in the lists above?
If your model number isn’t listed above, shoot me an email and I’ll add it.  Thanks!

Step 2: Order Your PMCv2

Customers Within USA and Canada, Purchase Here:

PMCv2
Restore your 2008-2010 Panasonic Plasma Black Levels to their inky-black, factory settings! Each PMCv2 device comes with connector cables for both 2008-2009 and 2010 model year Panasonic Plasma televisions. (Delivery to USA typically 3-5 days. Delivery to Canada may take 2-6 weeks.)
Price: USD$60.00
Price: USD$49.95

NOTE: All PMCv2’s Sold Out!  Thanks for all your support!

Customers Outside USA and Canada, Purchase Here:

Orders shipped outside the USA and Canada are fulfilled eBay, at the link below.  Two shipping options are available outside the USA (First Class and Priority).  Please read the eBay listing for additional shipping information (and restrictions).

PMCv2 on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/271789732795

NOTE: All PMCv2’s Sold Out!  Thanks for all your support!

PMCv1/v2 Customer Feedback & Pictures

Please visit our PMCv1/v2 Feedback Page for comments and images submitted by PMCv1 and PMCv2 customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Installation and Operation Instructions

Original PMCv2 Installation and Operation Instructions (for purchases prior to 25 April 2015)  (If you would like your device updated to the new software version below, contact me.)

Note for using original PMCv1/v2 on non-USA models

It has been brought to my attention that some non-USA models operate slightly differently regarding their standby mode.  If the regular set of instructions do not seem to be working for you, try these updated instructions:

  1. Put TV into Standby power using the remote control
  2. With the TV in Standby, power off using the button on the front of the TV panel.
  3. Now fit the PMCv2 to the TV.
  4. Power up the TV to standby mode using the button on the front of the TV panel (do not use remote just yet).
  5. Both PMCv2’s LEDs will light for 5 seconds and then the solid green LED only on the PMCv2 indicates that the PMCv2 is ready to operate.
  6. Now use the remote control to bring the TV out of standby mode. The TV’s front LED will change from red to green, no image appears on the TV and the PMCv2 green LED blinks once every few seconds. The TV has now successfully reset black levels but still shows no picture.
  7. Now simply turn off and turn the TV back on again, the TV should function normally with restored black levels.

Updated PMCv2 Installation and Operation Instructions (for purchases on or after 25 April 2015)

Why do I need a PMCv2?

…because you want your Panasonic Plasma TV to look as best as possible! Your Panasonic Plasma TV may still be the centerpiece to your entertainment system, or it may have been moved to another location (master bedroom, game room, guest room, etc). Regardless of where it is, you want it to look its best. The PMCv2 will help you reach that goal.

Over time, all Plasma televisions adjust their black level. However, certain Panasonic Plasma televisions adjust their black level incorrectly. It is a factory design flaw that has been repeatedly tested and confirmed, and finally a solution has been found. The PMCv2 bundles up that solution into a neat, clean, tiny package that plugs into the back of your TV. Simply plug it in, and enjoy. “Plug and Play” at its best.

What's Black Level (or Minimum Luminance Level, or MLL)?

The Black Level of a display device (be it TV, Projector, Monitor, etc) is the blackest black that can be displayed. It is the minimum luminance (or brightness) that can be displayed on screen. In other words, how dark a dark, night-time scene in a movie can actually get, when viewing it on your display. This absolute darkest dark is the display’s MLL, or Black Level.

How does the PMCv2 work?

Every time your TV is powered on, the PMCv2 will ask the TV how old it thinks it is. If the TV thinks that it has been used for more than 150 hours (total), then the PMCv2 will simply reset that value back to zero (0) hours.  All you need to do at that point is turn the TV off and back on again, and the TV will now think, “Hey, I’m brand new!” and your black levels will be at the deepest possible (for that unit).

Where does this thing install again?

The back of your TV has a service access cover.  On some models it is a hard plastic rectangle that snaps into place.  On other models, it is an adhesive sticker.  Below is an example of just one model..

pmcv1_where

Remove the access cover and you should find one of the connectors shown below.  Plug the PMCv2 into whichever of these two connectors you have on your TV.  PMCv2 units ship with BOTH connectors for 2008-2009 and 2010 model year TV’s.

2008-2009 Model Year Panasonic Plasmas:
PHR_Service_Connector

2010 Model Year Panasonic Plasmas:
GHR_Service_Connector

Some examples with the service connector area circled:

service_connector_z1e_circled service_connector_g10e_circled service_connector_g25_circled service_connector_x1_circled

Some examples of submitted customer installations:

42pz80b_install_IMG_0644

How often does the PMCv2 reset my TV?

The PMCv2 will reset the black level on your TV approximately every 150 hours of TV usage.  Assuming the TV is on for three (3) hours per day, it will reset roughly once every seven (7) weeks.  If the TV is on for seven (7) hours per day, it will reset roughly once every three (3) weeks.

How long do I leave the PMCv2 installed?

The PMCv2 has been designed to “plug and play,” with maximum convenience in mind.  That means that you plug it in once and forget about it!  You can, of course, remove the PMCv2 at any time.  Once it is removed however, no more resets will occur (until it is re-installed) and your TV will once again begin to experience Black Level Rise.  You may unplug it re-install it as often as you see fit, but that kind of defeats the convenience factor, doesn’t it?

What can I do about these super-bright LEDs?

If the LEDs on your PMCv2 are too bright for your liking, you can instruct the PMCv2 to turn them off by moving switch #1 (the switch closest to the protective heat shrink sleeve) towards the “LED OFF” label using tweezers, a toothpick, etc. In this condition, the LEDs will turn off after about four (4) seconds. To ensure that important PMCv2 activity is not missed, blinking LEDs are not affected by the LED OFF switch (see “LED Blinking Patterns” section for more information). Additionally, even in the LED OFF condition, every time the TV is turned OFF, one of the LEDs will re-illuminate (red or green, depending on the mode switch) for about four (4) seconds to remind you that the PMCv2 is installed and operating properly, and then turn back off again.

What do the LED blinking patterns mean?

  • The PMCv2 LED (green or red) stays on (not blinking)
    If either LED is solidly lit (or stays on for four (4) seconds then turns off because switch #1 is set to “LED OFF”) that means the PMCv2 is operating normally, waiting to again check the TV the next time it is turned on.
  • The TV’s front LED is on, no image appears on the TV, and the PMCv2 green LED blinks once every few seconds
    Congratulations! The PMCv2 has just successfully reset your TV’s black level! Simply turn the TV off and back on again. This is normal and will happen again every 150 hours of TV usage to ensure that your TV’s black level remains at its best.
  • The PMCv2 green LED blinks twice every few seconds
    The PMCv2 has just attempted to reset the TV’s black level but something went wrong and the value was not properly stored in the TV. Try turning the TV off and back on again to let the PMCv2 try again. If this condition continues to occur, then the PMCv2 is not compatible with your TV and you should flip the switches on the PMCv2 towards the UND label and turn your TV off and back on one more time. This will instruct the PMCv2 to restore the original values back to your TV and the PMCv2 will then go forever dormant.
  • The PMCv2 red LED blinks once every few seconds
    The PMCv2 has just successfully restored the TV back to its original condition (e.g. like it was before the PMCv2 was installed), and the PMCv2 will no longer attempt to reset your TV’s black level. The PMCv2 may be left installed (it is now dormant), or removed / discarded.
  • The PMCv2 red LED blinks twice every few seconds
    The PMCv2 has attempted to restore the TV back to its original condition (e.g. like it was before the PMCv2 was installed), but the value was not properly accepted by the TV. Try turning the TV off and back on to give the PMCv2 another chance to restore the TV back to its original condition. You may additionally try removing the PMCv2 completely. If your TV functions normally with the PMCv2 removed, then you may simply discard it.
  • The TV’s front LED blinks and no image appears on the TV
    The PMCv2 is not compatible with your TV and you should flip the switches on the PMCv2 towards “UND” (Undo) and turn your TV off and back on one more time. This will instruct the PMCv2 to restore the original values back to your TV and the PMCv2 will then go forever dormant and not bother you again. At that point you may leave it installed or remove it from your TV. (NOTE: If pushing the TV power button does not work, try holding the TV power button for at least five (5) seconds and then release it. The TV should “click” off and then try to turn back on automatically.)

Will I lose all my TV settings?

No Way! The PMCv2 only resets how old the TV thinks it is. The PMCv2 does not reset any of your contrast/sharpness/tint/etc settings, nor does it reset your channel list. The PMCv2 does not touch any settings except for how many hours the TV thinks it has been used.

The hours in the on-screen service menu don't change!

Of course not!  The “service menu” and “service connector” are two very different things.  The on-screen service menu (accessible by several button combinations while the TV is on) does contain an hours counter and a cycles counter (how many times the TV has been turned on), however neither of these counters affect MLL/Black Level.  The counters that affect MLL/Black level are on a different area of the TV and are not accessible through the on-screen service menu.

There is no need to reset the counters in the on-screen service menu, as it has been proven to be ineffective at reducing MLL/Black Level.  I rather suggest you leave it alone and it will continue to give an accurate indication of the ‘true’ age of the TV, while the PMCv2 is quietly maintaining your inky blacks behind-the-scenes.

What if something goes wrong?

If for some reason you are unsatisfied with the PMCv2, then you can flip the operational switch from “RUN” to “UND” (short for Undo).  The next time the TV turns on the PMCv2 will restore the values in your TV to their last known-good values before the PMCv2 did its magic the first time.  The PMCv2 will then forevermore just lazily sleep and not bother you ever again.  You may leave it installed or remove it from the back of your TV and curse at it, throw it away, run it over with your car, give it away with stale Halloween candy, sell it and recover your investment, hack it and make it finally do something useful, or any number of other alternatives.

Warranty and Return Policy

Your PMCv2 has been fully tested before shipping. If you believe that your device was damaged in shipping, please contact me for a replacement. Aside from shipping damage, there is no other warranty offered for the PMCv2. You assume all risk and liability for the use of the PMCv2. I have spent a great deal of effort to reduce the likelihood that the PMCv2 will cause harm, but I cannot and will not assume any liability for any damage caused by its use or misuse.

How do I know that I can I trust the PMCv2?

That is a very good question.  All I can do is give some of my background and let you make a decision.  I have updated the About Me page for just this very reason to include more biographical information.. I worked very hard for over twelve (12) months to produce a quality product that is both reliable and inexpensive.  At the end of the day, it is your choice to make. Hopefully the PMCv1/v2 Feedback Page is filled with enough feedback from existing customers to show my reputation as both an engineer and a businessman.

Why can't I just do this myself and not pay you?

You can! AVS Forum user mironto has created a fantastic DIY page that uses an Arduino processor and some software to perform the same reset that the PCMv1/v2 performs. In fact, mironto’s DIY page is what inspired me to create the PMCv1/v2 for those who wanted access to the solution without all the “do it yourself” hassle. Check out mironto’s DIY page for more information.

How much effort did it take to develop the PMCv1/v2?

Actually, a lot. Tons of thanks and credit is due to my wife for putting up with many late nights working on this project. An abbreviated timeline of the Panasonic Black Level (MLL) problem and major milestones towards a solution (including mironto’s DIY page and audiodane’s PMCv1/v2) can be found on the PMCv1/v2 History page.

Keep Up-to-date

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1 Comment

  1. Sir or ma’am,

    I just want to give you a big thank you for for the PMC V2. I just installed it on my 54G10 and wow what a huge difference. My TV has 1000s of hours on it and the V2 makes the black level look good as new. I’d forget how good it looked originally as its been about 8 years since it had its first voltage change. Thank you so much for developing such a great product.

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