One has to press and hold the "VOL" button on the TV itself and the MENU button on the remote.
The TV then became responsive to the remote again making it possible to navigate through the menu.
Then you have to replace the TV's main board and that is a lot more expensive than a free firmware update. If none is available, it really is FASTER to exchange it at the store than wait for a Panasonic authorized service provider to replace the board.
The GOOD news, Panasonic stands by the quality of their product and because of that, have loaner TV sets they can loan you while waiting for parts. OK, I have updated the software and this did not resolve the problem but I have discovered another solution.
I am recently in Germany and still almost do not speak German, while most of the locals are not very comfortable with English.
Anyways, I think I am fine now since waiting for 2 seconds before TV starts is a negligible inconvenience. But it's kind of a bummer that the TV has been affected.
If there is a Firmware update on your TV model, that can rewrite corrupted software but it cannot fix a bad EEprom. We had a storm here in Dresden while I was setting up the TV.
I will try the software upgrade later today and let you know the result.
When I connect the cable box to the TV I do not get a signal.
Also, the setup features on the Cable Box do not respond.
I think from here I can find my way to reset to factory settings.
If you had to do a reset like that were you experiencing any storms in your area? The 5 minute unplug should have corrected that issue but if it came alive by doing that reset, you may experience it again.
HDMI is only addressed when hooking up other panasonic devices such as receiver or DVD so they talk to each other easier... The only PLASMA that beats it is the Pioneer at almost double the price.