If it ain’t broke, you need to assume lengthy and laborious about fixing it.
Having re-established itself on the forefront of the TV market with a succession of great-looking, great-value OLED TVs throughout 2019, Panasonic isn’t about to tear the whole lot up and begin once more.
That’s why its flagship OLED for 2020, the HZ2000 (out there in 55in and 65in variations) is sort of indistinguishable from final yr’s very good GZ2000. One TV seems to be very very similar to one other, granted, however – till they’re powered up and dealing – you’d be very hard-pressed to inform the HZ and the GZ aside. Fortunately, Panasonic has one or two compelling technological the reason why you may desire this yr’s mannequin.
For occasion, the HZ2000 contains a bespoke Master HDR Profession Edition OLED panel, and the entire present is run by Panasonic’s top-of-the-line HCX Pro Intelligent processor. Panasonic is aware of a factor or two about maximising picture high quality, whether or not that’s for TVs or for movie studios, and the HZ200 has a claimed peak brightness that’s superior to that of any nominal rival. It’s additionally packing Dolby Vision IQ – so for content material with Dolby Vision HDR, IQ makes use of the HZ2000’s gentle sensor to measure ambient lighting circumstances and alter the picture accordingly. And for stuff that isn’t Dolby Vision, Panasonic’s new Intelligent Sensing characteristic does a really comparable job to Dolby Vision IQ with HDR10+ and HLG content material too.
The HZ2000 additionally options Filmmaker Mode – which, when the CES 2020 mud lastly settles, could change into one of many largest TV talking-points of the entire exhibition. Filmmaker Mode disables lots of the TV’s processing options in an effort to maintain the image as true to the filmmaker’s imaginative and prescient as doable, and has been embraced by a swath of TV producers. Elsewhere, it’s flagship TV enterprise as common.
The HZ2000 is packing each HDR format alongside Filmmaker Mode, and might be managed utilizing both Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa for those who don’t wish to use the distant management. There are extra inputs than you possibly can shake even fairly an enormous stick at, and the Panasonic seems to be slim, feels sturdy and isn’t overburdened by bezel.
Getting some hands-on first impressions of the HZ2000 is made a lot simpler by seeing it in motion at Panasonic’s MGM Grand convention room on the Las Vegas strip, quite than down on the LV Convention Center coal-face. And it’s secure to say that, even on a reasonably truncated viewing and with no facility to fiddle with settings or choose the content material, the HZ2000 is not any donkey.
Panasonic is claiming peak brightness of 1k nits for the HZ2000, and that actually seems to be plausible. The additional brightness helps profit from contrasts and element ranges, and (quite counter-intuitively) helps black tones stay deep and lustrous. Even areas of the picture consumed by the brightest white tones retain prodigious ranges of element, so with essentially the most accommodating content material the HZ2000 seems to be virtually supernaturally completed.
Putting it alongside final yr’s GZ2000 (one of many TVs of the yr, don’t neglect) makes Panasonic’s achievements with its Intelligent Sensing characteristic apparent. In an unlit room (which is how we must always all be watching films, in fact), there’s so little between this yr’s mannequin and final yr’s that they’re for all sensible functions equivalent. Turn the lights up slightly, although, and after the briefest of pauses the HZ2000 responds to the change in ambient circumstances by boosting brightness. Consequently the image stays as detailed, secure and watchable because it was at nighttime.
The GZ2000, alternatively, all of a sudden seems to be a bit dim and vague. In each different picture-making respect, the HZ2000 seems to be equally completed. The color palette is in depth and convincing, movement (admittedly on content material hand-picked by Panasonic to look spectacular) is secure, and there’s important depth of subject generated too.
As far as sound is worried, too, Panasonic has gone to city. The HZ2000 is Dolby Atmos-capable – the speaker array consists of an in depth ‘left-centre-right’ association of three tweeters, six midrange drivers, 4 small woofers and a few passive radiators. In addition, there are two upward-firing full-range drivers to carry the required top and house to Atmos soundtracks. It’s a particularly thorough (and, at 140 watts, potent) audio system, even by flagship TV requirements – and the power to combine an off-board subwoofer is welcome too. Panasonic has the higher of each rival TV producer due to its Technics subsidiary – no different model can boast ‘audio tuned by…’ such an iconic title.
The Technics-tuned speaker array sounds large and targeted when delivering stereo sound, and with Atmos soundtracks there’s a particular impression of top from these upward-firing drivers. The two top-mounted audio system eat into the legendary OLED slimness slightly, but it surely’s frankly a small value to pay for such a powerful sonic efficiency. The HZ2000 can drive a 3D sound from any soundtrack, and there’s a ‘Space Tune’ part within the set-up menus that enables the person to compensate for the way shut (or how far) from a ceiling boundary the TV is positioned.
Ultimately, the most important gripe it’s doable to have in regards to the HZ2000 is that we must wait till the summer time to get our arms on a review pattern and correctly put it by means of its paces. In the meantime, although, we’ll simply revel within the anticipation.