It’s not the one model able to half you from some huge cash in trade for large, flash OLED TV. But Panasonic is the one TV model with the form of Hollywood presence that makes its pro-grade displays the default alternative for the movie trade’s most celebrated colourists. It has genuine pedigree the place the mastering of a number of the most profitable, most worthwhile, most celebrated motion pictures you’ve ever seen is anxious.
Naturally sufficient, Panasonic’s very happy to promote you your individual little slice of its glamour and experience. The firm might have taken longer than is right to get correctly aggressive the place OLED know-how is anxious, however now it’s actually beginning to tear it up.
This TX-55GZ1500 isn’t the most important or costliest Panasonic OLED you should purchase. But on a high quality versus value foundation, it may be the only finest OLED you should purchase proper now – no matter which firm constructed it.
Design and construct: the skinny finish
You can’t count on rather a lot the place the design of a TV is anxious. As slim a profile as attainable is good (and is one in all OLED’s main promoting factors). Equally slim bezels surrounding the display screen itself are good too. Ideally the stand received’t be as extensive because the TV – that method you received’t want stupidly extensive furnishings to place it on. What extra, realistically, are you able to ask for?
The GZ1500 ticks all of them off. It’s very slim certainly till about midway down – then it bulges out a most unOLED-like 62mm or so to accommodate the required energy, enter sockets and what-have-you. The bezels are minimal, and properly curved on the corners quite than laborious right-angles. And the stand – hefty and practical – sits beneath the centre of the display screen, so the Panasonic will be positioned on a modestly sized floor.
Build high quality is unquestionable. From its substantial metal stand upwards, the GZ1500 is flawlessly constructed from high-quality supplies. It appears like it should final till ‘4K OLED’ is a kind of quaint specs you see in design museums.
Features: the whole lot the whole lot
Unlike ‘design’, you’re entitled to count on lots the place ‘options’ are involved – and it’s a silly producer who doesn’t lay the options on with a trowel. Panasonic isn’t a silly operator.
First issues first: this can be a 4K extremely high-definition panel – and, considerably, it’s geared up to take care of any HDR commonplace you care to say. There are only a few TVs out there which are appropriate with each HDR10+ and Dolby Vision dynamic metadata HDR codecs, however the GZ1500 is one in all them, so it’s going to make the perfect of any content material you set into it, irrespective of from the place or whom it originates. Amazon Prime motion pictures in HDR10+? Netflix in Dolby Vision? No downside. If competing codecs fill you with dread and/or boredom, this Panasonic’s the OLED for you.
There are quite a few methods of getting content material into the Panasonic, too. In phrases of bodily connections, there are 4 4K HDR-compliant HDMI inputs (although none of them are 2.1-ready, so next-gen avid gamers will wish to suppose lengthy and laborious), three USB sockets, a digital optical enter, an Ethernet socket, two satellite tv for pc tuner connections and an RF aerial connection too.
And, in fact, there’s Wi-Fi on board, in addition to a (pretty) complete collection of streaming providers within the My Home Screen 4.Zero good TV interface.
Panasonic is making a fairly large deal of the GZ1500’s Dolby Atmos functionality. Of course, there aren’t any devoted Atmos drivers concerned right here, however the Panasonic’s neatly built-in little soundbar beneath the display screen is able to processing Dolby Atmos soundtracks. It’s a pleasant characteristic to have if it saves you delving into the TV’s set-up menus each time you wish to watch an Atmos-soundtracked film.
Interface: house is the place the house display screen is
It’s easy sufficient to regulate the GZ1500, although there’s nothing significantly glamorous about any of your choices.
Unlike most opponents at this form of cash, the Panasonic has no built-in voice management (although the fundamentals will be managed through an Alexa or Google Assistant gadget on the identical community). And in contrast to fairly a couple of fancy-pants options, there’s only one full-function distant management – no good little four-button supplementary handset right here.
The on-screen set-up menus are in depth however fairly pleasant and logical. And Panasonic’s most up-to-date Smart TV interface, My Home Screen 4.0, has been tweaked to provide the multi-tier structure better scope for customisation. A bit just like the distant management itself, My Home Screen 4.Zero is a big-button and legible interface.
Almost each catch-up and streaming service you’d like is right here: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iPlayer (and all the opposite broadcasters through Freeview Play), YouTube, Rakuten and the like. But BT Sport and Now TV are each fairly obtrusive absentees.
Performance: examine and distinction
No one expects something however nice issues from a £2000 TV. And there’s little doubt there are some actually spectacular £2000 TVs on the market proper now. In most respects, the GZ1500 is pretty much as good as any of them – and in some methods it’s higher than all of them.
Given the very best probability to point out its stuff, with the Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos extravaganza of Netflix’s Lost in Space, the work the Panasonic does with contrasts and darkish scenes needs to be seen to be believed. Its skill with low-light element its great – the refined variations between gray, darkish gray, very darkish gray and true black are made fully distinct. And these are all out there even in scenes with vibrant white components too. The GZ1500’s mild management is great so, despite the Panasonic’s unremarkable peak mild output numbers, it delivers amazingly convincing and correct contrasts. They’re as wide-ranging, vivid and cinematic as you’ll see from an OLED TV.
It’s a equally spectacular story the place colors are involved. The Panasonic’s capable of be pure and understated, or vibrant and intense, relying on the circumstances – and it’s by no means lower than convincing in any eventuality. The dynamism and nuance of the best way the GZ1500 delivers photos is pretty much as good because it presently will get. Stepping down in content material high quality to vanilla 4K and even Full HD doesn’t cease the Panasonic being an in depth, lustrous, high-contrast and remarkably three-dimensional watch. Its HCX Pro image processing engine is unquestionably in line for some form of award.
It’s not the best display screen to get unflustered movement out of. It is usually a prolonged course of to get the GZ1500 scrolling easily from each content material variant, however it may be performed. And when you’ve invested the time, you’ve a TV the image high quality of which might stack up in opposition to any equally sized and priced rival.
There aren’t that many TVs that sound this spectacular, both. While decoding a Dolby Atmos soundtrack isn’t fairly the identical factor as delivering Dolby Atmos in all its 3D glory, the modest little soundbar beneath the GZ1500’s display screen does admirable work. There’s genuine width and depth to the Panasonic’s sound, in addition to a lovely tonal steadiness and loads of element. No, it doesn’t dig as deep or hit as laborious as Philips’ OLED903+ (which is the world’s best-sounding TV proper now), but it surely’s greater than enough. Only a chunky funding in a chunky soundbar goes to make a radical distinction to audio high quality right here.
And having postpone avid gamers by declaring the dearth of HDMI 2.1 compatibility, Panasonic makes an attempt to woo them again with a response time that’s lower than 20 milliseconds. Which is fast.
Panasonic TX-55GZ1500 verdict
For the primary time because the halcyon days of plasma TVs (keep in mind them?), Panasonic is correct on the entrance of the ‘premium TV’ pack. The GZ1500 is the entire package deal.