Panasonic announce the EZ1002 Ultra HD OLED TV
The manufacturer gets semi-professional with their latest OLED
Panasonic have announced the 65EZ1002 at CES 2017 and their latest flagship TV combines an OLED panel with their most accurate ever video processor to deliver a professional level of performance in the home.The EZ1002 is the first HDR-capable Ultra HD 4K consumer OLED TV to support Panasonic's professional grade image processing and the TV’s 65-inch Master HDR OLED panel improves on the award-winning CZ952 in two key areas. Firstly, it can output around 800nits, which is double the peak brightness of that earlier model and secondly, it can deliver almost the full DCI colour space within Rec.2020, which is critical to producing a truly authentic High Dynamic Range (HDR) picture. Joining these two major advances in panel capability is an Absolute Black Filter that absorbs ambient light and reflections to further ensure that where part of an image should look black, it actually does look black. Panasonic additionally claim that the filter eliminates the magenta tone that affects other OLED screens in bright room conditions.
The EZ1002’s images are driven by the most powerful video processing Panasonic has ever built into a consumer television – the Studio Colour HCX2 processor. This includes ‘Delta Zero’ accuracy which means that thanks to 3D look-up tables (LUTs) similar to those used by Panasonic’s professional filmmaking and broadcast monitor division, the EZ1002 can deliver some of the most accurate colours found on a consumer television.
The HCX2 processor also tackles one of biggest OLED challenges: lost detail in near-black picture areas. One of OLED’s greatest strengths is its ability to create a wonderfully rich, deep black colour. However, to deliver such black colours OLED pixels are essentially switched off and switching them back on again requires quite a large physical change to go from one state to the other. Panasonic, though, is able to use knowledge acquired from its experience with plasma TVs to compensate for this characteristic of OLED panel technology, resulting in improved amounts of detail in even the darkest scenes.
Panasonic intends to continue its collaboration with renowned professional Hollywood colourist, Mike Sowa, to fine tune the EZ1002 before its launch in June and ensure that it accurately delivers the filmmakers’ original intentions. Thanks also to its Hollywood Lab, Panasonic has been able to draw on decades of experience working with Hollywood professionals when tuning the EZ1002’s HCX2 processing. This ensures that the TV delivers pictures that truly represent the vision of their creators.
Thanks to Panasonic’s long heritage in Hollywood, the EZ1002 even carries a number of semi-professional features. For instance, the EZ1002 allows professional users to upload their own colour 3D LUTs by SD/USB memory, if required. Also the OLED TV features Imaging Science Foundation (isf) calibration settings and compatibility with Portrait Display's CalMAN calibration software. These features will demonstrate to consumers that the EZ1002 offers a truly unique level of picture accuracy. AVForums saw a prototype of the EZ1002 back in early December and the manufacturer was comparing their new TV to a professional Sony OLED and the LG 65E6, with impressive results. The EZ1002 was delivering improved levels of detail in image areas just above black and was also producing a picture that was comparable to the Sony monitor.Panasonic has applied for full and independent certification from THX, ensuring that you experience the filmmaker's vision exactly as it was intended. Panasonic will also apply for Ultra HD Premium certification from the Ultra HD Alliance. To achieve this certification, the screen must meet an array of stringent contrast, brightness, resolution and colour specifications defined by the UHD Alliance as being necessary for an accurate and effective HDR picture experience.
The increased peak brightness and expanded colour gamut associated with high dynamic range pictures have revolutionised television picture quality - and the EZ1002 is fully equipped to get the most from this exciting new format. As well as supporting the HDR 10 (PQ) format, the EZ1002 will also support the new Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) format but not Dolby Vision. This means the TV will be compatible with the new generation of HDR broadcast services expected to be launched in 2017.
The EZ1002’s colour accuracy, deep blacks, improved near-black detailing and increased OLED brightness is a combination that’s tailor-made to suit the benefits of HDR. The fact that every single pixel in an OLED TV is self-illuminating also means HDR’s stunning brightness highlights and perfect blacks can share the screen simultaneously, without any of the distracting haloing that you might get with LCD TVs (which have to share LEDs across groups of pixels). However despite all these technological advances, there is one feature that will be missing from the EZ1002 and that is 3D, which the TV does not support.
Panasonic hasn’t just focused on achieving stunning pictures from the EZ1002, they also aim to bring the best sound to their new OLED TV. To do this they have developed the Dynamic Blade Speaker: a deceptively slim audio system that houses no less than 14 multiple speaker units (eight woofers, four squawkers and two tweeters, plus a quad passive radiator to boost bass), along with 80W of built-in amplification. To this end, the engineers of the acclaimed audio brand Technics were also involved at every stage of the Dynamic Blade Speaker’s development, from mechanical and electrical circuit design through to sound tuning.
The EZ1002 features a newly developed My Home Screen 2.0 smart TV system designed to deliver an ultra-smooth and intuitive user experience across all of the content sources available to today’s TV viewer. Although Firefox is stopping development, since it is open source, Panasonic will continue to support their own smart platform. The newly developed OS introduces such features as favourites folders for multiple users, a My App button on the remote that can be customised for faster access to your own favourite content, and a revamped Media Player app that supports 4K HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma content.
For UK users there is a new version of Freeview Play, which introduces new search/recommendation tools and a Quick Look Guide that shows past, live and future TV programs for the current channel. Also included are live thumbnails of what’s showing on other channels. The EZ1002 will also support 4K HDR streaming from Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. The 65EZ1002 includes Control4's Simple Device Discovery Protocol and is pending Connects with Control4 Certification. Also, the OLED TV will be submitted to Creston to obtain Crestron Certification.
Panasonic has designed the EZ1002 as part of their ‘Art&Interior’ concept. A key feature of this approach is an emphasis on its flat screen, which seems to float magically above its stand. The way the TV has been created with dark metallic finishes and without any visible seams creates an elegantly organic feel too, drawing attention away from its physical construction. Finally, the EZ1002 is designed to deliver a perfect blend of form and function with its powerful sound system, which is integrated elegantly into its stand.
We have no details yet on pricing but the Panasonic 65EZ1002 will ship in the last week of May.
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