Panasonic used its CES press conference to announce its new Panasonic HZ2000 flagship 4K OLED TV.Panasonic’s first announcement of its HZ2000 flagship OLED TV for 2020 was pretty light on details and specifications. A more detailed presentation at CES has now added further information. Continuing from 2019’s GZ2000 model is support for all static and dynamic metadata HDR formats - so you don’t need to be conflicted over whether you can only watch HDR10+ or Dolby Vision formatted content - along with the same HCX Pro Intelligent processor and the built-in upwards firing Dolby Atmos speakers.
The newly announced HZ2000 adds some interesting new features in the form of a custom-made Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, Intelligent Sensing and Dolby Vision IQ, plus the addition of the UHD Alliance's Filmmaker Mode, a setting designed so that content is delivered in the format originally conceived by the producers.
The latest version of Panasonic’s top end custom “Master HDR OLED Professional Edition” panel has been engineered to deliver up to an extra 20 percent of peak brightness compared to regular OLED TVs. Average brightness levels have also been increased significantly and contrast handling improved, resulting in increased dynamic range.
Often, HDR content could look too dark when viewed in a well-lit room, so the combination of Filmmaker Mode and the new Intelligent Sensing feature uses sensors in the TV to detect the ambient lighting conditions in the room and dynamically adjust the picture accordingly. This then matches the impression of viewing the content in an ideal darkened environment even if you are sitting in a well-lit living room so viewers will see all the details the content creator intended, even in very dark scenes. Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing supports content in HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, and SDR.
Related: What is High Dynamic Range (HDR)?
The new Dolby Vision IQ extends the benefits of Dolby Vision beyond HDR using dynamic metadata to intelligently optimise the picture quality by informing the TV what type of content is being shown to ensure images are displayed exactly as they should be so colours and details are not lost, regardless of lighting conditions.
Yasushi Murayama, Executive of Product Strategy for Panasonic’s Visual and Sound Business Unit, explained, “The HZ2000 really expands the viewing environments in which viewers can enjoy true Hollywood picture quality. Thanks to Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode with Panasonic’s unique Intelligent Sensing feature, viewers will still see all the details and colours that the creators wanted them to see, even if they are watching in a well-lit room. Last year Panasonic expanded Hollywood-level picture quality down to core-range TV with Dolby Vision and HDR10+, this year we are taking that one step further by expanding Hollywood quality to more viewing environments too.”
While the adoption of Filmmaker Mode will appeal to film fans, expanded calibration options will allow viewers to control more aspects of their viewing experience too. The transition out of black can be adjusted with even higher levels of precision by the addition of first calibration points at 0.5% and 1.3%. Viewers will also, for the first time on Panasonic TVs, be able to calibrate Dolby Vision content using Portrait Display’s CalMAN software.
Related: What is Filmmaker Mode?
Panasonic claims that the HZ2000 is powered by its most advanced processor and this appears to remain 2019’s HCX Pro Intelligent processor which clearly retains enough processing grunt for 2020. Featuring a Dynamic LUT, the HCX Pro Intelligent processor analyses 4K video content, to optimise colour, contrast and clarity, giving more control over the TV’s all-new customized OLED panel so that the correct colour is displayed for every single brightness level.
For sound, the HZ2000 uses upward-firing speakers that are tuned by Technics and which feature the proprietary JENO Engine for accurate, refined sound in what Panasonic calls 360° Soundscape Pro. Dolby Atmos compatibility adds to the immersive effect allowing the multiple built-in speaker units to produce a spatial soundstage with appropriate Atmos content.
Often forgotten about but equally as important as the image quality for many users is the smart OS interface. Here, HZ2000 uses the latest iteration of Panasonic’s smart TV OS, My Home Screen 5.0, with new features such as presenting thumbnails of featured content to make choosing a TV show or movie a more intuitive affair. This is available for Netflix and YouTube, among others.
The HZ2000 will also feature XUMO’s enterprise-level, free streaming service delivering both over-the-air and over-the-top channels to global audiences. End users simply press the channel up and down or guide button on the TV remote control to discover and enjoy watching these channels, just like a broadcast TV viewing experience.
Voice control is also available since the HZ2000 works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing users to operate certain key TV functions.
Panasonic has also confirmed that all four inputs on the HZ2000 will be HDMI 2.1 with eARC and ALLM.
The HZ2000 will be available in the summer of 2020 in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes.
What do you think? Has the announcement of the Panasonic HZ2000 piqued your interest, and what other features would you like? Let us know what you think in the discussion thread.
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