Panasonic has provided more details on its new DX900 HDR LED LCD 4K TV, the first of its type in the world - at least for the time being - to meet the standards of the UHD Alliance’s new ‘Ultra HD Premium’ specification. The DX900 will appear in two screen sizes, 58" (TX-58DX900) and 65-inch (TX-65DX900).
The UHDA’s Ultra HD Premium rating is designed to help consumers see at a glance which TVs are best equipped to handle the cutting edge picture formats ready to set new standards of quality in 2016. To make sure the DX900 is fully up to the challenge of meeting the exacting requirements of the UHDA’s highest performance grade, Panasonic’s engineers developed new hardware and software innovations for the DX900 that, they tell us, take LCD picture quality to places it’s never been before.
Panasonic claims the DX900 manages to combine the extreme brightness - that’s an LCD’s strong point - with the sort of contrast and black level response that people used to love about Panasonic’s plasma TVs – remember them?
Panasonic attributes those deep black levels to a new Honeycomb structure local dimming technology. This unique new LCD panel design divides the picture into hundreds (over 500) individually controlled lighting zones kept isolated from each other to ensure that there’s minimal light leakage between them. The result, it is said, is a picture able to contain extremely bright peaks and deep blacks simultaneously without the light halo or ‘bloom’ effect around the bright objects that LCD technology usually produces.
What’s more, Panasonic maintains, the new panel design can deliver its brightness peaks across more of the screen than conventional HDR LCD TVs. Panasonic calculates that the DX900 can hit 1000 nits across a much wider portion of the screen than other HDR screens launched to date have been able to achieve.
Panasonic’s commitment to colour accuracy is maintained with the DX900 and it’s been tuned to a 'fine level' by Panasonic’s Hollywood Labs to ensure that the DX900s’ HDR performance matches as closely as possible the original vision of filmmakers and content creators.
While the DX900 is built for HDR, you will still for now often find yourself watching content that hasn’t been made in HDR. Cue the brand new Panasonic HCX+ (Hollywood Cinema eXperience plus) processing chipset, which works even harder and is more accurate than the previous 4K Studio Master Processor to deliver images that faithfully reproduce the pre-HDR Rec 709 industry video standard.
The HCX+ delivers an enhanced version of the 3D Look Up Table (LUT) system already used on Panasonic’s 2015 flagship LCD TVs, covering 8000 registry reference points (around 40 times as many as you get in a traditional TV). Furthermore Panasonic have added a new colour compensation algorithm to further enhance the resulting on-screen colour accuracy. This means the DX900 can theoretically reproduce hues and tones within the Rec 709 standard space at every level of brightness. Panasonic bullishly claims that this is done at such an accurate degree that pictures verge on the sort of fidelity only previously possible on hugely expensive professional studio master screens. As well as securing the highest Ultra HD Premium grade from the UHDA, the DX900 has earned 4K Certification from THX.
The DX900 will be launching in the UK in early Spring 2016 in two sizes: 65-inch and 58-inch.
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