Panasonic launches JZ1500, JZ1000 and JZ980 OLED TVs for 2021

JZ1500 gets custom OLED panel but VRR functionality is currently limited.

by Andy Bassett

Panasonic has announced its full line up of OLED TVs for 2021 and joining the JZ2000 will be the JZ1500, JZ1000 and JZ980 models.

The big news for OLED TV fans is the adoption of the JZ2000’s exclusive custom bright panel into the JZ1500 model, the adoption of the latest HCX Pro AI processor across all OLED models and a 48-inch model coming as a new screen size across all the OLED series below the JZ2000.

However, among the announcements, Panasonic did admit that a firmware update would be required for the implementation of full VRR functionality.

Most AV enthusiasts will be concentrating on the news that the Custom Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel will be available on the JZ1500 models, meaning consumers who want to take advantage of a higher brightness OLED experience for improved HDR can do so further down Panasonic’s OLED model range without having to commit to the JZ2000 with its comprehensive onboard sound system.

Customer feedback demonstrated that many OLED fans wanting to get hold of the higher brightness panel already had invested significantly in off board sound systems so were reluctant to duplicate audio functionality by purchasing Panasonic’s flagship OLEDs. This now gives consumers extra options in their purchasing choices.

The newly announced HCX Pro AI processor which was introduced in the JZ2000 at the all digital CES in January is also available in the company’s complete OLED range for 2021. By using the brand new Auto AI Mode, the TV can automatically detect the content type (for example movie, sports) and adjust the image quality to give the optimum viewing experience. Auto AI mode is a standalone picture mode, so viewers who want to manually select their preferred settings will still be able to do so.

For gamers, each OLED TV in the 2021 range features two HDMI 2.1 ports (running at 40Gbps) to deliver High Frame Rate (HFR) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and there's also the new Game Mode Extreme and AMD FreeSync Premium support. With Game Mode Extreme, Panasonic’s engineers have managed to reduce latency down to amongst the very lowest figures in the industry for an OLED TV.

One point Panasonic noted was that although all OLED models will ship with two HDMI 2.1 ports and be able to receive 4K HFR  and [email protected] VRR signals, they will only be able to display half the vertical resolution. The company has promised a firmware update ‘sometime in 2021’ to resolve the 4K HFR element of the issue and further announcements will be made regarding the [email protected] VRR problem. Resolutions other than [email protected] VRR, such as Full HD and [email protected] VRR, will be supported from time of shipping without issue.

Also of interest to gamers is the addition of a 48-inch model which joins the 55- and 65-inch screen sizes of the JZ1500, JZ100 and JZ980 series.

As with the flagship JZ2000, all the 2021 OLED series have been colour tuned by Hollywood industry professional Stefan Sonnenfeld, and Panasonic reckons its latest models “will set the benchmark for watching cinematic and premium content.”

Also fully supported throughout the OLED range is Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing, which Panasonic announced in its 2020 OLED models, and Dolby Vision IQ along with Dolby Vision, HDR10+ Adaptive and HLG HDR will all be supported.

Panasonic launches JZ1500, JZ1000 and JZ980 OLED TVs for 2021

Finally, a  brand new remote control will also be included in 2021 with improved ergonomics. 

The Panasonic OLED TV range will be available from June 2021 from authorised retailers. Prices are yet to be confirmed.  

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of Panasonic’s OLED TV lineup. Will the Custom Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel in the JZ1500 be of interest? What about the VRR issue on shipping, is that a problem for you?

Source: Panasonic online launch event
Image Source: Panasonic

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