Panasonic 55FZ952 OLED 4K TV Preview
Panasonic raises the (sound) bar
Panasonic's 2018 OLED TV range is intended to build on the positives of the 2017 models and like other TVs using this screen technology, the differences for this year might be seen to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. One feature that has been carried over for 2018 is the choice of screen size, with 55 inches the smallest available, as well as a larger 65 inch option. There are two distinct ranges, the FZ802 and the FZ952 seen here.
In screen terms, the two models are identical but this is no bad thing. Panasonic’s major area of differentiation from the competition remains the picture processing developed in cooperation with the major Hollywood production houses. The latest version of the company’s HCX processing engine has been fitted and this offers a very high degree of control over colours on screen combined with a notional ability to display what amounts to almost one hundred percent of the DCI-P3 colour space.
The big addition in picture terms for 2018 is HDR10+. While welcome in itself and promising an initial hit of content with Amazon Prime material, it is fitted instead of Dolby Vision rather than as well as. Standard HDR10 material is also supported however. Panasonic has also tweaked the performance to better support the HDR requirements of gamers and combined this with their ‘quickest ever’ response times.
The big difference between the FZ952 and the more affordable FZ802 is the fitment of the ‘Dynamic Blade’ TV speaker. Tuned by sister brand Technics and making use of ‘audiophile tuned components,’ the speaker uses eight drivers; four bass, two midrange and two tweakers. These are in turn augmented by no less than four passive radiators. Panasonic claims that the result is both beautifully elegant and sonically compelling. This is part of the distinctive floating stand assembly that is also used in the FZ802.
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