Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV Review

Hollywood to your home, but at a price...

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £3,299.00

What is the Panasonic GZ2000?

The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B is the latest flagship Professional Edition 4K OLED TV from the manufacturer and boasts its new bespoke OLED panel. This has been customised by Panasonic's engineers who gave AVForums a detailed briefing back in June 2019 and explained how they added a boosted average brightness level and improved contrast handling. It also dissipates heat more effectively from the custom OLED panel which increases performance and brightness but also helps to prevent any issues with image retention or burn-in. 

The 55GZ2000B includes the company's most advanced processor – the HCX Pro Intelligent. The image has also been optimised by a leading Hollywood colourist, resulting in a TV that delivers a highly accurate image that conforms to the industry standards. This takes away the cyan tint that is seen on all other WRGB panels and adds more accuracy to whites and colours.

The GZ2000 supports High Dynamic Range and includes both dynamic metadata formats: HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. It also supports Hybrid Log-Gamma and HLG Photo, the new still image format that brings still photography into the HDR world.

In another first, the Panasonic GZ2000 is the world’s first TV with built-in upward-firing speakers that are capable of delivering Dolby Atmos immersive audio with convenience and minimal setup. The complete audio system has also been tuned by Technics engineers and features its proprietary JENO Engine.

In response to requests from Hollywood’s professional users, Panasonic has extended the range and reduced the interval between calibration steps at the darkest end of the RGB and gamma scales. The GZ2000B is also one of the first TVs to support CalMAN PatternGen test patterns along with AutoCal functionality.

The TX-55GZ2000 features Panasonic’s new My Home Screen 4.0 which allows the viewer to tailor the TV user interface to their own preference with more freedom and flexibility. There's a redesigned GUI and support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing users to operate their TV just using their voice.

Panasonic GZ2000 Video Review

Watch our full in-depth review in the video -

Design, Connections and Control

For such an expensive reference level OLED TV some may find the design of the GZ2000 is disappointing. We have a panel that is also almost twice the thickness of a normal OLED panel due to the custom pro panel and this is extended even more with the speaker cabinet placed at the top of the panel for the upwards-firing Atmos speakers.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

The screen is almost bezel-less with a 1mm metal strip around the sides and top of the panel. The bottom houses the three-channel speaker bar which has three distinct speaker ports which are visible from your seating position. There is a Panasonic logo in the centre of this and the bar is 60mm high.

Around the back of the panel, we immediately see the influence of the custom pro panel with plenty of cooling vents to the top midsection as well as the bottom of the panel for heat dispersion. This is a major design point with the panel designed to dissipate heat to improve performance. The Atmos speaker section also makes itself known and detracts from any hope of a 360 degree TV design, making the connections cover somewhat irrelevant.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

All the connections are positioned to the rear recessed area on the right side of the back panel looking from behind. We have a mixture of sideways and backwards facing connectors. To the side, we have a common interface slot, a headphone and subwoofer 3.5mm jack, two HDMI 2.0b slots, a USB 3.0 slot, RF and Satellite antennas and an Ethernet port. Rearwards, we have two further USB 2.0 and HDMI 2.0b ports, composite RCA and stereo RCA and an optical digital out.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

The remote control supplied with the GZ2000B thankfully fits with the price point and is a silver metal affair with a backlight for the most important keys. It has a reassuring weight when placed in the hand and the keys are all laid out in a logical and intuitive manner. The remote fits with the overall design and market position of the TV.

Measurements

Out of the Box

As we always do with our reviews, we measured the out of the box picture presets to find those that get as close as possible to the industry standards. The idea is that a TV must get close to these standards in at least one of its picture modes so end users can see content as it was mastered and intended to be seen.

Calibration is a goal for some users, but for the majority, this is not an option, so actually knowing how accurate the out of the box presets are is very important in any honest TV review.

We see absolutely no point in assessing and reviewing TVs in only the perfectly calibrated picture modes as this doesn’t reflect what the vast majority of buyers will experience with the TV. Calibration and measurement are important for the overall assessment of the TV, but we don’t only focus on the calibrated performance here at AVForums.

The unique selling point of the GZ2000 is that it brings Hollywood to the home with picture tuning by a colourist as well as aiming to replicate the image quality of a studio mastering monitor out of the box. As such, we tested the GZ2000 next to a Sony BVM-X300 mastering OLED monitor, more of this in the performance section.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

Looking at the out of the box results we get a decent degree of measured accuracy. The greyscale tracks reasonably well with a slight lack of blue energy as the image gets brighter, with red and green just a smidge over the 100% marker, but all this is meaningless really as our DeltaE errors are well under the visible threshold of 3.0 and average at 2.0. This means we will not see any errors on-screen within the colour of grey and no tint to images. Gamma also tracks well and is just a touch darker at 10% stimulus but it is not severe enough to cause any actual issues within the image.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

Colour gamut coverage of Rec.709 for HD is also decent for an out of the box preset with just a slight hue error with magenta on our review sample here. In actual testing and viewing this was unseen in the vast majority of content we watched and with an excellent greyscale result, we saw no issues of image tint. Skin tones remained natural and accurate, so while there is an issue within the graph with hue towards red for magenta, this is not an issue for us with actual film and TV content. Obviously, we would like the graph to look more accurate than it does with this sample, but cross-referencing our results with the GZ1500 sample, it appears that this is consistent with excellent out of the box results in Professional 2 on the Panasonic sets.

With the results here (and with other 2019 Panasonic OLED screens we have tested) it is safe to say that the company's campaign to provide an accurate image out of the box stands up to some scrutiny. Obviously, with mass-produced displays, you will get some panel variance, but overall this is a decent result for Panasonic and points to accuracy with their Hollywood to the Home OLED panels this year. This is something we have been pushing for years here at AVForums and it is great to see that finally happening. Consumers now have the choice of image accuracy out of the box to a greater degree than ever.

Calibrated

With excellent accuracy out of the box, it is still possible to get even nicer looking graphs with a manual or auto cal calibration. You probably won’t actually see more accuracy in the image quality onscreen per se, but the graphs and numbers are impressive when using either the manual or automatic route. This time around we used Auto Cal to get our SDR image accuracy to truly reference levels in the graphs. This involves connecting our CalMAN calibration software to the GZ2000 wirelessly and using our meter and pattern generator.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

Panasonic does intend to use its custom panel in the professional side of Hollywood and indeed its sets are used for evaluation in some grading suites around the world, which is no small feat for a consumer set. As such, the results obtained after calibration tell you why that is the case. We managed to obtain a greyscale result for SDR content that has a DeltaE error of just 0.18 which is well below the visible threshold of 3.0, with reference tracking and gamma also being completely correct at every point. There are not many consumer OLEDs that can achieve such accurate results.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

Colour gamut
coverage is also a reference level with excellent saturation tacking at all points, and DeltaE errors that average 0.22 and max out at 0.43 which is once again so far under the visible threshold of 3.0 and points to no visible issues at all within the image.

HDR Results

One of the big marketing points of the GZ2000 has been the custom pro panel and claims from Panasonic that it can get brighter than almost any other OLED TV for peak brightness. Obviously, that is a great marketing angle, but as we keep saying Peak Brightness is just one measurement and doesn’t in any way tell you the full story when it comes to HDR playback quality.

We measured the GZ2000 out of the box in the most accurate picture mode for D65 white point at 863 nits on a 10% window, which is the industry standard testing method. This is brighter than almost every other OLED TV we have tested so far this year, but once again this doesn’t necessarily tell you much about how the GZ2000 will perform with actual HDR content. When displaying a full screen white the brightness drops to 143 nits but it has a relaxed ABL circuit meaning the panel doesn’t suddenly reduce brightness as the film scene changes to one full of white light, it is more gradual and not as visible to the eye.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

Looking at the EOTF we can see that the image is accurate with a good greyscale track for D65 with the set tone mapping to the standard yellow line until it starts to roll off at around 600 nits before hard clipping at around 860 nits and 80% Stimulus. Again, this is a good measurement but also just a small part of the HDR image story and doesn’t account for any dynamic tone mapping within the measurement results or actual viewing material. It does, however, show consistency.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B

The DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage is also decent with the GZ2000 not quite capable of covering the entire gamut, but from 75% saturation down it tracks in a reasonable and accurate manner. Green and red are slightly undersaturated against the saturation tracking points, but the DeltaE errors are also just below the threshold. While we would like to see more accuracy with HDR content out of the box, the results here and onscreen are incredibly good looking with strong tone mapping and excellent skin tones and natural-looking colours. BT2020 measures in at 70% XY and 76% UV with P3 at 93% XY and 97% UV.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B
The GZ2000 manages to be extremely accurate out of the box

Performance

Because Panasonic is marketing their OLED screens as delivering what the creators intended, we managed to use a professional mastering monitor, used by studios to create the content we see, side-by-side with the GZ2000 in out of the box and calibrated modes. This was a Sony BVM-X300 RGB OLED monitor that has a 30-inch screen and the retail on this is £35K if you want to buy one. We set out to see how close the Panasonic GZ2000 OLED image quality was to this OLED mastering monitor and if you could get close to the image quality at home. We also tested the GZ2000 side-by-side with the GZ950 OLED to see what differences, if any, you get for upgrading from the entry-level OLED for 2019 to the premium GZ2000. So let’s deal with the marketing claims for the GZ2000 first of all.

So, does it equal or better the image quality seen on the £35K mastering monitor? No.

Does it match the mastering monitor for image quality? With SDR it does look close, but not the same.

With HDR? No.

The Sony BVM-X300 is an RGB OLED with a 30-inch screen size and 4K resolution, so it has better colour purity, better pixel density and more specular highlight brightness that simply blows the GZ2000 away (and that goes for every other 2019 OLED we also compared). We are not surprised by this and neither should you be. There was never going to be a situation where a £3,200 consumer TV would match or outperform a dedicated £35K professional-grade monitor that has no speakers, tuner or other TV niceties and requires three high-speed fans on the back of the panel to keep it cool. The mastering monitor is precise and almost faultless in its presentation with absolute colour and greyscale accuracy, and it should be considering it needs to perform like this day in and day out in a professional installation.

So now that the marketing and hype is out of the way, let’s actually look at what the GZ2000 does offer that is genuinely exciting and useful to enthusiasts. It does try to offer image accuracy to the industry standards, so while it couldn’t match the performance of the X300, it did get very close to displaying colours and greyscale correctly and, at times, the two side-by-side did look very similar, especially with SDR content. This highlights that as a consumer TV the Panasonic is producing the very best image accuracy possible from a WRGB OLED panel that has restrictions on specular highlights along with colour purity and volume.

There is no doubt that out of the box the Panasonic GZ2000 is incredibly accurate to the standards and it looks sublime, just like every other Panasonic OLED we have tested this year.

Indeed, the measured results between the three Panasonic TVs we have tested in-depth have been incredibly similar. This points to excellent use of the HCX processor and 3D LUT tables used for making sure image accuracy is the best it can be for an OLED TV like this. While employing the services of a competent calibrator has its advantages, as not only image quality but your video chain is calibrated, you could quite easily use the GZ2000 out of the box in the Professional 1 (day) and Professional 2 (night) modes and know you are getting results with no visible errors plus accurate greyscale and colour tracking. We assume all GZ2000 perform in a similar fashion to this review unit and we have seen identical results with the other Panasonic models tested, so see no reason why that can’t be the case. There are very few consumer TVs on the market that can claim to be as accurate out of the box.

We also found the GZ2000 panel uniformity to be superb in both full white fields and with just above black content and test patterns. We also tested for just above black flicker, seen on some OLED screens, but the Panasonic was clear of this issue. This is something we are not surprised about as the engineers in our meeting back in June told us they had seen the issues before they started production of the custom panel, and other models, so engineered it out before the Panasonic OLEDs came to market. Just above black is also superb on the GZ2000 with excellent detail retrieval and no obvious bands within the panel.

Upscaling was also excellent with lower resolution material looking detailed and sharp without any obvious issues with line ringing or overly processed images. HD to 4K is excellent with no issues at all, and even low bitrate streaming content from Netflix looked sublime and highly detailed. The GZ2000 does have the Netflix Calibrated Mode and this matches the Professional mode settings for day and night viewing or Dolby Vision bright and dark modes with suitable material.

We also found motion handling to be excellent and it matches that previously seen with the GZ1500 and with the GZ950 we are also testing at the same time as the GZ2000. The instances of 50Hz micro stutter are now so rare, even when looking for it, that we doubt the vast majority of users would ever see it and as such we don’t consider it an issue at all. With 24fps material the Panasonic manages to perform perfectly with no signs of induced judder seen when IFC is switched off, as pulldown is correct. Adding in Intelligent Frame Creation, even at the Min setting, does introduce interpolation and this increases in smoothing and soap opera effect as you increase the settings. There are custom options and Black Frame Insertion (BFI) is also available, but we found BFI to have too much flicker to be comfortable to view. Personally, I left IFC off for most of my time with the GZ2000.

SDR image quality is sublime on the Panasonic with superb colour accuracy and stunning dynamic range. Skin tones are lifelike and natural with plenty of detail within the shadows to give the image punch and depth. When compared to the Sony mastering monitor, the GZ2000 managed to look very similar in terms of image accuracy. Motion was also superb with no signs of induced judder that wasn't present in the source material. As the vast majority of content is still SDR in nature this means that the Panasonic is an excellent day to day TV with extremely accurate picture quality to the industry standards. This was true with off-air TV, high quality streaming sources as well as Blu-ray. There were no signs of posterisation or other image artefacts within content that was caused by the GZ2000.

Moving to HDR content from streaming services and 4K Blu-ray, the GZ2000 again produced superb image quality. This time around when compared to the Sony X300 mastering monitor is was clear to see more differences due to the monitor performing at higher peak brightness and with purer colour tones thanks to being an RGB OLED screen. Plus image sharpness was better due to the pixel density of the 30-inch panel. However, the GZ2000 is still capable of similar white balance and colour tones for large parts of the content playback.

Moving to side-by-side comparisons with its peers, the GZ2000 was excellent when compared to the Philips OLED854, LG C9, and Panasonic GZ950. Starting with its stablemate, the differences between the GZ2000 and GZ950 are minimal at best. With SDR content we couldn’t separate the screens from each other with superb accuracy and stunning image quality from both. With HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content this was also true with the GZ2000 adding just a hint more detail in the brighter reaches of the HDR image and with metal edges and whites looking crisper. Colours also remained strong and we didn’t notice any issues of colour brightness being a problem with normal content in the most accurate picture mode. We did note that the tone mapping of the GZ950 was slightly brighter than that on the GZ2000 and detail in the whites was clipped at higher brightness levels on the 950, where the GZ2000 retained that detail and a richer look to colour tones with such scenes.

With the GZ950 and GZ2000 side-by-side, we also tested HDR10+ against Dolby Vision on the sets. We did this by using Panasonic UB450 and UB820 4K Blu-ray players directly feeding each screen and trying to sync the clips up the best we could. We then swapped the screens around to make sure that both played the different formats to give an all-round example of how they performed. What we did notice was that HDR10+ clipped blacks and white detail more readily that the Dolby Vision example, which held its peak white detail far better and colours looked more accurate and full within the Dolby Vision signal. This was true on both screens with the GZ2000 using its slightly higher brightness to give the image a little more depth and detail within the brighter highlights, and colours looked slightly more saturated than the GZ950, but we really are splitting hairs at this point.

Against the 65-inch LG C9, the 55-inch GZ2000 offered a slightly better SDR and HDR performance that had a more natural colour tone and a white balance that wasn’t as cyan as the C9. But in all other picture attribute areas, both screens were extremely similar to each other, with the same inky deep blacks and shadow detail. We did note that the GZ2000 and GZ950 have slightly better screen uniformity and just above black detail retrieval where the C9 did slightly crush, even when correctly calibrated. Motion was also just that little bit more controlled on the Panasonic than the LG with the interpolation systems switched off. We also did some side-by-side testing against a Philips OLED854 and again the differences were very similar to those with the C9, with slightly cyan whites and just above black crush but, in almost all other instances, it was very difficult to spot differences between both screens, especially after calibration.

So, the strong points of the GZ2000 are slightly better tone mapping and image brightness over its peers, with superb panel uniformity and excellent colour accuracy in SDR and HDR content. Motion is strong as is the video processing. There is no doubt the GZ2000 offers up excellent image dynamics and headroom, which is slightly better than other WRGB OLED TVs we tested it against.

The other major feature of the GZ2000 against its stablemate and peers is the introduction of a three-channel soundbar and upwards firing drivers for Dolby Atmos playback. You can also add a subwoofer to the TV via the headphone jack and select your volume and crossovers in the menu system.

Some owners of the GZ2000 and other 2019 Panasonic OLED screens have reported issues with sound crackling from the speakers with some sources. We did encounter something like this with our review sample of the GZ1500, but with the GZ2000 running firmware 3.192 we didn’t encounter any issues with sound crackling. That doesn’t mean other users are not having issues, but we couldn’t replicate reported issues with this review sample. Check out the owner's thread at AVForums for more details and updates if this concerns you.

The sound quality of the GZ2000 is very good with a nice separation to the front and if you have a flat ceiling you will also benefit from some height channel effects from Atmos content. Just be aware that this is front heavy in presentation and not a full surround experience. However, adding a subwoofer to the TV does also elevate the audio performance to provide a nice weighty sound quality that suits movie playback. Our only slight issue was intermittent compression-like sound on voices now and again, but we couldn’t repeat this on a consistent enough basis to say if it was a genuine issue with all GZ2000’s or our review unit. But overall the sound quality is very good and adds to the overall package.

The GZ2000 is the best OLED TV for SDR and HDR image quality we have seen this year

Verdict

The Good

  • Stunning out of the box picture accuracy in SDR and HDR modes
  • Superb whites with no WRGB cyan tint
  • Stunning dynamic range performance
  • Excellent black levels and just above black detail
  • Superb Panel Uniformity
  • Excellent peak brightness for an OLED TV
  • Excellent tone mapping
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10+ playback
  • Dolby Atmos sound system & subwoofer integration
  • Netflix Calibrated Mode
  • Superb AutoCal integration
  • Decent Smart TV service
  • Easy to navigate OS
  • Decent build quality

The Bad

  • No HDMI 2.1 for those looking to future proof
  • Very expensive

Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV Review


There is no getting away from the fact that the GZ2000 is an expensive TV and all our comparison testing over the last month or so has also highlighted that image quality is only slightly better than its more cost-effective peers. You do have to remember that there is a full-on up-firing sound system added to the GZ2000 plus the custom panel with its heat dispersal and uniformity gains, along with a slight brightness advantage with some content. So, value for money will be an issue for the consumer to justify in this case.

There is no doubt that Panasonic has achieved its goal of creating the most accurate out of the box OLED TV on the market and for most users, this will be a selling point for them. Image accuracy is superb out of the box with all the advantages that OLED offers for pure blacks and stunning dynamic range. SDR images are the best we have seen from a consumer TV this year and closely followed by its stablemate the GZ950. Against its peers, the GZ2000 does offer slight image enhancements and improvements with SDR and HDR content which we have covered in some detail within the review. But we can also see that much more cost-effective models are within a smidge of the GZ2000's performance which will be important to most potential end-users. To most AVForums users a GZ950 added to their own sound system is probably the bargain of the year when compared to the TX-55GZ2000.

The audio quality from the full Dolby Atmos up-firing system is very good and provides a wide and spacious sound field around the front of the TV. It doesn’t, however, manage to create a fully enveloping immersive sound as there are no rear speakers. You can add a subwoofer to add an extended bottom end to the sound stage and this is also excellent.

Gaming wise the input lag is 21.5ms in both SDR and HDR modes which is very good for the vast majority of gamers, some peers are managing to get down to 15ms, so it isn’t the fastest out there, but it also shouldn’t be a major issue.

Overall, the Panasonic GZ2000 is an exceptionally good OLED TV with some of the most accurate images we have seen so far this year from any TV. It manages to achieve its goal of being accurate and adds in the world’s first upwards firing sound system fitted to the TV. The only stick in the mud is the pricing versus the value for money and only you will be able to say if it is worth the outlay. If you are also the type of user who wants vivid and bright images with oversaturated images, this is not the TV for you. You can save your money in that case and get any other screen out there. If you want to see images as they are intended to be seen and in stunning accuracy, the GZ2000 is your TV.

For me, it is the best TV in its class for SDR image and colour accuracy along with the most effective HDR image we have seen from an OLED this year, just pipping the excellent LG C9 and its stablemate GZ950 in this area. All Panasonic needs to do now is to release a version without the sound system for those of us who want the custom pro panel on its own.
If you want to see images as they are intended to be seen and in stunning accuracy, the GZ2000 is the TV for you.
Best In Class

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

10

Screen Uniformity

10

Colour Accuracy

.
9

Greyscale Accuracy

10

Video Processing

.
9

Picture Quality

10

SDR Picture Quality

10

HDR Picture Quality

.
9

Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box

.
9

Picture Quality Calibrated

10

Sound Quality

.
.
8

Smart Features

.
.
8

Build Quality

.
.
8

Ease of Use

.
9

Value for Money

.
.
.
7

Verdict

.
9
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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