Panasonic HZ1000 (TX-55HZ1000) OLED TV Review

Intelligent movie monitor...

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £1,999.00

What is the Panasonic HZ1000?

The Panasonic TX-55HZ1000B is the third from the top of the OLED TV range and boasts the exact same features of the HZ1500 model, minus the soundbar and up-firing Atmos speakers. 

Related: Panasonic TX-55HZ1500 Review

The HZ1000 is described as a 4K HDR Master OLED model which boasts full support for Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode with the intelligent sensor. Filmmaker Mode offers an accurate image preset to the industry standards so users can see films and TV shows as they were mastered and intended to be seen. On the Panasonic HZ1000 it also uses specialised metadata and the light sensor to adapt the image for SDR and HDR10 sources so it matches the lighting used in the viewing environment. This is similar to Dolby Vision IQ and its dynamic metadata approach along with the light sensor. Both features promise to adhere closely to the creator's intent and image accuracy, as well as ensuring the image is bright enough for the viewing conditions. 

The HZ1000B supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG (inc. HLG Photo) HDR formats along with Filmmaker Mode and the Netflix Calibrated Mode, which makes it flexible for most TV and movie fans. While the HZ1000 doesn’t have the soundbar and up firing speakers it can still decode Dolby Atmos.

The Panasonic TX-55HZ1000B features the latest HCX Pro Intelligent Processor as well as some of the most advanced calibration features available on the market. Rounding off the package is the My Home Screen 5.0 Smart TV system which also features Freeview Play with all the UK terrestrial TV catch-up apps which actually puts it ahead of LG in that respect, although there is no Disney+ or Apple TV+ support at this time.

So, is the HZ1000 the ideal monitor only package for home cinema fans? Let’s find out. 

Design, Connections and Control

The design of the HZ1000 is minimalist with just a rectangular panel with an almost bezel-less design with a 1mm metal strip around the edge of the ultra-thin panel.  There is no soundbar at the bottom of the screen, the speakers are placed within the TV chassis. The dark finish to the set looks contemporary and sleek. 

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
Front View

The stand is a circular design with a raised pole that attaches to the panel. This allows the TV to swivel on the stand by a few degrees in each direction. While the swivel action might actually be useful to some users, the design of the stand looks a little cheap and also doesn’t quite have the sturdiness of a fixed, weighted stand. But of course, the design is subjective at the end of the day and some users are bound to have opposing views. 

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
Connections

The connections are at the rear and sideways we have a CI slot, Headphone/Subwoofer 3.5mm input/output, two USB slots and HDMI 4. Downwards are two Satellite and one RF antenna, a USB port for HDD connection, three further HDMI 2.0b ports, legacy audio and video, and ethernet and digital audio output. While the HDMI ports are 2.0b there is support for ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and eARC (Enhanced ARC) HDMI 2.1 features.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
Remote

The supplied remote control is a familiar plastic Panasonic model that has a silver-coloured face. The layout of the buttons is intuitive and easy to use with the remote fitting neatly in the hand and it matches the market level of the TV.

 

While the swivel action might actually be useful to some users, the design of the stand looks a little cheap

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.

We use Calman colour calibration software, a Murideo Seven Generator and Klein K-10A meter for measurement and calibration.

We used the new Filmmaker Mode with the light sensor switched off for image consistency and checked that all other picture processing was switched off as it should be. This mode should give the most accurate out-of-the-box settings to the industry standards.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
FMM Greyscale & Gamma

Looking at the greyscale results we can see that green is tracking around 100% with red and blue tracking slightly low by around 2% maximum. Our DeltaE errors are all under two and as such there are no visible issues seen on screen with TV and film content. Gamma also tracks well to the BT.1886 standard with just a slight brightening at the higher end, but nothing that is visible in content. 

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
FMM Rec.709 Colour Gamut

Moving to the Rec.709 HD colour gamut and once again we have superb accuracy with DeltaE errors at an avg of 0.6 which is well below the visible threshold of three. The only issue seen in the graph is a very slight oversaturation of red, but this is not visible with onscreen TV and film content.  As such, colours look incredibly accurate with no visible errors or issues. Overall, for an out of the box preset Filmmaker is very accurate on this sample.

Calibrated 

The Panasonic HZ1000 has a full suite of calibration controls and can also be calibrated using Calman AutoCal. 

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
Calibrated Greyscale

As you can see, we were able to achieve reference levels of accuracy with the greyscale and gamma with no visible errors at all and a DeltaE of 0.5 maximum. The results here were following a manual calibration, but you can achieve the same results using Calman AutoCal.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
Calibrated Rec.709 Colour Gamut

The Rec.709 HD colour gamut results are also reference level with DeltaE errors of 0.6 which is well below the visible threshold of three and as such, no issues were seen with any TV and film content we viewed on this HZ1000. We have come to expect absolute reference accuracy from Panasonic and that is once again evidenced here.

HDR Results

As we always do with TV displays, we measured the peak brightness at various window sizes to see how the sets handle HDR peak brightness, and how aggressive the ABL circuit can be with a full field white pattern.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
Peak vs. Window

We measured peak brightness at 652 nits at 1%, 2%, 5% and the industry-standard 10% windows in the Filmmaker Mode which is accurate to the D65 white point. The ABL is not quite as aggressive on the HZ1000 as it is on the LG CX we tested at the same time, with a consistent peak of 141 nits on a full field white.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
PQ EOTF

The HZ1000 is also accurate to the PQ EOTF tracking at ST.2084 with a consistent track and hard clip. This is the same for both 1000 and 4000 nits mastered content. The result is a consistent tone map where only the brightest specular highlights are clipped, but the detail is retained throughout the remaining dynamic range. 

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
DCI-P3 within BT.2020 saturation tracking

The HZ1000 also offered up a very good Wide Colour Gamut result to DCI-P3 within BT.2020 with excellent tracking within the saturation tracking chart. Only green at 100% stimulus was under the exact gamut size, with all other points being there or thereabouts and a slight hue push on magenta. Overall, given OLED is not so good with colour volume, the end results here are very good with decent saturation plotting to wide colours.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
BT.2020 Coverage

We measured BT.2020 coverage at 72% XY and 77% UV. P3 measured 96% XY and 99% UV.

Panasonic TX-55HZ1000
P3 Coverage

Performance

We tested the 55-inch version of the HZ1000 but performance should be similar on the 65-inch HZ1000 as they use the same type of features and panels. 

Hollywood to the Home has been the marketing message from Panasonic for a number of years now and that is certainly what you get from the HZ1000. The picture accuracy with the Filmmaker Mode has proven to be as close as possible to the industry standards for an out of the box preset, with all other processing switched off as it should be. Added to this and unique to the Panasonic approach is the use of an intelligent sensor which shifts the brightness of the image without affecting the accuracy too much. This retains the creator's intent while matching the image luminance for your viewing environment. This approach shouldn’t be confused with the normal brightness sensors usually found on TVs that do nothing but lift the entire image and make it look washed out. The Panasonic approach is almost the same as the Dolby Vision IQ method of using metadata to make sure image washout is not possible and attempts are made to remain as accurate as possible to the creator’s intent. 

 

... this works well on the HZ1000 but with one massive issue

This works really well and solves an issue that does exist with accurately displaying content mastered in 100 nits in a bright room. It really does retain the colour accuracy and intent of the creator and also makes the content pop a little more in a bright room where, previously, images have looked slightly dull compared to the brighter and more blue standard and vivid modes. 

I have said it before and will repeat it here, that most TV viewers are not sitting in a grading suite so this approach solves that issue by trying hard to match accuracy with the environment it is being used in. 

Dolby Vision IQ does the same thing as the Filmmaker with intelligent sensing, but it also uses the exact metadata to make absolutely certain that colours remain accurate to how they should look, while lifting the brightness of the image and keeping the intent and dynamic range.  And again this works well on the HZ1000 but with one massive issue for a purist like me. 

It would appear that Dolby has stipulated to manufacturers that certain image manipulation features should be applied to Dolby Vision IQ. On the Panasonic, this is Noise Reduction, MPEG Remaster and Resolution Remaster which are switched on to Min and greyed out. These are filters that scrub away fine detail and add edge enhancement which we do not want to be applied to film content. Plus, Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) frame interpolation is switched on at minimum and greyed out; and if you are anything like me, you will notice this is applied straight away as motion no longer looks natural for film and drama content, which is what you will be watching most in Dolby Vision IQ. 

 

... this could be considered the ‘go-to’ monitor for those movie fans wanting just the panel to add to an existing home cinema system

It is strange that Dolby seems to have stipulated such an approach as they also claim to work on behalf of the creator's intent. Can we have a fix for this issue please, Panasonic? 

You can use Dolby Vision Dark and manually adjust the brightness of the panel to suit your room, which is the best overall and most accurate image preset for Dolby Vision content. 

The panel uniformity on the HZ1000 is excellent with no bands being instantly seen on a 5% window and no darker patches found anywhere. The bands are there when viewed in a completely dark room, but are invisible during normal use with TV or Film content viewing. The panel was also clean at all brightness levels with no signs of dirty screen effect or vignetting.  

The HCX processor is also a superb upscaler and did a  fantastic job of upscaling with no edge enhancement ringing or fuzziness seen with 576i and HD 1080i/p. SD TV channels are obviously beyond saving with any TV processor, but good quality SD from DVD does look sharp and detailed. HD content is easy enough to scale and we didn’t see any issues at all.

Motion is also very good on the HZ1000 with 24fps material looking excellent with IFC switched off and correct pulldown applied. Adding in IFC adds interpolation in progressive steps as you move up the settings with Soap Opera Effect being obvious. Artefacts are also present in the higher modes with double edges to some fast-moving objects in certain scenes. 

There is also the odd instance of frameskip with some HDR 24fps material, but you really need to go looking for it as it is rarely seen. We certainly don’t see it as an issue. Overall, for movie fans the motion is very good on the HZ1000.

 

The HCX processor is also a superb upscaler

The custom setting in IFC allows adjustment of Blur Reduction and Film Smooth manually allowing you to dial in the image interpolation as you like.

Black Frame Insertion (BFI) also has its own menu selection within the IFC main menu with selections for Off, Min, Mid, Max and Auto. This year the duration of the black frame is varied so it has a less noticeable flicker in the lower settings, much the same as LG’s implementation this year. 

For SDR content it is effective in the Min and Mid settings, but be aware you do reduce light output slightly. We didn’t see any obvious motion resolution gains, but motion is perceived to be smoother and without SOE when IFC is switched off and BFI on Min or Mid. BFI shouldn’t be used with HDR content.

In terms of gaming, the Panasonic TX-55HZ1000 really is aimed at Movie watching but with the input lag measured at 22ms in both HD and 4K with HDR on our Murideo Seven Generator, it can still be used as a gaming TV. This is with ALLM switched on and while higher than the competing LG models, it is still acceptable for most level of gamers. HDR gaming is especially good with excellent image quality. Just remember that static images left on the screen for any length of time could potentially cause image retention on an OLED.

For movie watching and image accuracy, the HZ1000 is superb.  It is accurate with SDR and HDR content straight out of the box in Filmmaker Mode with superb Black levels and just above black detail is excellent with no signs of black flashing or posterisation effects. This adds depth and detail to images that marry colour accuracy and life-like skin tones to the excellent grayscale canvas. There is no obvious cyan push seen with almost all other LG display based OLEDs visible on the HZ1000. 

As we stated in our review of the HZ1500, Panasonic has set out to create the best movie viewing experience with the HZ1000 and it excels.

HDR content is also excellent with superb image accuracy with the wider colour gamut creating believable skin tones while expressing purer looking colours that have much better saturation over the SDR examples on this TV. 

 

HDR gaming is especially good with excellent image quality.

As witnessed on the HZ1500, there is no excessive blue, cyan or yellow tint to snow-packed scenes such as those from The Revenant.  The natural lighting used in that film brings a realistic and cinematic feeling to proceedings. You can feel the cold in the scene thanks to the excellent image quality on offer. The HZ1000 also has a less aggressive ABL circuit than the LG CX, so scenes with lots of white and brightness look a touch brighter on the Panasonic.

After thorough testing the HZ1000 and HZ1500 have identical image quality and that shouldn’t really be a surprise. The HZ1000 is the same Panel minus the speakers of the HZ1500. 

Related: Panasonic HZ1500 Review

SDR and HDR performance is excellent on the Panasonic HZ1000 with stunning colour accuracy, solid black levels and superb just above black detail adding depth and texture to images. As a critical movie watching TV, this could be considered the ‘go-to’ monitor for those movie fans wanting just the panel to add to an existing home cinema system. Obviously, for those with the deep pockets amongst us you would step up to the HZ2000 and not use the speakers, but for everyone else that wants movie accuracy, this is the TV for you.

Verdict

The good

  • Filmmaker Mode for image accuracy with SDR & HDR10
  • Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensor for bright rooms
  • Superb calibrated performance
  • Excellent motion
  • Cinematic images for film fans
  • Subwoofer crossover and connection
  • Decent Smart TV and Freeview Play
  • Compatible with HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ & Dolby Vision

The not so good

  • Dolby Vision IQ has greyed out picture enhancements switched on, including interpolation
  • Round stand design
  • No HDMI 2.1 for gamers

Panasonic HZ1000 (TX-55HZ1000) OLED TV Review

As you would imagine the HZ1000 is exactly the same TV as the HZ1500 minus the Atmos speakers attached. Image quality is identical which means this is the perfect ‘monitor only’ option for those who can’t stretch to the flagship, but still want superb image accuracy right out of the box. It should be pointed out that the HZ980 is not the same panel or processor package, so will not match the HZ1000/HZ1500.

I’m always asked what the best picture settings are on TVs I review and with the Panasonics, this year, it has to be Filmmaker Mode. The accuracy on offer will have professional calibrators anxious.

There is no such thing as the perfect TV, a mantra I have used for nearly 20 years now, and with the HZ1000 there are features and options missing. There are no HDMI 2.1 inputs but it does support eARC and ALLM HDMI 2.1 features via its HDMI 2.0b ports and with a decent 22ms input lag it does well with console gaming in HDR, but it is not the most advanced in terms of gaming compatibility like the LG CX. It also has My Home Screen V5.0 for its smart platform which isn’t as slick as the WebOS of LG, (however, it does have Freeview Play, unlike the CX). Plus, we really do not like the Dolby Vision IQ preset with image manipulation features switched on and greyed out. That doesn’t follow the creator’s intent message and needs to be fixed.

However, with all that said, the Panasonic HZ1000 is an excellent OLED TV for critical movie and TV viewing with superb image accuracy to the industry standards. Watch it in Filmmaker Mode and you can be certain that you are seeing content as it was intended to be seen, and who wouldn’t want that from their TV?

Only the flagship HZ2000 will best the HZ1000 (and HZ1500) for movie fans, but that also comes with a flagship price tag. The HZ1000 is an excellent entry point to cinematic OLED for those who already have the home cinema sound system. It comes highly recommended.

Highly Recommended

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

10

Screen Uniformity

10

Colour Accuracy

10

Greyscale Accuracy

10

Video Processing

.
9

SDR Picture Quality

10

HDR Picture Quality

.
9

Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box

.
9

Picture Quality Calibrated

10

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Smart Features

.
.
.
7

Build Quality

.
9

Ease of Use

.
9

Value for Money

.
.
8

Verdict

.
9
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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