Panasonic JZ2000 (TX-55JZ2000) OLED TV Review

Cinematic master...

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £2,695.00
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Panasonic JZ2000 (TX-55JZ2000) OLED TV Review

Where the JZ1500 is the choice for those who don’t need the Dolby Atmos sound system and just want the Custom Professional Panel, the Panasonic JZ2000 remains the flagship model offering all the options. There are a few niggles with a performance that is a very slight step back compared to the HZ2000 from last year, and if you don’t need HDMI 2.1 you could seek one out, but the overall performance and new gaming features, still make the JZ2000 a compelling purchase. If you want the best SDR and HDR cinematic images available on a 2021 OLED TV, along with strong gaming features and the soundbar and up-firing speakers, the JZ2000 comes highly recommended.

The Good

  • Superb image accuracy out of the box in Filmmaker Mode
  • Excellent HDR peak brightness from the Custom Professional Panel
  • Some of the best SDR/HDR images we have seen from OLED
  • Stunning calibrated results
  • Excellent HCX PRO AI processor
  • Very good audio from the speaker system
  • Good app choices, Freeview Play and decent OS
  • Very good gaming features
  • Calman AutoCal
  • All major HDR formats supported

The Not So Good

  • Only 2 HDMI 2.1 inputs
  • Some black gradation flashing with low bitrate content
  • Round stand design
  • Dolby Vision IQ has greyed out settings adding noise reduction and interpolation NOT as intended.

What is the Panasonic JZ2000?

This is Panasonic’s flagship TV for 2021 and features the custom pro OLED Panel with extra brightness and heatsink as well as the full Dolby Atmos built-in soundbar and up-firing speaker system tuned by Technics.

Following on from the GZ and HZ2000 models, the JZ adds in HDMI 2.1 ports with full resolution 4K/120 playback from a recent firmware update, as well as Dolby Vision VRR (Variable Refresh rate) gaming at 60Hz. Panasonic, like Philips this year, has made advances with the gaming side of its TVs for 2021 with better support for the latest gaming standards with 4K/120 HFR (High Frame Rate), AMD FreeSync Premium support, eARC, Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) as well as decent input lag at 14ms which is the same result as the JZ1500, which shares the same panel, but drops the Dolby Atmos soundbar and up-firing speakers.

The JZ2000 follows the creator’s intent as it is a Hollywood tuned TV adding in the Filmmaker Mode for accurate out of the box SDR and HDR picture quality. This is a one-button-press picture preset that aligns the TV with a D65 white point, Rec,709 colour gamut coverage for HD content and BT.1886 gamma. For HDR10 content, it tracks D65 white, DCI-P3 within BT.2020 colour and PQ EOTF ST.2084 tracking, which ensures that all SDR and HDR content is displayed as it was mastered and intended to be seen. There is also support for HDR10, HDR10+ Adaptive, Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) high dynamic range support.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

Of course, you can also fully calibrate the JZ2000 and it features the latest Portrait Displays’ Calman Autocal support which allows fast and effective reference calibration using the display controls remotely interfaced with the calibration software. The results can be superb when using this approach which allows faster accurate calibration to be performed. There are also built-in test patterns that can be accessed with the software to save on the use of an external, and expensive, pattern generator.

... design is subjective and some users will no doubt love it

Dolby Atmos audio is obviously supported by the JZ2000 which has a Technics tuned soundbar with LCR speakers and up-firing drivers for the front height effects channels. There is also the ability to add an external subwoofer using the switchable 3.5mm headphone jack and within the menus you can also set your crossover point.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The Panasonic JZ2000 also features the latest version of My Home Screen for its OS and Smart TV system. This features Freeview Play with all the UK terrestrial catch-up apps and channels, as well as the major streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ to name a few. The menus are also redesigned with a slick appearance, but maintain a familiar pattern and structure with a multitude of settings available to cover almost every possible option.

So, does the JZ2000 continue to provide the ultimate OLED picture quality for the enthusiast? Let’s find out.

Video Review

Design, Connections and Control

The JZ2000 follows the design cues of the last two models with an identical design to the chassis with the addition this year of a round, swivel stand. I have already made my feelings known regarding this stand in the JZ1500 review and can confirm that it hasn't changed since I reviewed that particular TV a few weeks ago. I just don’t feel it matches the design language and price level of the JZ2000, but of course, design is subjective and some users will no doubt love it.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The screen is minimalist in design with the large soundbar attached to the bottom of the screen and in the same dark coloured finish as the rest of the panel so it blends neatly together. There is a Panasonic logo situated in the middle of the soundbar, while the rest of the finish is sleek and expensive looking. The up-firing speakers are attached to the top centre of the screen with a Tuned by Technics logo on the top right side of the grille. Around the back, we have the connections.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The connections of the JZ2000 are sideways and downwards facing with a good assortment available. Sideways we have a CI slot, a 3.5mm headphone or subwoofer jack, two USB 2.0 slots and one HDMI 2.0b port. Downwards we have an RF and two satellite antenna, one HDMI 2.0b and two HDMI 2.1 ports, a legacy AV connector, Ethernet and a digital audio out.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

One slight disappointment is the remote control provided with this flagship TV which feels a little bit too plastic and cheap considering the price point. I would loved to have seen a silver metal faced remote with a backlight, but instead we get silver plastic which is identical to the JZ1500. The layout of the remote is intuitive and with good ergonomics, while it also sits neatly in the hand is and comfortable to hold. It is a shame that it is not quite to the build quality for the flagship, but it is perfectly serviceable in use.

Measurements

Out of the Box

As we do with all reviews, we factory reset the Panasonic JZ2000 and then measured the picture presets to find which is the most accurate to the industry standards out of the box so we can view content as it was mastered and intended to be seen. The best picture preset for this is Filmmaker Mode (FMM) as it tries to follow the industry standards. We measured FMM with the light sensor switched off in the menus.

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

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

Looking at the greyscale results we can see that FMM is yet again incredibly accurate out of the box with DeltaE errors around one, which is well below the visible threshold of three, meaning that there are no visible issues within TV and film content we view in Filmmaker Mode. Gamma is also tracking well with the BT.1886 standard, with just a slight darkening at 10% brightness, but this is not visible in most dark content and shadow details are still strong and visible.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The Rec.709 colour gamut results are a little more disappointing with some hue errors in magenta and yellow, with a slight undersaturation in the red saturation points. Our DeltaE errors average at 1.4 which is below the visible threshold of three and we couldn’t see any obvious errors when viewing TV and film content, however, it would be good if Panasonic were a little more accurate here.

Calibrated

The JZ2000 has a full suite of calibration controls and is also capable of being calibrated using Portrait Displays’ Calman Autocal with a built-in pattern generator. We calibrated the Panasonic manually for this review.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

Looking at the greyscale you can see that we have achieved reference level results with a DeltaE error average of just 0.4 which is well below the visible threshold of three. Gamma tracking is also very accurate to the BT.1886 standard with no visible errors seen within TV or film content we viewed.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The Rec.709 HD colour gamut is also reference level with excellent saturation tracking at all points within the graph. Once again, Panasonic shows how it can be done with their image accuracy, once calibrated.

HDR Results

The Panasonic JZ2000 uses the custom professional OLED panel with heat sink, which produces a high peak and full screen brightness. This is a development of work from Panasonic engineers and is the third example of this panel type we have seen from the company. It’s similar to this year’s LG G1, Philips OLED+936 and Sony A90J panels in using the heat dissipation layer, but with a few Panasonic-only tweaks to keep it slightly brighter than the rest.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

We measured the JZ2000 over various window sizes with a peak brightness of 877 nits on an industry standard 10% window with 147 nits full field brightness on a 100% window. This is identical to the JZ1500 result and is very impressive for an OLED panel. Only the Sony A90J manages to push the 100% window brightness slightly higher than the JZ2000, but the overall tone mapping and relaxed Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) circuit provides the JZ2000 with the edge when it comes to HDR performance.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

We have two different tone maps employed by the Panasonic JZ2000 depending on the mastered metadata for 1000 or 4000 nit content. With 1000 nit content, the tracking is accurate until the peak brightness where there is a hard clip.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The map for 4000 nits or higher varies in that it follows the standards but then gradually rolls off towards a clip point, so it retains all the highlight details within content. The JZ2000 will only apply these tone maps when Dynamic HDR Effect is switched off within the menus.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

The DCI-P3 colour gamut results are good with only a slight hue error in magenta and the gamut is not quite wide enough to achieve 100% coverage. None of the errors seen within the gamut chart are seen with actual HDR10 film content, providing an excellent, accurate viewing mode.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

We measured BT.2020 at 72% XY and 78% UV with P3 coming in at 96% XY and 99% UV.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

Performance

We are reviewing the 55-inch version of the JZ2000 and as it shares the same panel as the 65-inch set, we would expect the picture quality to be very close between sizes.

Where the JZ1500 this year appeals to those with an existing home cinema sound system, the JZ2000 continues to offer the Dolby Atmos soundbar and up-firing speakers, giving consumers a real choice in respect to panel vs. speaker system needs. The picture performance is almost identical between them both, as borne out by our measurements and viewing tests.

Once again, panel uniformity is excellent on the Panasonic with no obvious signs of dirty screen effect or banding with solid backgrounds and panning movements. We also have no issues with any colour shifts or tinting when viewing off axis. On a 5% brightness field we can see some very light banding to the panel, but this is not seen with normal viewing content, even with dark scenes viewed in a dark room.

Nobody gets close to the Panasonic for shadow detail

Black levels are superb on the JZ2000 with just above black detail retrieval being the party piece here. Nobody gets close to the Panasonic for shadow detail and it is this edge, along with the extra peak and full screen brightness that adds amazing dynamic range to the image. Like the JZ1500, I did notice a little bit of black gradation on poor bitrate content and some mild floating and flashing, which wasn’t present on last year’s HZ2000, so that feels like a slight backwards step, but in all reality you will never notice these issues unless you play certain test scenes and go looking for it. There was also some slight brightness posterisation, especially around bright objects against a darker background and there is no smooth gradation setting on the JZ2000, so I couldn’t find anything that got around this issue. However, once again, the instances of this being visible were rare and not a deal breaker, it’s just a slight misstep from a company like Panasonic and hopefully it will be resolved.

Video processing is also very good indeed with the HCX Pro AI processor producing an excellent upscaled image for HD to 4K content with no issues at all. Even SD content looks decent from a good source like DVD with no junk pixels or added edge enhancement.

... let’s set some expectations here, we are talking about very fine margins

Motion with 24fps is excellent without any induced judder and it also has the correct 5:5 pulldown. There are no issues with any frame skipping, even when using the Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) processing and interpolation. This is a step forward for Panasonic as the frame skip issue has been around for a number of years when using IFC, although it was rare and never really a deal-breaker, but it’s good that it no longer exists. Even 50Hz broadcast content also looks good with no visible issues with mixed cuts or fast moving content. You can of course experiment with IFC, especially for video based content and sports, but be aware that the more interpolation you add, the more likely you are to add in artefacts and false edges with fast moving objects.

If you are a film fan who watches movies in the dark and wants to see content exactly as it was mastered and intended to be seen, nobody does this better than Panasonic in my opinion. Now, let’s set some expectations here, we are talking about very fine margins, especially once calibrated correctly but, for me, the JZ1500 and JZ2000 are still the class leaders when it comes to cinematic images in SDR and HDR. Colour reproduction is always accurate on a Panasonic, even when directly out of the box in Filmmaker Mode. This has been the case for a number of years now, and while Sony is pushing in the right direction with the A90J and its excellent performance attributes, for me the Panasonic still edges it. It is however, incredibly close.

... performance is strong if you need such a sound solution

There is no getting away from the fact that LG, Philips and Sony are pushing the Evo panel performance this year to try and match the lead Panasonic has had a for a few years now, but when it comes to HDR, the JZ2000 (and JZ1500) is still the best performing OLED panel in my opinion. In Filmmaker HDR Mode the accuracy is fantastic with extremely accurate cinematic images, with superb just above black retrieval and stunning highlight details. Colours are yet again sublime and overall, the JZ2000 edges the competition for the ultimate cinematic image, in my opinion, having tested all the contenders in great detail this year. All four OLED TVs are superb and once again I have to manage expectations here: we are talking small differences. I go into more detail about my side-by-side testing in the JZ1500 review against the Sony A90J.

Even SD content looks decent from a good source

Notably, the Dolby Vision IQ settings on the JZ2000 are locked out with noise reduction and motion settings greyed out and interpolation being added. We think this is at Dolby’s request and is strange as they should be following the creator's intent and not adding video processing that removes or scrubs out fine details, or messes with film motion. We would suggest that Panasonic adds an option to use IQ without these items being switched on. If you want accuracy to the creator’s intent, you need to use Dolby Vision Dark and set the panel brightness manually to your viewing conditions.

Gaming Performance

Moving to gaming with the Xbox Series X and PS5, we didn’t find any issues with the Panasonic JZ2000 picture performance. Game mode allows full chroma, and the HDR performance is very good. Input lag came in at 14ms with a 4K 60P signal and the Panasonic makes a good gaming monitor for the next-gen consoles in our opinion. Recently, Panasonic has added a firmware update to the JZ1000, JZ1500 and JZ2000, which now displays full vertical resolution when using 4K120 and/or VRR, plus, it will also apply VRR to Dolby Vision at 60Hz.

Sound Performance

The JZ2000 obviously has the Tuned by Technics Dolby Atmos soundbar and up-firing speakers to add cinematic performance to its images. This year, the JZ1500 drops the sound system but adds the Custom Professional OLED Panel and the JZ2000 offers both.

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

Sound quality is good with a nice wide soundstage and the height channels do produce a wider and more immersive sound field. However, with the lack of actual speakers behind the listener, the sound is very much front heavy in that regard. Vocals and dialogue are intelligible with a nice crisp high frequency performance without any sibilance. Mid tones are also strong with a nice balance and no boxiness to the overall sound quality. The only downsides are a lack of any weight to the sound and bass is a little woolly and loose, especially with music tracks. However, adding an external subwoofer does tighten up the bottom end and the ability to punch in your desired crossover adds to the flexibility. Whether the sound quality is worth the uptick in asking price over the JZ1500 will be down to your needs and only you will be able to answer that question, but the performance is strong if you need such a sound solution.

Conclusion

Panasonic JZ2000 (TX-55JZ2000) OLED TV Review

Just like the JZ1500 we tested a few weeks ago, the Panasonic JZ2000 is an outstanding OLED TV that adds a very good sound system to the class leading Custom Professional OLED Panel. It also produces an outstanding HDR performance that, in a very strong field of competitors this year, is still the most impactful and accurate we have witnessed so far from an OLED.

It’s not just HDR where the JZ2000 excels, it is also the most cinematic TV we have tested in 2021 and if this is what you’re looking for in terms of picture quality, the JZ2000 (and JZ1500) offers exceptionally accurate images as the creator intended. Blacks are rich and deep with excellent shadow detailing with natural, lifelike skin tones and colours. Motion is also superb with no issues of 24fps induced judder or frame skipping with film content. The new processor is fast and provides superb upscaling performance to add to the excellent motion, with images looking sharp and detailed, but without the digitally processed look of some rival screens.

Gaming is also now a serious consideration on a Panasonic TV this year with two HDMI 2.1 inputs and support for eARC, VRR, AMD FreeSync Premium and 4K/120 with full resolution thanks to a recent firmware update. Input lag also comes in at an impressive 14ms for 4K/60.

... the JZ1500 and JZ2000 are still the class leaders when it comes to cinematic images in SDR and HDR

Smart TV and the system OS is perhaps the slight weak point with the JZ2000 as it retains the My Home Screen system. Most major apps are available, including the recent addition of Disney+, but some are still missing, such as Apple TV+. However, Freeview Play support also adds all the UK terrestrial catch-up applications as well as content management via a dedicated Freeview Play app.

All of the flagship OLED TVs this year offer superb performance and the differences between them will come down to what suits you and your viewing preferences. These differences are incredibly small, especially when it comes to image quality with SDR and HDR content, but for me the JZ2000 and in turn the JZ1500 offer the best cinematic, accurate images, that mirror how the content you view was mastered and intended to be seen. And, for AVForums readers, that will be one of the most important factors when deciding which TV to go for.

So, if you are a film enthusiast who wants the best possible image quality for SDR and HDR from a 2021 OLED TV, your choice is easy. If you want the image quality minus the sound, you go for the JZ1500 and if you want the full package including the sound, the Panasonic JZ2000 is for you and comes highly recommended!

Highly Recommended

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

10

Screen Uniformity

.
9

Colour Accuracy

.
9

Greyscale Accuracy

.
9

Video Processing

.
9

Picture Quality

.
9

SDR Picture Quality

10

HDR Picture Quality

.
9

Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box

.
9

Picture Quality Calibrated

10

Sound Quality

.
9

Smart Features

.
.
8

Build Quality

.
9

Ease of Use

.
9

Value for Money

.
.
.
7

Verdict

.
9

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The games console used in this review was kindly supplied by our gaming partner Smyths Toys Gaming, the No.1 choice for next-gen Gaming


9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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