What is the Panasonic EZ1002?
The EZ1000 is intended to be a semi-professional product that will not only be available to consumers but also be used in post-production facilities and at events such as the Cannes Film Festival. To ensure the EZ1000 delivers an uncompromising level of image accuracy, the TVs have been tuned by Hollywood colourists working for Deluxe. Naturally such an approach doesn’t come cheap and the 65EZ1002 will set you back a hefty £6,999. That puts Panasonic’s new flagship OLED TV at the higher end of the price range, although there will also be the more affordable EZ952 model available in 55 and 65 inch screen sizes. So does the EZ1000 live up to it’s promise of delivering the ultimate picture performance – let's find out.
Connections & Control
The second remote is a touch pad controller that has been designed for day-to-day use and easy navigation of the Smart TV platform. The touch pad uses the same silver brushed metal finish as the larger remote and has a black section with a textured surface, it is small and curved, sits comfortably in your hand and is very simple to use. It pairs to the TV using Bluetooth and includes a microphone for voice control. Finally if you’d rather use your smart device as a controller, there are also free remote apps for both iOS and Android with Swipe & Share and Smart Calibration features.
Features & Specs
MORE: What is Dolby Vision?
The EZ1002 includes Panasonic's Studio Colour HCX2 processor that includes ‘Delta Zero’ accuracy and thanks to 3D look-up tables (LUTs) similar to those used by Panasonic’s professional filmmaking and broadcast monitor divisions, the manufacturer claims the EZ1000 deliver some of the most accurate colours found on a consumer television. The HCX2 processor is also designed to improve the near-black performance, providing improved amounts of detail in even the darkest scenes.
The EZ1002 also carries a number of semi-professional features, including the option for professional users to upload their own colour 3D LUTs by SD/USB memory, if required. The OLED TV also includes ISF calibration settings and compatibility with CalMAN calibration software. The EZ1000 includes THX certification and is certified as Ultra HD Premium by the UHD Alliance. However, as with almost all TVs these days, the EZ1002 does not support 3D.
The EZ1002 features a newly developed My Home Screen 2.0 smart TV system and although Firefox has stopped development, since it is open source Panasonic will continue to support their own smart platform. The newly updated OS introduces features such as favourites folders for multiple users, a My App button on the remote that can be customised for faster access to your own favourite content, and a revamped Media Player app that supports 4K HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma content.
For UK users there is a new version of Freeview Play, which introduces new search/recommendation tools and a Quick Look Guide that shows past, live and future TV programs for the current channel. Also included are live thumbnails of what’s showing on other channels. The EZ1002 will also support 4K HDR streaming from Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.
Panasonic TX-65EZ1002B Recommended TV Settings
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-Box
All our measurements were done with a Klein K-10A colour meter, a Murideo Fresco Six-G pattern generator and CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. If you want to set your new TV up correctly then you can either follow the simple steps in our PicturePerfect Guide or take a look at the video above.
Overall this is a really impressive out-of-the-box performance from the EZ1002 but of course these measurements are based on only one sample and TV panels can vary significantly. However if Panasonic are able to deliver this level of accuracy consistently on their retail samples then the EZ1000 will be the first TV to deliver a reference greyscale, gamma and colour gamut performance out-of-the-box.
Picture Settings – Calibrated
Picture Settings – High Dynamic Range
We measured the Relative Colour Volume, which takes the display's own peak brightness and measures the colour volume relative to that peak brightness based on the CIE L*a*b* colour graph and 140 data points. For the EZ1002 we got measurements of 116% against Rec. 709, 78% against DCI-P3 and 52% against Rec. 2020 but these measurements aren't taking into account the maximum nits that the content is graded at, which is obviously much higher than the peak brightness of an OLED TV.
Alternatively we can look at the Perceptual Colour Volume, which uses the PQ EOTF out to 10,000nits and the Rec. 2020 colour gamut measured using the ICtCp colour graph which takes into account human visual perception. This measurement uses 393 data points and delivers a number expressed in Millions of Distinguishable Colours (MDC). So a theoretical display that could deliver 10,000nits of peak brightness and 100% of Rec. 2020 would be able to deliver 997 million distinguishable colours or an MDC number of 997 and by comparison the EZ1000 produced an MDC number of 338.
Black Levels and Contrast RatiosIt will hardly come as a surprise to discover that the black level and contrast ratio performance of the EZ1002 was superb. Using our target peak brightness of 120nits we measured the black level at zero and, as anyone who remembers maths from school will know, if you divide any number by zero the result is infinity. For the same reason the ANSI contrast ratio was also infinity and, as a result, standard dynamic range images had incredible depth to them. What was even more impressive was that Panasonic have managed to deliver these incredibly deep blacks without crushing shadow detail. We found that that the EZ1000 was the best OLED we have tested to date when it comes to reproducing detail just above black and the image was also free of any of the macro-blocking that had plagued near black images on last year’s LG OLEDs.
Screen UniformitySo far so good and the EZ1002 continued to impress with excellent uniformity on a full field grey pattern and the image was also free of any vignetting or dark edges. The Panasonic was equally as impressive with a full field white pattern, with an image free of any dirty screen effect (DSE) or discolouration. The Absolute Black Filter certainly helped in that regard and was also effective at eliminating reflections when using the EZ1000 during the day. Unfortunately, using a 5% grey pattern there was visible banding, although this kind of banding has been seen on every OLED panel that we've tested. In the case of the EZ1002 we weren't normally aware of it but we did occasionally see it on camera pans in dark scenes, although it was rarely apparent during football matches as the camera panned across the pitch, which is good news for sports fans.
We generally had no problems with image retention aside from the odd high contrast test pattern that had been up for a while but that soon disappeared, which is welcome news for gamers. Unlike LG's OLED TVs, the EZ1002 neither dimmed a static image nor switched to a screen saver after a certain period of time and the only anti-image retention features we found were a Pixel Orbiter feature that intermittently shifts the pixels to prevent image retention and a Panel Maintenance feature that can be used from time to time. So it would appear that Panasonic, like Sony, have a slightly more relaxed approach to the issue of image retention and screen burn than LG. One area where OLED is particularly strong is in terms of viewing angles and the EZ1000 delivered perfect images in our tests with no drop-off in contrast or colour, even at extreme angles.
Motion HandlingAlthough OLED panels actually have very fast response times they use a 'sample and hold' approach that results in motion that is more like an LCD TV than a plasma. The motion handling on the EZ1002 was surprisingly good and with all the motion features turned off, we measured the motion resolution at around 400 lines, although that number increases to the full 1080 if you engage Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) which uses frame interpolation. This can introduce a certain degree of smoothing, although that won’t necessarily be an issue with sports content.
We actually found that the Low setting was able to improve the motion performance without actually introducing the dreaded ‘soap opera effect’ so you could even use it with film-based content. However the Mid and Max settings will make film images look too smooth, so you should definitely avoid them for movies and TV dramas but you can certainly try them with fast-paced sports. There is also a Custom option which allows you to adjust Blur Reduction and Film Smooth individually using sliding scales from 0 to 10, so you could also experiment with this as well.
As an alternative Panasonic also offer a Clear Motion setting which uses black frame insertion (BFI) to improve motion handling. This feature certainly did improve the motion and did so without making film images look unnaturally smooth and it’s also an option in Game Mode, which IFC isn’t. However some people might experience flicker and it does make the image darker so we wouldn’t recommend it for HDR content but it's certainly worth trying for gamers and sports fans.
Standard Dynamic Range ContentPanasonic’s stated goal with the EZ1002 was to deliver the ultimate in picture quality and in terms of standard dynamic range (SDR) content we would say they have come very close. The combination of deep blacks, accurate images and superior video processing resulted in superb pictures with SDR content. The inherent dynamic range gave images a wonderful depth and solidity, whilst the viewing angles were incredibly wide. The staggeringly accurate greyscale, gamma and colour gamut show the potential of the Studio Colour HCX2 processor and proves that the tuning of the EZ1000 by colourists from Deluxe has certainly paid dividends. All these factors, combined with the impressive motion handling and effective upscaling of lower resolution content, resulted in beautifully rendered images and even standard definition broadcasts like Agents of SHIELD looked good.
Once we moved on to high definition content the improvements were even more apparent with dramas and documentaries looking particularly impressive. The pictures delivered deep blacks where necessary but retained fine detail in the shadows. The processing was able to scale the high definition images to match the 4K panel and high quality documentaries from the BBC really gave the EZ1000 the chance to shine, producing incredibly detailed images that retained a natural and realistic appearance. The Panasonic also handled the video streaming services well, with both Netflix and Amazon delivering marvellous looking images with well-shot shows such as The Expanse, Sense8 and American Gods.
When it came to football, as mentioned earlier, there were rarely any problems with banding and the motion handling was excellent. This makes the EZ1002 a great, if rather expensive, TV for sports fans, especially if they like fast-paced sporting action. Naturally the Panasonic was particularly impressive with Blu-rays and a computer-generated animation like Moana looked simply stunning. The detail in the animated images were perfectly rendered and the deep blacks combined with the reference greyscale and colour accuracy produced images that popped off the screen. The Blu-ray release of Rogue One was equally as impressive, with the EZ1000 delivering the detailed picture with remarkable precision and accuracy. The film’s gorgeous photography retained a sense of realism whilst the various battles remained suitably visceral. The darker scenes had lovely blacks but retained detail in the shadows to ensure an image that had real depth.
High Dynamic Range ContentWhen it comes to image quality there’s no doubt that OLED is superior to LCD with SDR material but where things are slightly less clear cut is with High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. An OLED TV still retains those incredibly deep blacks, allowing it to deliver more detail in darker scenes thanks to the increased dynamic range of HDR, whilst each pixel is self illuminating and thus allows the tiny specular highlights in an HDR image, like sunlight reflecting off a chrome bumper, to be delivered with greater precision by an OLED TV like the EZ1002. The colour gamut on the Panasonic is almost 100% of DCI-P3 and the tracking is also extremely good, as a result the EZ1000 is capable of delivering accurate colours, particularly at lower luminance levels. However where an OLED struggles is in terms of actual peak luminance and at 640nits the EZ1002 is significantly less bright than an LCD TV like Panasonic’s own DX902 and half that of Sony's XE93.
That’s not to suggest that HDR images on the EZ1002 are bad, far from it, and in many respects they are among the best we have seen. A reference disc like Planet Earth II reveals astonishing levels of detail, with every hair on a leopard’s face or the arid vistas of a vast desert landscape. The colours were incredibly accurate, the black levels and shadow detail superb in the nighttime sequences and the tiniest specular highlights such as water droplets on a beetle’s shell were delivered with precision. As a result the peak highlights such as the sun shining through a forest canopy still looked bright on a relative basis, even if they don't measure as such on an absolute basis. Yes the HDR images didn't have quite the same impact as they did on the best LCD TVs but at the same time there were no issues with haloing or a loss of contrast off-axis.
Along with Planet Earth II we watched a number of other Ultra HD Blu-rays that we enjoy, including the incredible Technicolor-like images that the filmmakers deliberately created for La La Land and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which looked equally as fantastic with the colours of the various beasts being rendered with remarkable subtlety and the nighttime street scenes revealing the bright headlight reflections on the wet roads. The opening scene of Passengers is also a favourite as we see the Avalon slowly appear out of an incredibly detailed star field which the EZ1002 rendered with precision, along with the detailed spaceship interiors which also looked wonderful.
Where the Panasonic struggled was with darker films such as Underworld: Blood Wars, which takes place almost entirely at night. Here the EZ1000’s limited brightness compared to an LCD TV resulted in images that lacked any real depth or impact and whilst there are things you can do to mitigate this, you lose the accuracy that Panasonic are striving for. As is the case with all OLEDs we’ve tested to date, the EZ1002 also wasn’t able to properly render the ‘Arriving in Neverland’ scene from Pan with the sun setting behind the mountain appearing clipped. However in all other respects the Panasonic delivered a superb HDR performance.
Panasonic TX-65EZ1002B Video Review
When it came to music the clarity and detail was very good, whilst the localisation of instruments was suitably precise. We found that listening to movies like La La Land and Moana, where the music is part of the narrative, the EZ1000 did a great job. Of course the amount of immersion is limited, you don't get the surround effects and the bass is lacking but for general TV viewing the soundbar is more than adequate. The good news is that if you want to use your own audio solution, then you can simply remove the soundbar and mount the EZ1002 on a VESA wall bracket or stand instead. It's a shame that you end up paying for a feature that you might not use but the ability to turn the EZ1000 into a high-end monitor might appeal to many enthusiasts.
Input Lag & Energy Usage
In terms of the EZ1002’s energy consumption it proved to be comparable to other OLED TVs that we have reviewed recently and using a full window 50% white pattern we measured the Normal picture mode at 108W and our calibrated Professional 2 mode at 87W. Once we moved on to HDR the level of energy consumption obviously increased and the EZ1000 was drawing 182W with our optimal settings.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best)||71%|
|HDMI 2.0a Inputs|
|HDCP 2.2 Support|
|4K Streaming Services|
|Smart TV Platform|
|Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10)||10|
|What do these mean?|
- Superb blacks and contrast ratio
- Fantastic dynamic range
- Reference image accuracy
- Great detail just above black
- Excellent video processing
- Wide viewing angles
- Low input lag
- Minor banding just above black
- No Dolby Vision support
- Very expensive
Panasonic EZ1002 4K OLED TV Review
Should I buy one?Well if you're looking for an uncompromising image performance with the most accurate pictures ever seen on a consumer display then the Panasonic EZ1002 should certainly be on your (very) short list. It has a good set of features, two remote controls, a low input lag and plenty of connections. The included soundbar might be something of an acquired taste but it does sound good and if you'd rather use your own audio solution, it can be removed entirely. There's no getting around the fact that the EZ1000 is expensive but if picture quality is your primary concern and cost is no object, then the Panasonic is sure to please.
The semi-professional nature of its processing resulted in images that were simply sublime with deep blacks, excellent shadow detail and superb contrast. Colours were very natural, the scaling/deinterlacing was impressive, the motion handling surprisingly good and the screen free of any discolouration or other artefacts. The performance with standard dynamic range content was incredibly impressive and with high dynamic range material it was also excellent thanks to accurate colours and precise tone mapping. The fine detail of the 4K panel and the pixel level precision of the specular highlights all combined to produce lovely HDR images.
So why no reference badge? Well the EZ1002 isn't perfect but in fairness to Panasonic the TV's only weaknesses relate to the inherent limitations of OLED technology. The biggest problem is that like any other OLED TV we have tested there is banding in the image just above black but for the most part this isn't visible. However you do occasionally see this banding especially with pans across dark scenes, although less so with football which is good news for sports fans. The other problem is in terms of peak brightness and especially overall image brightness with HDR content. The EZ1002 can deliver the specular highlights with greater precision but as with any OLED TV the image lacks the punch seen on LCD TVs capable of hitting well over 1,000nits. The EZ1000 also doesn't support Dolby Vision, which is likely to become more of an issue as the format grows in popularity.
Two years ago when we awarded the CZ952 Reference Status there were hardly any OLED TVs available but since then not only have three more manufacturers released OLED TVs of their own but LG have vastly expanded their range with five different models this year alone. In addition the entire TV landscape has completely changed thanks to the advent of HDR and thus no one TV can be considered a reference point in these rapidly changing times.
However the Panasonic TX-65EZ1002B is an uncompromising statement of intent from a manufacturer that has slightly lost its way in the last couple of years. It is, in most respects, a resounding success and it's good to see Panasonic back delivering the kind of image performance we associate with them, not to mention a level of picture accuracy only previously seen on professional monitors. But you will need deep pockets to own one.
What are the alternatives?The good news is that anyone looking for an OLED TV has plenty of choice this year and if the EZ1002 is out of your price range, which it will be for most people, there are plenty of cheaper options. The most obvious alternative will be Panasonic's own EZ952 range which should offer similar levels of performance but at a much lower price point and with the option of a 55-inch screen size as well. In terms of the competition, Sony's excellent KD-65A1 can be picked up for £4,999 and this model delivers a very similar performance to the EZ1000, especially in terms of HDR, but adds some unique features like the acoustic surface that uses the entire screen as a speaker. The A1 will also offer an upgrade for Dolby Vision later in the year and comes in a 55-inch screen size if that appeals. Another option is the Philips 55POS901F, which is a fantastic performer for its £2,499 asking price, although like the Panasonic it doesn't support Dolby Vision. Although we haven't reviewed them yet there are also OLED models available from from Loewe that will support Dolby Vision and naturally LG will be offering the widest selection of OLED models in 2017. Based on our preview of the W7 we can expect their entire range to deliver an impressive performance combined with excellent features including Dolby Vision support.
MORE: Read All OLED TV Reviews
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
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