Question Unhappy with GZ950's near black rendering... considering HZ1000 vs Sony A8 instead (?)

luisreg81

Standard Member
So I've just bought a Panasonic 65" GZ950 and I'm not convinced at all about how it handles the near-black levels and low-key scenes. There's no natural gradient into the blacks, just a harsh fall. I've tried both the out of the box THX and Professional setups to no success (at 2.2 gamma), and will use my XRite 1 + AutoCal for Panasonic tomorrow to see if I can improve it in anyway.

I've owned only Panasonic LCD & Plasmas in the past and always find their image so classy, natural and most cinema-like than other "poppy" brands. This is my first OLED experience...

I'm considering one of the following in 65":
Panasonic HZ1000 ("Master OLED" = any real panel improvement over GZ950 panel?)
Sony A8

They are all similar priced in the UK atm

Would you recommend any one over the other in terms of near-black levels rendering AND naturalistic colour reproduction?

Main use: Apple TV 4K (iTunes + Netflix + Prime)

I really appreciate your thoughts!

Lew
 
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SimonST

Distinguished Member
Ignoring the issue of individual panels being sub-par, the Panasonic oleds are the best at handling near black, so I'd either do an exchange if the retailer had more gz950s in stock, or go for a HZ1000.
 

luisreg81

Standard Member
Ignoring the issue of individual panels being sub-par, the Panasonic oleds are the best at handling near black, so I'd either do an exchange if the retailer had more gz950s in stock, or go for a HZ1000.

thank you! I don't have the OLED know-how in order to properly ID whether this is just my perception, a Panasonic panel inherent characteristic or an actual panel malfunction. I understand OLED panels are mostly similar and not prone to individual problems out of the factory (as opposed to LCDs). I'm worried getting a replacement will be the same issue here... Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

SimonST

Distinguished Member
thank you! I don't have the OLED know-how in order to properly ID whether this is just my perception, a Panasonic panel inherent characteristic or an actual panel malfunction. I understand OLED panels are mostly similar and not prone to individual problems out of the factory (as opposed to LCDs). I'm worried getting a replacement will be the same issue here... Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Could be a combination of elements really. OLED will show flaws in content more readily than a Plasma or LCD will, just because it can display practically every step from the dark greys to absolute black, whereas LCDs/Plasmas don't have quite the same range, and compressed content will often sacrifice accurate reproduction in those darkest blacks where most TVs (until the last few years at least, i.e. OLED) have hidden all that information. I've always said near-black handling is going to be unique to each panel, some are better than others (that goes for every brand), but usually the difference shouldn't be that noticeable. If you're seeing really obvious issues with many of your 4K DV/HDR streams, then I'd be inclined to think it's possibly the individual TV; as I say, Panasonic are really good at near-black, natural colours, basically the most cinematic-looking OLEDs, so it's going to be the TV itself rather than the Panasonic model. Your settings need to be somewhat right too, but getting the basic brightness/contrast right should be more than enough to clear up any major issues caused just by wrong setting, you wouldn't be expected to need a professional calibration or your colorimeter/autocal, that should just be to fine-tune for accuracy. Hopefully you get it sorted one way or another, I doubt you'll find a better TV for your needs tbh.
 

JayPee2610

Active Member
I would also say go for an exchange. Sounds like a bad factory calibration (had that with my last A8 as well). It could, however, also just be a matter of getting used to it. Oleds can achieve levels of dark grey that are darker than LCD‘s or plasma‘s actual black levels. When I switched to Oled, I also thought that near black was too dark, but the measurements between 1 and 5% were almost reference. So it was because I was used to brighter „near black“, even from my ST30 Plasma I hat before. So trying to measure it seems like a good way to find out.
 

luisreg81

Standard Member
Thanks guys. I will return it and buy an HZ1000 because:

* The out-of-the-box calibration of my GZ980 was way way off (Delta >10.0), this just makes me suspicious so I rather do not take chances and skip to a newer and upper level model.

* CalmMan Home for Panasonic DOLBY VISION support starts on HZ series (GZ series SDR only)

* Panel should be exactly the same LG one for both GZ950 and HZ1000 but image processing seems to have improved in a small but measurable way.

* Cheap-looking but pretty convenient swivel base of the HZ1000. Nice for my L-sofas room.

* eARC support on the HZ1000

* Smooth Motion Drive w/ upgraded BFI: Even if the new BFI works better as being said around, the brightness loss is a no-no for me.

* Filmmaker/Dolby Vision IQ: I do not care for these in practical terms but nice to have them.

What do you think?
 
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dion 6

Active Member
Hi I've had a 65INCH GZ950 for a year now and its the best tv I've ever had previously I've had a LG 930v oled for 4.5 years and the near black on the panasonic is far superior I think you must of had a poor panel to be honest I don't think the HZ will be much of an improvement most of the upgrades apart from eARC are just marketing smoke and mirrors I'm sure anybody who has just bought HZ won't agree gut most people will just turn off the light sensors etc and use the pro1 and pro2 settings and dolby vision dark and dolby vision light
 

JayPee2610

Active Member
I’d say it depends on the price difference and what you actually use.

I’m about to return my second HZ1500 due to the light sensor not working correctly. It works fine with SDR sources, but with DV IQ there ist definitely something wrong. In a dark room, the picture suddenly becomes way too bright and it can only be corrected by switching back and forth between DV dark an DV IQ. I’ve also had the same audio issues with both TVs, no matter the source. While I think it might be a software issue, it bothers me a lot. Other than that (and the yellow ring my panel has on the left side) it’s a great TV.
 

luisreg81

Standard Member
Yes, I've given it a good thought and maybe it's not worth the USD 500 extra from the GZ950 to the HZ1000.

I've managed to cal the panel very well and results at 2.2 gamma (against my original 2.4 for pitch dark room) with an almost perfect colour matrix are satisfactory for me (see calibration before/after results here), resulting in a nice low level black gradient.

I won't be using eARC or the image gimmicks as I now have the custom calibration loaded.

L
 

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