PANASONIC IS BACK LEADING THE PACK WITH IT’S OLED IMPLEMENTATION
PANASONIC RULED THE roost back in the days of plasma TV, but when the market moved towards light-and-thin, LED-based LCD televisions, plasma died – and Panasonic spent some years in the wilderness. But now Panasonic is back! Its new, 2018 range of OLED TVs haven’t just caught up with the pack, they’re leading it.
The primary new ranges are the FZ950 and FZ1000, which both come in 55-inch and 65-inch variants. The screens and features are the same but the FZ1000-series comes with an attractive, thin-but-powerful, 80W soundbar called a ‘Blade Speaker’ that has been tuned by the audio gurus at Technics. The FZ950 models already come with four 10W speakers, but if you want to boost that with the FZ1000 it’ll cost you a several hundred dollar premium. The TVs are the same otherwise.
Despite being relatively new, Panasonic’s TVs have already crashed in price. The 65-inch model has dropped. So are they any good?
Quite simply, yes! They all use LG’s all-conquering OLED technology, but Panasonic adds its own electronics and features. Panasonic has partnered with Hollywood colour experts to help create the best picture possible – movie producers are now literally using Panasonic’s colour technology while creating major blockbusters in order to ensure that colour is not just as good as it can be on set or in the cinema, but at home on TV too.
We don’t just get the stunning colour reproduction and true-black performance that comes with the OLED screen, either; a special Absolute Black filter is used in order to minimise reflections and ensure that even the darkest shapes are visible on screen in bright, Aussie homes. Contrast is enhanced further with HDR10+ technology (which Panasonic created in partnership with Samsung). This technology rivals Dolby Vision but doesn’t come with Dolby’s expensive licensing fee and means that compatible content on Amazon Prime and 4K Blu-rays has colour-scales adjusted every single scene using the same “Dynamic Look-Up-Tables” that studio post-production departments used at the time of content creation. Just to add to the plaudits, all of the screens are also THX and Ultra HD Premium certified. But ultimately, just looking at the screen when it displays the best content tells you at a glance, that it doesn’t really get much better than this.
Other features include voice control that’s compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. Panasonic uses its My Home Screen 3 operating system, which contains the most important catch-up TV channels plus Bigpond Movies, Amazon, and Netflix and they’re all easily accessed via the large, practical (if not flamboyant) remote. The thin bezel looks very sophisticated and it’s ideal for wall mounting.
At two-and-a-half grand, the TH-55FZ950U is our pick overall: it’s one thing to find a big OLED TV at this price, but to find a new, latest-generation model with all of the latest features and picture enhancements – that’s extraordinary value.
THEY ALL USE LG’S ALL-CONQUERING OLED TECHNOLOGY BUT PANASONIC ADDS ITS OWN ELECTRONICS AND FEATURES.