Today Panasonic has officially ended the high dynamic range war. Well, sort of. How? Because it has become the first TV brand to do the decent thing and make a television that supports both the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision premium HDR formats.
As we’ll see, the new Panasonic GZ2000 OLED television isn’t just exciting because it finally does away with the frustrating situation whereby the brand of TV you buy dictates the HDR formats you can enjoy. But it’s certainly a very important, consumer-facing feature that should win the TV many fans on both sides of the AV industry.
The HDR-neutral move makes perfect sense given that a) Panasonic introduced 4K Blu-ray players in 2018 that supported both the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats, and b) Panasonic’s ambitions of making consumer TVs that can also be used as professional mastering monitors pretty much necessitate the inclusion of Dolby Vision support.
As we see all too often in the consumer AV world, though, just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it always happens. So kudos to Panasonic taking such a sensible step despite in the past having thrown its weight behind just one particular side of the premium HDR war.
The GZ2000’s extends its new relationship with Dolby to its sound, too, by introducing Dolby Atmos audio playback. It supports this, moreover, by building up-firing speakers into the top of its rear, and a substantial looking forward-firing soundbar beneath the screen.
These speakers are tuned by the acclaimed Technics audio brand, too, and use Technics’ ‘JENO Engine’ technology to deliver a more accurate, refined sound.
Also inside the GZ2000 TVs is yet another refinement of Panasonic’s long-respected HCX processing engine. Now dubbed the HCX PRO Intelligent processor, this delivers a myriad of picture enhancements designed in conjunction with the Hollywood creative community. These enhancements include an even faster color Dynamic Look Up Table (LUT), making it even better than previous Panasonic models at displaying the correct color for every brightness level.
Panasonic’s work on what’s described as a ‘bespoke Professional Edition 4K OLED panel’, meanwhile, claims to have delivered a much higher average brightness level with HDR content, as well as better contrast handling.
Finally, the GZ2000 sees the introduction of Panasonic’s My Home Screen 4.0 smart interface, highlights of which are a redesigned and completely customizable GUI, and support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control.
The GZ2000 OLED TVs will be available in 2019 in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, at as yet unconfirmed prices. Though unfortunately it seems that they won’t be available for regular consumers (as opposed to professional mastering studios) to buy in the US.
Look out for a hands on with Panasonic’s exciting new TV in the next two or three days.
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