The Panasonic TV lineup for 2020 is more packed than ever, thanks to a brand-new OLED TV model offering an even cheaper entry point to Panasonic's fantastically cinematic TVs. (What is OLED? Check out our in-depth guide.)
When it comes to televisions, Panasonic has been going from strength to strength, with brilliantly broad HDR support, a host of top-notch OLED panels, and sets like the GX800 that nail that mid-range price point.
Not everything is perfect, with Disney Plus still nowhere to be seen, and Panasonic being slower to HDMI 2.1 support than a lot of other TV brands. But Panasonic's cinematic reputation means that its 2020 TV lineup are still very much worth a look.
So, which Panasonic TVs are on the way in 2020? Let's take a look at what's on the market, what we know is coming soon, and which sets from last year are still worth a look.
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New Panasonic TVs for 2020
Panasonic HZ2000 4K OLED (55, 65-inch)
The Panasonic HZ2000 OLED is the TV maker’s flagship device for 2020. This model was announced at CES 2020 and is available in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. It's the successor to last year’s GZ2000, a TV that we gave a full five stars in our review. The newest model features a custom-made OLED panel and broad HDR support, with a few enhancements that could again make this one of the best TVs of the year.
The HZ2000 will make use of the same HCX Pro Intelligent processor as Panasonic’s 2019 OLED lineup, though with a few tweaks to HDR functionality – including Filmmaker Mode. Expect upward-firing Atmos speakers too.
Read our full Panasonic HZ2000 TV review
Panasonic HZ1500 4K OLED (55, 65-inch)
The next step down, the HZ1500 features 80W of audio (rather than 140W) and a regular OLED panel (instead of a custom one).
Like the HZ2000, this model comes with Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode, with the HZ1500 featuring upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers.
Read our full Panasonic HZ1500 TV review
Panasonic HZ1000 4K OLED (55, 65-inch)
The HZ1000 is near identical to the HZ1500, but only with 30W of audio instead of the latter's 80W. Still, you're getting a high-end OLED panel with universal HDR format support, and a swivel stand for angling the TV to wherever you want in the room. Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode are present too.
Read the full Panasonic HZ1000 TV review
Panasonic HZ980 4K OLED (55, 65-inch)
Panasonic also shook things up by announcing a new OLED model called the HZ980, which is set to be an even more affordable entry-level OLED than the HZ1000, likely to compete with the LG BX and LG B9. It uses lower-spec motion smoothing, and ditches the swivel stand for slightly cheaper assembly parts, but otherwise nothing is different from the HZ1000.
The 55-inch model is now available, with the 65-inch model coming later in the year.
Panasonic HX940 LED TV (43, 65, 75-inch)
Panasonic's flagship LED-LCD TV is the HX940. It has the same HDR support as its OLED siblings – though the 43-inch and 65-inch use an IPS panel rather than the VA panel of the 75-inch. A smart mid-range buy with an innovative backlight system – even if the picture can't compete with OLED.
Read our full Panasonic HX940 TV review
Panasonic HX800 LED TV (40, 50, 58, 65-inch)
The successor to the excellent GX800 (2019) is here, and offers a near-perfect trade-off of price and performance. As a mid-range set with strong pictures, Atmos compatible audio, and universal HDR support – albeit with a HCX chip rather than the HCX Intelligent Pro processor – it's hard to go wrong here.
Read our full Panasonic HX800 TV review
Panasonic TV technology 2020
As well as the new TV models launching in 2020, we expect there will be a number of TV tech announcements and added features from Panasonic that are either coming soon or set to be added to multiple devices in the new line-up.
The first is Dolby Vision IQ, which we already know is inside Panasonic's flagship 2020 TV, the Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV, as well as the HZ1500 and HZ1000 models.
Designed to make shows and movies look great in any room at any time of the day, the new feature was announced at CES 2020 alongside the new Panasonic HZ2000 OLED and LG Gallery Series OLED, two of the first TVs to use the new technology.
It works by using the dynamic metadata encoded in Dolby Vision content along with an embedded light sensor in the TV. This information is then used to change the picture settings and display a more accurate picture.
What that means is that Dolby Vision IQ can tell that you’re watching TV in a brightly lit room where lots of dark details are getting lost. To compensate, the TV will be able to boost the brightness automatically without you having to go into the picture settings and do it yourself.
This is exciting because OLED TVs have a reputation for dim outputs, so an additional brightness control could be what the HZ2000 needs to win the naysayers over.
The next new technology worth mentioning is Filmmaker Mode, which we first heard about in late 2019. This promises to display movies as those who created them want you to see it. The thinking is that recreating works of cinema accurately can be difficult, even for high-end smart TVs.
Filmmaker mode sets the correct frame rate and aspect ratio, adjusts colour and contrast, and turns off noise reduction and image sharpening. You no longer need to delve into picture menus to tweak the picture to your liking. Want to know more? Visit https://t.co/ZbqNyBO5XJ pic.twitter.com/JrNGOGnCzOJune 25, 2020
This is because there's a lot of the variance in panel technologies, processing techniques, and lighting arrays. No two TV models can really show exactly the same image, and the default settings on many 4K TVs will often change or distort the picture that a film's director or colorist will have seen in the production studio.
Filmmaker Mode will attempt to correct some of the more drastic picture setting alterations, preventing excessively high contrast settings, and removing motion smoothing – which is a processing technology designed to 'smooth out' fast-moving scenes, like action sequences or car chases.
There's a similar Netflix Calibrated Mode, which has already been rolled out to some Sony Bravia models and some of Panasonic's 2019 line-up as standard. You'd already expect to be getting a good picture on a brand new OLED TV, but the mode offers another way to play around with your settings to get an image you're happy with. It's also likely to please those who want the most faithful recreation of their favorite Netflix shows and Netflix movies.
Panasonic does fall behind the competition in a couple of places, though – namely, the lack of HDMI 2.1, which features on LG, Sony, and Samsung TVs these days. There's no Disney Plus support yet, either, meaning you'll have to resort to plugging in a games console or streaming stick to enjoy classic Disney movies.
Every new set will work with both Google Assistant and Alexa, and also come with the latest version of Panasonic’s smart TV OS – HomeScreen 5.0 – which will now offer thumbnails of titles when selecting on demand streaming apps.
Panasonic TV 2019 range: what came out last year?
Let's take a look at which Panasonic TV models the Japanese brand brought out last year, from its high-end OLEDs and a 75-inch 4K HDR LED to some more affordable offerings.
Panasonic OLED TVs 2019:
GZ2000 OLED (available in 55, 65 inches): The first TV announcement of 2019, the GZ2000 is Panasonic's top-range 4K OLED, building on tech from last year's FZ800/FZ950 sets and new HCX Pro chip. It features color tuning from a leading Hollywood colorist for "unparalleled color accuracy", along with a whole load of video and audio formats supported – and upward-firing speakers tuned by Technics. Scheduled for release in July.
GZ1500 OLED (available in 55, 65 inches): Second in line for the OLED throne. Unlike the GZ2000’s custom panel, this set gets a standard-issue OLED display also found in the GZ1000 and GZ950, and front-firing Dolby Atmos speakers for some high-quality audio.
GZ1000 / GZ950 OLED (available in 55, 65 inches): Same panel as above, with 50W speakers built into the rear instead of facing the viewer - and likely to be cheaper because of it. The GZ950 and GZ1000 models differ only in the stands, with the former featuring a cylindrical pole and the latter using an L-shaped support.
Panasonic 4K HDR TVs 2019:
GX920 / GX940 4K HDR LED (available in 75 inches): The only LED set packing in the new HCX Pro processor, and available only in 75 inches for those after a truly big picture. The single size might seem limiting, but Panasonic is expecting most people after a premium TV to make the move to OLED. GX920 in the UK, GX940 in the EU and Canada.
GX800 LED (available in 40, 50, 59, 65 inches): The next set down sticks with the HCX chip used in last year’s OLED range, and offers a wide range of sizes. Comes with all the same Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HLG and HDR support as higher models, even at its smallest 40-inch size.
GX700 LED (available in 40, 50, 58, 65 inches): A 4K HDR television without the bells and whistles – meaning you won’t get support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant, or the more advanced Home Screen 4.0 smart interface. Expect a sharp price drop from the GX800.
GX560 LED (available in 65 inches): One of the more basic smart TVs on the lineup, though you still get access to Freeview Play and other streaming catchup services.
GX550 LED (available in 43, 49, 55 inches): Same kind of 4K entry point as above.
Panasonic Full HD TVs 2019:
GS352 LED (available in 32, 43 inches): Don’t need or want 4K Ultra HD resolution? Panasonic is also releasing a couple of 1080p Smart TVs at more compact, practical sizes. Expect support for HDR10, HLG, and not much else.
G302 LED (available in 24, 32, 43 inches): The only ‘dumb’ TV on the list, the G302 is an HD set without internet connectivity, and therefore comes with Freeview HD for TV viewing rather than the online catch-up service Freeview Play.
Everything you need to know about the best TVs of 2020:
Best TV 2020: the 8 best flatscreen televisions from the past year
Best Smart TV 2020: every smart TV platform and which set does it best
Best 65-inch 4K TVs 2020: the best big screen TVs for any budget
TV stands: finding the best TV stand to suit your living room cinema needs
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2020 coverage. We'll be live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.