Panasonic has a new television darling for 2020: the HZ2000 OLED, available in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. The successor to last year’s GZ2000, which garnered a full five stars in our review, it the sets again feature a custom-made OLED panel and broad HDR support, with a few enhancements that could again make these some of the best TVs in their price range.
We first heard about Filmmaker Mode in late 2019, which promised to display movies ‘as intended’ by their directors and creators. These attempts at color control often make for flat viewing experiences, though, as they don’t allow home televisions to necessarily play to their strengths, or cover up their weaknesses with savvy processing techniques – as we saw with Netflix Calibrated Mode.
If there’s one thing Panasonic is serious about, it’s cinematic-quality TVs. The Japanese manufacturer famously partnered with Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld (A Star is Born, The Force Awakens) to ensure that its range of premium OLED televisions were outputting the kinds of images suitable for a production studio monitor, closing the gap between domestic and professional viewing.
Panasonic’s cinematic credentials could bode well for viewers' home theater experience, and we’ll be keeping a sharp eye on the HZ2000 to see how this new viewing mode performs.
Let there be light
The HZ2000 will also be one of the world’s first TV to feature Dolby Vision IQ – using “external sensors” in the set to calibrate the pictures onscreen in response to the level of lighting in the room the television is in, ensuring details are visible in dark conditions and don’t get washed out in bright environments either.
In a press release, Panasonic's Executive of Product Strategy Yasushi Murayama says “The HZ2000 really expands the viewing environments in which viewers can enjoy true Hollywood picture quality. Thanks to Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode with Panasonic’s unique Intelligent Sensing feature, viewers will still see all the details and colors that the creators wanted them to see, even if they are watching in a well-lit room.”
Viewers will also, for the first time, have the option to manually calibrate Dolby Vision output on their television, allowing you to disable tone-mapping and activate "hard-clipping" – a feature that prevents areas of high luminance from exceeding the native brightness of the panel, making for a more consistent picture.
We also know that the HZ2000 will be brighter than previous OLEDs put out by the TV manufacturer, though how big a jump it gets, and whether it will make a meaningful difference for your eyeballs is yet to be seen: you'll have to wait for our incoming review to see what we make of it.
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