The Panasonic HZ2000 was the flagship of the corporate’s 2020 TV lineup, and really nobody may match it final 12 months. It is the 4K OLED TV that pushed above and past what you will discover within the different greatest OLED TVs, made to ship a efficiency that replicates a mastering monitor in a Hollywood grading suite – to not spoil our evaluate, however with essentially the most cinematic pictures of any TV, that is nearly the most effective TV for film lovers.
Nevertheless it’s not simply high quality video efficiency that distinguishes this TV. The HZ2000 additionally has a cinema-style Dolby Atmos sound system, full with up-firing audio system for peak channels within the soundtracks.
The set guarantees an all-in-one 4K dwelling cinema expertise – and that’s precisely what it delivers. The one factor lacking is the popcorn… and some gaming options.
Panasonic HZ2000 evaluate: Worth, launch date & options
The Panasonic HZ2000 was launched in August 2020, and its excessive stage of AV finery comes at a worth. The 55-inch HZ2000 (generally known as the TX-55HZ2000 formally) we’re testing will set you again £2,999/€2,999. Sadly, this TV would not look prone to be out there within the US, nevertheless it seemingly might be in Canada, so our American readers may contemplate a jaunt throughout a cross-border buy – or you may skip to our checklist of the most effective various TVs right here.
In a world the place 50-inch 4K LED TVs might be had for as little as £300, that’s one hell of a premium. It is also a world the place the very good LG CX OLED TV might be purchased from simply £1,499, and it definitely is not half the TV regardless of being half the worth. And the Philips OLED754 prices only a third of what the Panasonic will set you again. Usually, in this type of worth vary, you are speaking extra about the most effective 8K TVs than 4K units, so that is positively aiming on the elite finish.
There’s additionally a much bigger 65-inch model, the Panasonic TX-65HZ2000, which sells for £4,299.
However you then shouldn’t count on dwelling theatre royalty to return low cost.
The HZ2000 has common HDR compatibility. In addition to Dolby Imaginative and prescient, there’s HDR10+ (the open customary rival to Dolby Atmos adopted by Amazon for Prime Video), plus common HDR10 and broadcast HLG. Common HDR is not that frequent even amongst different flagship units – the Sony XH9505 solely has Dolby Imaginative and prescient, for instance, whereas the Samsung Q950TS solely has HDR10+.
What’s extra, that is Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ, the newest variant that utilises a light-weight sensor constructed into the TV to evaluate ambient lighting ranges, in order that it could actually mechanically alter the image accordingly, so it at all times appears its greatest.
The set additionally helps Filmmaker Mode, the brand new standardised cinema preset that goals to ensure you see films as near what the administrators supposed as attainable, however once more, there’s some frosting on high, within the form of Clever Sensing. Very similar to Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ, Clever Sensing reacts to ambient gentle, optimising the Filmmaker Mode mechanically to go well with viewing situations.
The TX-55HZ2000 presents 4 HDMI inputs, one with eARC help for exterior audio methods. All can deal with 4K 60fps, however there’s no help for 4K at 120fps, the futuristic video output promised by PlayStation 5 and Xbox Collection X consoles. With out this, this TV will not be making it onto our checklist of the most effective gaming TVs. There may be ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) help, although.
Extra connections embody analogue part AV, an optical digital audio output, Ethernet in addition to onboard Wi-Fi, and three USBs.
Sensible performance comes by way of Panasonic’s My Dwelling Display screen platform.
Panasonic HZ2000 evaluate: Image high quality
In terms of picture high quality, the TX-55HZ2000 is actually a shining star. The Skilled Version Grasp OLED panel has extra pop than a bubble wrap manufacturing facility.
First used on final 12 months’s Panasonic GZ2000 mannequin, it adopts warmth administration strategies devised for plasma screens to handle warmth dissipation extra aggressively than different OLED TVs. This has allowed engineers to push the general image stage (not HDR peak brightness) up by as a lot as 30 per cent in comparison with different OLEDs. This interprets to barely brighter OLED imagery general, with wonderful color vibrancy.
Keep in mind that each one OLED TVs use the identical panels (made by LG), so this brightness increase is mainly a common enchancment over all the pieces else available on the market.
There’s really no considerable distinction between the image on this 12 months’s HZ2000 in comparison with final 12 months’s GZ2000. The important thing distinction is the aforementioned ambient gentle management.
Taking advantage of this panel is Panasonic’s wonderful HCX Professional picture processor. An completed picture engine, it does an excellent job upscaling common HD and maximising native 4K.
Streaming Netflix HD on this set is a revelation. Photographs are crisp, with refined gradations in color protecting issues as realisic as we have seen. Common Blu-rays seem equally coherent.
Native 4K can also be terrific. 4K SDR (as usually seen on Sky and different pay TV companies) appears notably effective, with that inherent picture luminosity showcasing effective element. Nature documentaries, which are inclined to function shiny scenes, look spectacular.
The set’s HDR efficiency is first charge. We measured HDR peak brightness at greater than 900 nits, which is sufficient to permit specular highlights, atmospheric lighting and headlights to all glint and dazzle with plausible depth.
The panel additionally does a sensational job with close to blacks and shadow element. It’s in these little particulars that the HZ2000 edges forward of shut OLED rivals. There’s a convincing 3D-ness about scenes which attracts you in.
Panasonic presents a variety of image presets, and all have their virtues. Even Dynamic appears good, notably with animation. Even when the HZ2000 over-saturates colors, its colors don’t look over-saturated – and that’s fairly a trick.
Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ and Filmmaker Mode with Clever Sensing each work properly. Usually talking, HDR can look overly darkish when watched in a daylit room, and the HZ2000 manages to keep away from that.
Filmmaker Mode disables picture interpolation, image sharpening and noise discount. Probably heaven for purists, though Panasonic’s picture processing is so good, it appears punitive to go with out.
The Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ mode is our really useful viewing possibility for all Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material. Which fairly leaves the set’s Netflix Calibrated mode out within the chilly, since Netflix is a giant supply for Dolby Imaginative and prescient reveals, however hey ho.
For on a regular basis viewing, the Regular picture preset is our customary suggestion – the stability is good.
Movement dealing with might be thought-about above common. IFC (Clever Body Creation) is used to keep up readability throughout quick movement motion, simply the factor if you wish to hold your eye on the ball, whereas avoiding intrusive movement artefacts.
There’s additionally a Black Body insertion possibility; this considerably reduces blur, however overly darkens the picture.
As is emphasised by the set’s HDMI enter limitations, this isn’t a display that takes gaming notably severely. We measured enter lag at 21.8ms (1080p/60fps) in Sport mode, which whereas not unhealthy, isn’t up there with premium display choices from LG or Samsung.
Panasonic HZ2000 evaluate: Sound high quality
There’s a rising variety of TVs that provide Dolby Atmos pass-through, enabling you to take pleasure in immersive audio by way of an exterior sound system or the most effective soundbars. However only a few try and ship an Atmos audio expertise out of the field, just like the HZ2000 does.
That forward-facing speaker, which handles left/centre/proper duties, is tuned by Technics and sounds nice, whereas the Dolby Atmos peak channel is clearly discernible by way of the devoted up-firing driver mounted excessive on the again panel. Collectively they create a 140W soundstage that’s large, excessive and directional.
The ensemble works notably properly with Dolby Atmos encoded reside sports activities, creating an immersive ambiance (even with pretend crowd noise). It’s additionally numerous enjoyable with Atmos films, though these extra readily reveal its limitations.
What the sound system lacks is a way of rear encompass (unsurprisingly), and bass slam.
Whereas the sound system acknowledges the sub channel in a film combine, it grumbles fairly than rumbles.
Whereas it’s totally good of Panasonic to offer us as immersive a soundscape as it could actually from the unit itself, we’re unsure how many individuals are spending this type of cash on a TV and never planning for a extra succesful sound setup to match as properly. Nonetheless, if that is you, the audio system right here might be welcome.
Panasonic HZ2000 evaluate: Design and usefulness
The design is quietly stylish. The minimal black micro-bezel blends effortlessly with the grille of the Technics speaker system, the panel sitting nearly flush on the central, squared pedestal. However there’s no swivel, which is on the market decrease down the Panasonic OLED worth chain.
The distant management has a pleasant metallic brushed end, and is backlit to be used when the lights go down.
General usability is okay, the HZ2000’s sensible platform and navigation reassuringly sprightly. Now in its fifth iteration, the My Dwelling Display screen software program presents a lean but customisable look that’s straightforward to reside with.
Whereas Android on TVs nonetheless takes over your complete display, and LG and Samsung’s respective webOS and Tizen platforms function from a function-heavy launch bar, Panasonic has taken an easier strategy.
My Dwelling Display screen’s shortcut buttons merely supply fast entry to Stay TV, apps or related gadgets.
What’s cute is that you would be able to add extra, by ‘pinning’ them to the Dwelling display. If you’d like a badge for Amazon Prime Video, simply pin it on; the identical applies for a related video games console. Panasonic isn’t over considering issues, and that’s not a nasty factor…
Catch-up TV alternative is large, courtesy of the set’s Freeview Play tuner – all of the mainstream UK gamers are onboard (BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITVHub, My5, UKTVPlay ), whereas streaming companies embody Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Rakuten.television, YouTube, Britbox and Chili.
There’s no Disney+ although, which is not any small miss in as of late of needing to entertain the varieties greater than ever. That mentioned, you may add it inexpensively utilizing the most effective 4K media streamers.
The TV additionally works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa ecosystems.
Panasonic HZ2000 evaluate: Verdict
The Panasonic HZ2000 is a cinema-centric OLED TV with an image efficiency that’s second to none, notably if you happen to worth filmic accuracy. Its onboard Dolby Atmos sound system is suitably immersive as a bonus, however the image is a giant draw right here.
Even so, it’s not going to enchantment to players. Each LG and Samsung supply fashions higher served in that regard.
That mentioned, if you happen to’re shortlisting the most effective dwelling cinema OLED screens on the earth proper now, the Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 is a really key contender. Worth might rule it out for some, however the finesse and high quality on present right here is simply astounding.
Panasonic HZ2000 evaluate: Additionally contemplate
In terms of OLED high quality with out such a excessive price ticket, the LG CX is the place to begin. It is out there in additional sizes than the HZ2000 (48 inches, 55 inches, 65 inches or 77 inches), and options all the newest and biggest gaming tech – it is excellent for PS5. It is also a hell of a visible performer, although it is not fairly as wealthy and cinematic because the HZ2000. It is nearly as good because it will get for its worth, although – learn our full LG CX evaluate for all the main points.
The Sony A8/A8H (relying on territory) can also be an OLED to contemplate. Sony’s processing is second-to-none for upscaling and dealing with movement, so for sports activities followers it is the best choice on the market. It additionally has a very spectacular sound system, although not a Dolby Atmos one. Our Sony A8/A8H evaluate explains all.
However if you happen to’re keen to spend large cash on a TV and also you need blockbuster picture high quality, the Samsung Q950TS needs to be in your checklist of candidates. It is the flagship 8K TV in Samsung’s vary, and we charge it as the most effective TV on the planet. Its brightness is a number of occasions what this TV manages, making for really gorgeous HDR, and effective backlight management means it is robust with darkish areas too (although the HZ2000 is best after all, due to its OLED tech). Additionally, its 8K decision display and implausible upscaling signifies that 4K pictures on it look higher than common 4K TVs – further detailed and textured. Our full Samsung Q950TS evaluate will get into precisely why it is so spectacular.