Television of the Year
Panasonic takes an LG.Display OLED panel and makes it greater still by applying its legacy of image processing expertise, plus all its latest TV technologies, led by the 4K Pro HDR suite. This includes its HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor, able to optimise brightness, colour and contrast on the fly using a completely new system of dynamic Look-Up Tables. Also making its mark is the Hexa Chrome Drive Pro, which claims more accurate colour reproduction by breaking colours into six components rather than just RGB, before displaying them using, er, RGB, plus white, since LG.D OLED has that extra white pixel.
TV tech is laced with such claims, of course, but Panasonic’s top TVs truly deliver on their promises, and this $5299 65-inch FZ950 sets the benchmark for image quality. There is one model above this — Panasonic’s top FZ1000 OLED TV, but that comes adorned with a ‘tuned by Technics’ Blade soundbar. We suspect that Sound+Image readers will be wanting a sound system rather better than that, and the soundbar can’t be removed (well, not without leaving an odd bit of metal sticking out). Hence we’ve dropped down to the FZ950, which has all the screen tech, without the soundbar.
Why wouldn’t you buy this TV? Well the smarts, though strong, can’t match those of an Android
TV — the app count is far more limited. While there’s built-in Freeview for catch-up, there’s only ABC and SBS as separate apps. There’s Netflix and YouTube, and Amazon Prime (no Stan), but for music very little — TuneIn internet radio yes, but no Spotify or Tidal, for which you’re reduced to sending via Bluetooth.
But with an external sound system, you can likely access audio streams elsewhere, so here picture quality is our number one priority. And we remain convinced that as a base technology OLED delivers the ultimate TV screen performance at present, with Panasonic hitting top levels of ‘wow’ delivery, especially in a darkened room.
More info: www.panasonic.com.au
“We remain convinced that as a base technology OLED delivers the ultimate TV screen performance at present, with this Panasonic hitting top levels of ‘wow’ delivery, especially in a darkened room.”
LEFT: Panasonic Australia’s Mark Hubbard collects the award for the FZ950 OLED.