Tele­vi­sion of the Year

Sound+Image - - Contents -

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.

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