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Panasonic unveils DX900 - its first "UHD Premium" LCD TV

06 Jan 2016 | Rasmus Larsen |

At CES 2016, Panasonic has unveiled a new flagship LCD model. DX900 is the company’s first LCD TV that meets the UHD Alliance’s specification for picture quality.

Panasonic DX900 with HDR

The UHD Alliance was formed by manufacturers, Hollywood studios, content distributors and technology companies to create a premium specification for picture quality. It takes resolution, HDR, color accuracy, color gamut, and more into consideration.

The UHD Alliance’s official “UHD Premium” specification has been announced at CES 2016 and Panasonic’s new DX900 is the company’s first LCD TV to meet the requirements, Panasonic says.

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Panasonic says that DX900 takes LCD picture quality ”to places it’s never been before”. It is the first TV to utilize a new “Honeycomb” structure for its LED local dimming backlight system. This allows DX900 to control luminance in “hundreds of individually controlled lighting zones” that are “rigorously isolated” from each other, making it capable of reproducing impressive HDR (high dynamic range) pictures.

The company claims that it has been able to eliminate the light halo or blooming effects around bright objects in the picture that LCD TVs with local dimming usually suffer from. DX900 can hit up to 1000 nits brightness “across a much wider portion of the screen than other HDR screens”.

DX900 also has a wider color gamut, but it was not specified how large.

Fine-tuned by Panasonic Hollywood

The Ultra HD TV is been fine-tuned by Panasonic Hollywood Labs (PHL) to ensure that HDR performance matches the original vision of the filmmakers. Panasonic says that DX900 is “literally built for HDR”.

You obviously need HDR content such as UHD Blu-ray movies to fully enjoy the TV’s capabilities but the company says that non-HDR content should look amazing, too. Panasonic has developed a new HCX+ (Hollywood Cinema eXperience plus) picture processor that faithfully delivers the pre-HDR picture with colors so “accurate that pictures verge on the sort of fidelity only previously possible on hugely expensive professional studio master screens”. To do that it uses a 3D Look up table with 8000 reference points (40 times as many as conventional TVs).

Besides the UHD Alliance stamp of approval, DX900 boasts THX’s 4K Certification.

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DX900 runs Firefox OS

DX900 can obviously be connected to any disc player, including Panasonic’s first UHD Blu-ray player UB900, but you can also enjoy 4K and HDR content from streaming services through apps.

Like last year’s TVs, DX900 runs Mozilla’s Firefox OS. It has been designed to be easy to use based on the idea of “decks”. The pre-installed decks are Live TV, Apps, and Devices but you can pin any app or content link to the home page. Current apps include Netflix and Amazon, and Panasonic supports HDR streaming from both (Netflix’s HDR coming soon).

With the 2016 line-up, Firefox OS gains new features such as “Web Apps Discovery”. This feature lets you run apps from the open web ecosystem. Mozilla says that several partners have already signed on, without specifying the partners.

Another new feature of Firefox OS is “mobile to TV”, which enables the user to push web content from the Firefox Browser on Android devices to the TV wirelessly. This feature will be available later in 2016.

Panasonic says that DX900 has a powerful audio system, despite the slim design. It uses “quad Passive Radiators” that “resonate in sync with the vibration of the TV’s woofer speakers to boost bass.”

Panasonic DX900 will be available in March in 58 and 65 inch sizes.

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