At CES 2020, Panasonic has introduced the successor to last year's GZ2000. The HZ2000 features a professional edition OLED panel, Filmmaker Mode, Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos, and more.
Flagship Panasonic OLED TVs
Last year, Panasonic introduced its GZ2000 with a customized "professional edition" OLED panel that earned it FlatpanelsHD's Reference Award. With HZ2000, the company will once again use the customized panel while adding new features on top.
It is a little unclear if further improvements have been made. For now, Panasonic just says that its "tuned in Hollywood custom Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel delivers up to an extra 20 percent of peak brightness compared to conventional OLED TVs".
New features for 2020 include Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ. Panasonic was amongst a group of launch partners that helped introduce Filmmaker Mode at IFA 2019 last year. The HZ2000 flagship will support Filmmaker Mode with added 'Intelligent Sensing' on top, meaning that the TV can "dynamically adjusts the picture based on ambient light levels" using the built-in light sensors.
It will still respect the creative intent, however; "Tuned together with Hollywood studios to ensure a perceptual colour and picture match with the creative intent, this feature ensures that viewers can enjoy Hollywood level HDR picture quality whether in dark or well-lit environments".
- "When activated, Filmmaker mode respects the frame rate, aspect ratio, colour and contrast of the content whilst also turning off noise reduction and sharpening. The mode is supported by a who's who of Hollywood directors, including Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Patty Jenkins, Ryan Coogler, and Paul Thomas Anderson and many others," Panasonic explained.
As for Dolby Vision IQ, it is an extension of Dolby Vision that can automatically and "intelligently optimise picture quality experiences for viewers regardless of ambient light or content type". In other words, similar to Panasonic's 'Intelligent Sensing' but developed by Dolby and reserved for Dolby Vision content.
- "Dolby is constantly thinking about how we can further improve consumer entertainment experiences and we are bringing these innovations to life through new innovations like Dolby Vision IQ, which will be available on Panasonic’s HZ2000 OLED TV," said Giles Baker, SVP, Consumer Entertainment Group, Dolby Labs. "Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are transformative experiences changing the way consumers enjoy entertainment, and now with Dolby Vision IQ, consumers can now harness the full potential of their TV."
HDR and Dolby Atmos - no HDMI 2.1
Panasonic is pointing out that HZ2000 is the first TV to support HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG Photo, Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode - all in the same TV.
On the other hand, Panasonic HZ2000 lacks the HDMI 2.1 ports and some HDMI 2.1 features found in competing TVs (update: Panasonic says that HZ2000 will support eARC and ALLM). Will an optimized OLED panel be enough to make enthusiasts look Panasonic's way? We will find out later this year. LG is also touting support for Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode this year.
HZ2000 is tuned by Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld but for those requiring absolute accuracy, the company has expanded its calibration options. Besides existing support for CalMAN PaternGen, HZ2000 features isf calibration settings and calibration of Dolby Vision. This year, Panasonic is adding calibration points for 0.5% and 1.3% signal levels to control the transition out of black with higher precision. Users can also turn off tone-mapping for HDR to enable 'hard clipping' of highlights.
HZ2000 also features a speaker system with up-firing units for Dolby Atmos. A similar system was featured in last year's GZ2000 flagship but this year it has been expanded to deliver more encompassing sound. It is tuned by Technics and Panasonic has dubbed it 360° Soundscape Pro.
And with HCX Pro, its "most advanced processor ever", Panasonic believes that it has "created some of the most accurate, cinematic images ever seen on a TV" with HZ2000.
- "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 colours that the creators wanted them to see, even if they are watching in a well-lit room. Last year Panasonic expanded Hollywood-level picture quality down to core-range TV with Dolby Vision and HDR10+, this year we are taking that one step further by expanding Hollywood quality to more viewing environments too," said Yasushi Murayama, Executive of Product Strategy, Panasonic Visual and Sound Business.
Lastly, Panasonic said that it has refreshed its smart TV platform, My Home Screen, now in version 5.0.
- "The new version delivers considerable usability improvements. For example, when certain VOD Icons are highlighted, thumbnails of featured titles from that provider are automatically displayed above and can be easily accessed. This works for Netflix and YouTube amongst others," said Panasonic. "The HZ2000 also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing users to operate some key TV functions, just using their voice."
Panasonic HZ2000 will be available in 55 and 65-inch sizes in Europe later this year. Pricing details were not announced. The full Panasonic 2020 TV line-up will be announced at a later event after CES.
Panasonic HZ2000 4K OLED - specifications
55 and 65-inch sizes
Master HDR OLED Professional Edition
HXC Pro video processor with dynamic LUT
Picture tuned by Hollywood colorist Stefen Sonnenfeld
HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, and HLG Photo
Dolby Vision IQ
Intelligent Sensing feature
Smart TV and other features
My Home Screen 5.0
360° Soundscape Pro with up-firing units, tuned by Technics
Dolby Atmos support
CalMAN PatternGen and AutoCal support
Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support