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Panasonic unveils 2020 HZ1500 & HZ1000 OLED TVs with Filmmaker Mode

18 Feb 2020 | Rasmus Larsen |

In addition to its flagship HZ2000, Panasonic will launch HZ1500 and HZ1000 OLED TVs this year. All OLED models will feature 4K, Dolby Vision IQ, and Filmmaker Mode, but lack HDMI 2.1.

Panasonic 2020 OLED

Panasonic used CES 2020 in January to unveil its flagship HZ2000, which is the successor to last year's GZ2000 with a customised, higher-brightness OLED panel. More details on the HZ2000 can be found here. At its annual launch event today, Panasonic added HZ1500 and HZ1000 to its line-up for 2020. HZ1500 and HZ1000 will not be equipped with the improved OLED panel found in HZ2000 but they will feature other new picture systems for 2020, including the HCX Pro Intelligent video processor, Dolby Vision IQ, and Filmmaker Mode.

Panasonic HZ1000 4K OLED TV

Filmmaker Mode is an initiative with support from Hollywood directors such as Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Patty Jenkins, Ryan Coogler, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Panasonic explains that when enabled (manually via a button on the remote control) it "respects the frame rate, aspect ratio, colour and contrast of the content whilst also turning off noise reduction and sharpening". You can achieve the same by switching to the TV's movie/cinema mode or by tweaking picture settings but sprinkled with stardust from prominent Hollywood directors Filmmaker Mode is a strong message that will help more buyers experience movies as intended. Dolby Vision IQ is not a new format but rather an extension of Dolby Vision that uses the dynamic metadata in the content and the TV's built-in light sensor to adjust the TV's brightness and tone-mapping to your viewing environment. For example, in a bright viewing environment where your eyes' pupils have adjusted to the higher brightness level, the TV may raise the luminance curve for higher overall brightness output and raise shadow levels to ensure that they are perceptually discernible from black. Panasonic said that for non-Dolby Vision content (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and SDR) the Filmmaker Mode can use an 'Intelligent Sensing' system to achieve the same adaptive effect as Dolby Vision IQ. HCX Pro Intelligent is the company's most advanced video processor with support for HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision and HLG Photo. The processor can utilize tone-mapping to prevent 'clipping' (loss of highlight details) in bright HDR scenes. For advanced users, Panasonic TVs now have a setting option to control the 'clip point', CalMAN PatternGen support, and additional manual 1.3 and 0.5 percent calibration points. The 2020 version of LG Display's 4K OLED panel, which is found in all OLED TV on the market, also has a more advanced BFI (Black Frame Insertion) system, which inserts black frames into the video stream to 'reset' the human eye in order to make motion appear less blurry. The principle is well-proven as it has been used in LCD TVs for years. The improved BFI system can operate at shorter duty cycles (low, medium, high or auto) meaning that flicker and brightness loss can be reduced. The same system is available in 2020 OLED TVs from LG and Sony under different names.

Panasonic HZ980 4K OLED TV

No HDMI 2.1 ports

Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode as well as the various tweaks described above are in essence what sets Panasonic's 2020 OLED TVs apart from the 2019 generation in terms of picture quality. The TVs will on the other hand not come equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports that some competitors are offering in 4K OLED TVs as well as 8K and 4K LCD TVs. This could prove to be a serious limitation for some buyers as future game consoles and players will use HDMI 2.1 to output up to 4K120 and VRR (variable refresh rate). The only optional HDMI 2.1 features, that can be supported on HDMI 2.0 ports, in Panasonic's 2020 OLED TVs are ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) for improved audio quality and format support. Panasonic continues to promote its OLED TVs under the "Hollywood to your Home" slogan to highlight that it is collaborating with Hollywood colonist Stefan Sonnenfeld to fine-tune picture quality.

Panasonic HZ1500 4K OLED TV

Improved Dolby Atmos speakers

In 2020, Panasonic is bringing built-in up firing speakers to both HZ2000 and HZ1500. Last year's GZ2000 was the first Panasonic TV to feature up-firing units for Dolby Atmos. HZ2000 will have ‘360° Soundscape Pro’, which is Panasonic’s "highest-fidelity audio system for a TV". Together with Dolby Atmos and tuning by Technics, the 140W speaker system should deliver more immersive sound than typical TVs. HZ1500 uses a scaled-down '360° Soundscape' system with 80W and up-firing units at the top of the TV. Lastly, Panasonic highlighted that HZ1500 and HZ1000 come with a swivel stand and that all of the OLED TVs "announced today feature the latest iteration of Panasonic’s highly evaluated smart TV OS, My Home Screen 5.0", which can preview featured content above the app icon. This is supported for Netflix and YouTube. The new OLED TVs will be available in 55 and 65 inch sizes only, which may disappoint some buyers as competitors are bringing OLED technology to smaller (48 inches) and larger size classes (77 and 88 inches). However, 48-inch OLED TVs from LG and Sony are not expected to be available until the second half of 2020 and Panasonic is hinting that it has additional TV models planned for later in 2020. Availability and pricing details were not announced.

Panasonic 2020 OLED TVs

Panasonic HZ2000 55 and 65 inches 4K OLED panel (Master HDR OLED Professional Edition) HCX Pro Intelligent video processor HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision and HLG Photo Dolby Vision IQ Filmmaker Mode with 'Intelligent Sensing' Dolby Atmos support and built-in up-firing '360° Soundscape Pro' speaker system (140W) My Home Screen 5.0

Panasonic HZ1500 55 and 65 inches 4K OLED panel HCX Pro Intelligent video processor HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision and HLG Photo Dolby Vision IQ Filmmaker Mode with 'Intelligent Sensing' Dolby Atmos support and built-in up-firing '360° Soundscape' speaker system (80W) My Home Screen 5.0 Swivel stand

Panasonic HZ1000 55 and 65 inches 4K OLED panel HCX Pro Intelligent video processor HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision and HLG Photo Dolby Vision IQ Filmmaker Mode with 'Intelligent Sensing' Dolby Atmos support My Home Screen 5.0 Swivel stand




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