With HX700 and HX710, Panasonic will for the first time in Europe offer TVs based on Google's Android TV platform instead of its own Firefox (MyHomeScreen) platform.
Panasonic Android TVs
As reported exclusively by FlatpanelsHD in December 2019, Panasonic had plans to introduce its first-ever Android TVs in Europe this year. Here they are in the form of the mid-range HX7 series; 43- to 65-inch LCD TVs with 4K resolution.
While the TV hardware is pretty basic, the move is noteworthy because Panasonic – like LG and Samsung – has spent years developing and refining its own TV platform. First alone and later in collaboration with Mozilla and its Firefox OS. After Mozilla threw in the towel, Panasonic renamed Firefox OS to MyHomeScreen and continued development.
Is this an acknowledgment from Panasonic that it needs a partner like Google to stay competitive against the likes of Samsung's Tizen, LG's webOS, and Apple's tvOS? We would not go as far. From our sources, we have heard it described as an experiment. If it turns out to be a big seller, Panasonic may decide to implement Android in more of its TVs but there is no guarantee that it will happen.
Apps, Chromecast, and more
Nevertheless, it still raises interesting questions. For example, why would a buyer pick the more expensive but very similar (in terms of display technology) HX800 or even HX900 when HX700 comes with the full Android TV platform?
Also read: Panasonic 2020 TV line-up
Besides a much wider selection of apps and games, Android TVs offer built-in Chromecast, Google Assistant, and more. Also worth noting; HX700 will probably be Panasonic's first TVs with Disney+. On the other hand you will not Panasonic's advanced tuner features like TV Anywhere and in-house streaming.
The remote control relies on Bluetooth and has a built-in microphone for Google Assistant.
The TVs support HDR with three formats; HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. However, adjust your expectations. The LCD TVs are not equipped with LED zone dimming or similar technologies required to deliver the HDR picture experience.
HX700 has a black frame while HX710 has a silver-colored frame. They are otherwise identical and will both be available in Europe in 43-, 50-, 55-, and 65-inch sizes starting from October/November, depending on your region.