Panasonic has today unveiled its 2022 flagship OLED TVs with an improved OLED panel to increase mid-level brightness. LZ2000 will come in 77 inches for the first time.
Panasonic 2022 OLED
At CES 2022, Panasonic has unveiled its new flagship TV for 2022 in the form of the LZ2000 4K OLED model. The company's more affordable OLED and LCD TV models will be announced later.
For the first for Panasonic, LZ2000 will come in 77 inches in addition to 55 and 65 inches. Panasonic has also implemented an improved and custom-tuned OLED panel that should deliver higher mid-level brightness – most likely based on LG Display's new 'OLED Ex'. The company did not release brightness specifications.
- "All three sizes use the very latest 2022 generation “Master OLED Pro” configuration which have been custom engineered by Panasonic to deliver even more brightness through improvements in picture quality processing. The result is another bump in mid-level brightness delivering more pop from HDR and improved accuracy in reproducing details in brighter areas."
There is no word on smaller (42, 48") or even larger (83, 97") OLED TVs that some competitors have announced at CES 2022.
New gaming features
Panasonic OLED TVs have been popular with movie buffs and last year Panasonic added two HDMI 2.1 ports for the first time to cater to PC and console gamers. In 2022, HDMI 2.1's 4K120 and VRR features (HDMI VRR and AMD FreeSync) will be working on LZ2000 out of the box.
Panasonic has also further reduced input lag for 60Hz games which still represents the majority of games on consoles and PCs – even if the game is rendered in a lower frame rate it still typically be output as 60Hz. How? Through a new '60Hz Refresh Mode', said Panasonic.
Another new gaming feature is 'SPD Auto Game Mode' to automatically detect compatible HDMI 2.1 4K HFR and VRR supporting Nvidia GPUs, e.g. RTX30.
In addition, Panasonic will introduce a new 'Game Control Board' menu to let the user tweak relevant gaming features.
Panasonic's Game Control Board menu
Information – this option displays all the information coming from the source game, such as frame rate, HDR metadata, and chroma sub-sampling data.
Dark Visibility Enhancer – allows the gamer to granularly adjust the near black portion of dark scenes, making it easier to see the route forward or detect enemies hiding in the shadows.
HDR Tonemap – this shows the current HDR tone-mapping settings, which include “Off” (game console is managing the tone-mapping); “On” (TV is managing the tone-mapping); or Dynamic (TV analyses incoming frames in real time and produces dynamic tone-mapping on a scene-by-scene basis, even when source is static HDR).
Input Lag and VRR – display and adjust Input Lag and VRR settings.
Viewing Mode – allows the gamer in real time to change the viewing mode and see the effect live in order to select the appearance he or she prefers.
Improved speakers, other features
There is an improved speaker system for Dolby Atmos immersive audio. On top of the up-firing and side-firing speakers, Panasonic has replaced the front-firing speaker units with a speaker array meaning that there are multiple speakers arranged in a row for a wider sound stand and clear voices.
- "Z2000 makes it possible to adjust the relative loudness of the audio in different parts of the room. It comes with three modes: “Pinpoint” mode which allows the sound to be directed to one specific point; “Area” mode, which allows you to shift the sound to a group of people in a specific area of the room; and a “Spot” mode which boosts the volume in one particular spot while others can still hear the sound," the company explained.
LZ2000's picture is still tuned by Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld whereas the sound is tuned by Technics.
Improved ambient optimisation use sensors to adjust the picture and sound to match your environment at any given time. The new system builds on top of the 'Auto AI' mode introduced last year and on LZ2000 it can adjust both luminance and color temperature. It can also detect the genre of the content you are watching and adjust the picture accordingly. Auto AI can be switched off. LZ2000 also supports Calman auto-calibration.
- "For 2022, in order to also optimize for the time of day of viewing, the LZ2000 uses a sensor to detect the ambient light colour temperature. This is important as humans perceive `white` differently based on ambient lighting. For example, most European homes use warm-coloured lights at nighttime, meaning that on-screen white colours can be perceived as blueish and too cold."
Other features include multi-HDR support (HDR10, HDR10+ Adaptive, Dolby Vision IQ, HLG Photo), Panasonic's advanced tuner features, Filmmaker Mode, voice assistant support (Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa), and Netflix Calibrated Mode.
There is still no support for Google's Chromecast or Apple's AirPlay 2 cast systems.
Panasonic retains its My Home Screen platform in LZ2000. Version 7.0 has new accessibility features and the 'myScenery' gallery function new includes pictures and video from LoungeV Studio as well as relaxing nature sounds from the Joy Foundation. My Home Screen recently gained Apple TV+ and Disney+ apps.
The 55- and 65-inch LZ2000 OLED TVs are expected to be available in June or July while the 77-inch is expected to be available in August. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.