08.01.18

Panasonic ramps up OLED focus at CES with two lines

panasonic new 2018 FZ950 OLED TV deployed in living room of home

Panasonic has offered a preview of what it will be focusing on at CES 2018 this week and unsurprisingly its OLED technology, but there’s a lot more to see than last year…

2017 may have been a relatively quiet one for Panasonic, but the Japan-based manufacturer hopes to turn things around by bringing more to CES this year (though arguable more than one OLED TV isn’t too hard).

This week Panasonic’s stand in Vegas will showcase its newly developed FZ800 and FZ950 series of TVs, available in 55-in and 65-in models, in addition to three 4K Blu-ray players.

A key point of difference from last year is also the type of OLED panels used to manufacture the TVs. The FZ800 (TX-55FZ800 and TX-65FZ800) and Z950 (TX-55FZ950 and TX-65FZ950) models feature new panels (similar those found on rival 2018 OLED TVs), as well as the latest generation of the manufacturer’s HCX processor.

The processor incorporates a ‘Dynamic LUT’ (or ‘Dynamic Look-up Table’) – essentially a table of numbers that takes an image and corrects it (in terms of saturation, brightness and contrast, or all of these) that is applied to the content source. The ‘dynamic’ in ‘Dynamic LUT’ being that the picture is analysed every millisecond to select the most optimal LUT on a scene-by-scene basis depending on its brightness – the new necessity (as HDR has become) according to Panasonic.

Dynamic LUT is joined by a ‘Dynamic Scene Optimizer’ function designed to mimic dynamic metadata when playing straight-up HDR10 content, and ‘Auto HDR Brightness Enhancer’ functionality for playing with the appearance of HDR content in a bright environment.

The FZ950 and FZ800 TVs will be the first OLED screens available in 2018 to support HDR10+, after being further certified by the HDR10+ Alliance. Yet, naturally this means Dolby Vision HDR is nowhere to be seen, despite featuring on Panasonic’s flagship 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

Deciding if the FZ800 or FZ950 is for you? Each one’s audio set-up may help you decide. The former features built-in speakers whilst the FZ950 comes alongside a Dynamic Blade soundbar-esque speaker. This 80W, Technics-branded speaker incorporates a 20W tweeter, 20W midrange and 40W woofer, as well as two passive radiators on each side of the left and right speakers.

Panasonic’s TX-77EZ1000 TV – launched in Berlin at IFA last September – is also still focus for the company, and has increased calibration steps at the lowest end of the colour gamut. That translates to its four new OLED TVs supporting calibration at 5%, and – in an industry first – 2.5% luminance within Panasonic’s Colour Management System settings, allowing owners to alter luminance levels in low-lit scenes.

There’s no word on pricing of Panasonic’s FZ800 or FZ950 range yet, but the TVs are expected to officially launch in spring following on from their big debut at CES 2018.