Panasonic has long been a leader in the premium TV space. We spent time with three new models from the 2018 Panasonic premium 4K OLED and LED 2018 TV range.
GadgetGuy Thomas Bartlett covered the launch of the range here. He eloquently explains some of the tech from this 100-year old company. It is a good read.
In the LED space was its 2018 FX800A in 55/ 65-inch at $2,549/$3,299.
There are lower cost models too – see the price list at the end.
The letter F at the beginning denotes the year 2018. Last year’s models have the letter E. All three TVs here share the same latest Panasonic technologies.
We have defined this as a ‘first look’- not a review
The TVs were in a perfectly crafted display suite at Len Wallis Audio at 64 Burns Bay Rd, Lane Cove NSW. These rooms have no reflection issues and good harmonics. All up I had a couple of hours with them.
As such this first look is limited to our initial perceptions of
- Picture quality aided by 4K TV test patterns
- Sound quality aided by a frequency response and decibel metre
It is hard to add that je ne sais quoi – that special thing that makes these great – without longer viewing.
First, some Panasonic premium 4K OLED and LED 2018 TV range marketing terms
- 4K Ultra HD means 3840 x 2160 pixels
- 4K Upscaling means the ability to add extra pixels to 720/1080p content
- OLED means Organic Light-emitting Each pixel is a light source and can dim independently. LG makes the panel and is similar to that used in LG, Sony and other OLED TVs. Its what Panasonic do with it that makes the difference.
- LED means edge-lit Light Emitting Diode
- Super Motion means 4 x 50Hz = 200Hz motion tracking
- OLED Absolute Black filter means a filter over the screen to reduce reflection
- 4K Pro HDR means it supports multiple HDR standards (HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG)
- Hexa Chroma Drive PRO colour management has 6-colour reproduction and a professional colour correction system for accuracy.
And more …
- HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) image processor is the brains. Colour control combines with incredible black levels and a colour gamut of one billion shades
- Dynamic LUT (Look Up Table) technology – used in Hollywood post-production studios – ensures colour accuracy.
- Picture tuned in Hollywood describes Panasonics work with the film industry’s top colourists, image scientists and engineers to provide near reference standards in a consumer OLED TVs
- THX and Ultra HD Premium Certification means these OLED TVs meet the stringent specifications required to receive the stamp of approval from both the UHD Alliance (Ultra HD Premium) and THX (THX 4K Display) quality control organisations.
- My Home 3.0 is its smart TVB platform and includes voice interaction. It has Electronic program guide and personal video recording (PVR) capabilities. It includes Netflix, Amazon Prime now, Freeview Plus, ABC iView, SBS On Demand, YouTube, Bigpond Movies (and more!). Some provide 4K and HDR content.
- Bluetooth is the ability to link to a smartphone or Bluetooth speaker/headphones
- Wireless and cabled Ethernet Lan provides internet connectivity
- Dynamic Blade speaker (FZ1000) is an inbuilt sound bar. If you don’t want it, FZ950 is your choice
- Twin Tuner is two digital/analogue (DV/T) tuners for picture-in-picture or to watch one and record another.
I don’t want to sound trite in any way – each manufacturer has their terms for essentially the same thing!
How do they look?
Both OLEDs use the same panel and control electronics. As was to be expected they looked very much the same.
In the colour bar test, all colours were perfect. There was no colour overlap as seen on many LED TVs.
And no light bleed as they use individual pixel dimming, not dimming zones. This is impressive.
Reflectivity is an issue with OLED. You need a room free of direct light sources. The studio was darkened but had two downlights at the back. Note that the HDR enabled Samsung S9+ camera picks this up a little more than your eyes do.