The Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 is the company’s new flagship 4K OLED TV and incorporates the latest Master HDR OLED Professional Edition custom panel. Other new features include Filmmaker mode with smart sensing, Dolby Vision IQ and improvements to Calman auto calibration software. The screen unit is available in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes.
The Panasonic HZ2000 retains all the features of the GZ2000, with support for 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) with wide range of colors and high dynamic range (HDR10, HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma and Dolby Vision). It also includes the same HCX Pro Intelligent processor and built-in Dolby Atmos speakers.
The HZ2000 TV uses the latest version of Panasonic’s Master HDR OLED Professional Edition custom panel, which is designed to offer an additional peak brightness of 20% compared to regular OLED TVs. The heat is dissipated by the heat sink design attached to the back of the panel, which helps with greater brightness and helps reduce any risk of image retention.
Filmmaker mode also includes Filmmaker mode, but Panasonic adds its own smart sensing feature. This uses sensors on the TV to detect ambient lighting conditions in the room and dynamically adjusts the image accordingly. This coincides with the impression of viewing the contents in an ideal dark environment, even if you’re sitting in a well-lit living room so that viewers can see all the details that the content creator intended, even in very dark scenes. Filmmaker mode with smart sensing supports content in HDR10, HDR10, HLG, and SDR.
As for the audio features, the TX-55HZ2000 uses shooting speakers and a forward shooting soundbar that are tuned by Technics and that feature the JENO engine to provide what Panasonic calls the 360o Soundscape Proscape. Dolby Atmos’ support adds to the immersive effect by allowing multiple built-in speaker units to produce a spatial sound scenario with appropriate Atmos content.
The TX-55HZ2000 uses the latest iteration of Panasonic’s smart TV operating system, My Home Screen 5.0, with new features such as presenting thumbnails of featured content to make choosing a series or movie a more intuitive subject. The HZ2000 also has Freeview Play with all terrestrial TV applications available, along with Netflix VOD services, Prime Video and more.
The connections are the same as last year, although Panasonic has included support for eARC (advanced audio return channel) and ALLM (auto low latency mode) in HDMI inputs. However, the company’s inability to fully adopt HDMI 2.1 will disappoint players, with no support for VRR (variable upgrade rate) and 4K/120Hz.
The connections are in the back and are facing sideways and backwards. On the side we have a CI slot, a headphone/subwoofer output, two HDMI 2.0b ports with eARC/ARC in HDMI 2 and a USB port 3.0. Below are an rf and two satellite antennas and a LAN port.
Backwards we have two more USB ports and two additional HDMI 2.0b ports. There are also legacy video and audio inputs and components, as well as digital audio output.
Gaming performance is good with today’s console platforms and ALLM is available on the TX-55HZ2000 with an input delay of 22 ms. HDR games are also very good without image mitigation due to aggressive ABL or tone mapping and if speed is also not an issue for most players, the Panasonic is quite decent. But games are not the main focus of this high-end OLED TV.
‘Hollywood to the Home’ has been Panasonic’s marketing mantra for a few years and this is certainly the case with the HZ2000. Filmmaker mode with smart sensing is the image preset for SDR and HDR content, which gives you grayscale performance, gamma/PQ and color range completely accurate to industry standards, so you see the content as it was supposed to be displayed. The smart side of tracking things works well for those looking in daylight or a well-lit room, but for viewing the dim room you need to turn off the light sensor.
Dolby Vision IQ is also available on HZ2000, but when DV IQ is selected, some menu items are disabled and turned on by default. These grayed-out elements change the quality of the image.
With HDR10 content, the Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 produces some of the best HDR images ever seen by an OLED with subtle improvements in the way tone mapping is applied, and detail is visible in peak mirror reflections. The image is balanced and you never hear ABL football during the bright scenes or the image that appears obscured because the tone mapping is trying to show an incredibly bright object in a particular scene, lowering the rest of the image accordingly. The advantages of the panel enhancements are in strengthening the HDR image with a little more head space than what is normally available with an OLED panel and adding this to the excellent content mapping that helps to portray images as accurately as possible, given the capabilities of OLED and this panel. So yes, you can retrieve more detail in the brightest areas of the married image with gorgeous blacks, shadows and midtones to create an excellent dynamic image with perfect pixel contrast performance.
The content of Dolby Vision is also excellent on the Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 with the same strengths as HDR10 mixed with more detailed dynamic DV metadata. There are obvious improvements within very bright mirror reflections with visible details in areas where HDR10 content would crop sharply, and the image depth is excellent with strong and stable blacks and excellent shadow details. The colors are strong but natural and fluid, the whites are white without the wrGB can boost, and the skin tones are excellent with all the image that takes a cinematic brightness Panasonic does better than everyone else. In addition, the movement remains strong without visible problems.
After seeing most of the OLED contenders in our rehearsal room this year from Panasonic, Sony, LG and Philips, the Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 produces the latest tech image quality to watch movies in a dim room, so they managed to live up to their own low drums ‘Hollywood to the Home’. The image quality in SDR and HDR is simply impressive with the best performance just above the black and color of all this year’s contenders.
However, all that goodness of image quality has a high price tag. There’s no way to sweeten the fact that Panasonic is substantially more expensive than the vast majority of its peers, so is the leap in image quality evident to justify the price? (Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 price £3,299.00).
Well, that’s a question only you the reader can answer about what you need from a TV. If you are a movie viewer who wants absolute accuracy in the quality of OLED images to industry standards, then this is TV for you, if you can afford it. It offers the most impressive image quality aligned with the way the content is intended to be displayed, along with a Dolby Atmos audio system tuned to Technics with shooting speakers in a complete package. If it’s not image accuracy, additional HDR dynamic range and director intent, then there are numerous affordable OLEDs on the market that will produce images to suit those who want bright, vivid and overly colorful images.
The Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 does not have HDMI 2.1 inputs, but it does support 2.1 functions via HDMI 2.0b, namely Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and eARC. The delay of entry to the game is a respectable 22ms that should be fast enough for most casual players with excellent image quality with HDR games. Of course, if you need to have HDMI 2.1, then the HZ2000 is not the TV for your needs. Photo:Panasonic
This is a flagship TV that has seen extensive engineering to boost technology and offers products for those looking for the last word in image quality, along with an impressive sound system. The Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 produces the best image quality we ever seen from an OLED TV for movie lovers and is best-in-class for such use.