US launch for Panasonic's new flagship 4K TVs
Despite the relative lack of viewing content, Panasonic already offers a number of 4K TVs. That range is about to grow and improve with the release of two new flagship models. Panasonic says the new 65-in AX900 and 85-in AX850 deliver the best picture performance of any of its TVs.
In order to achieve this high level of performance, Panasonic has built the AX900 with a direct LED array. This means that LEDs are spread behind the full area of the screen as opposed to just around the sides of the screen, as is the case with cheaper edge-lit screens.
As with other direct LED screens, the AX900 is able to dim localized sections of the LED array to achieve deeper blacks. The company says, however, that its Local Dimming Ultra technology allows for the sections to be dimmed to finer degrees than is the case with other screens. This is said to avoid a "halo" effect appearing around moving bright objects while producing smoother-looking motion, allows for greater detail and gives a higher contrast ratio.
Both the AX900 and the AX850 calibrate their output based on the brightness of the room in which they are being used. Light levels are detected and the picture is automatically adjusted to an optimal level for the ambient light conditions. Panasonic says the AX900 and AX850 use color management technologies that until now "have only been used to the same degree by professional studio monitors" and that the LCD panels themselves are highly transparent, allowing for better brightness and dynamic range.
The AX900 and AX850 are Panasonic's first TVs to use the company's quad-core Pro5 super-high speed processor, giving them the power to, for example, learn user preferences in order to display a list of content recommendations and to transfer live or recorded broadcasts to a smartphone or tablet.
Proximity sensors and facial recognition can bring up an Info Bar containing new and useful information without the user having to power on the TV. Both TVs each feature four 4K60p-supporting HDMI terminals and one DisplayPort terminal for connection to home cinema setups, consoles and computers.
The AX900 and AX850 will debut in the US next month with finalized pricing yet to be confirmed.