Panasonic embraces Dolby Vision with new flagship OLED TV
At CES, Panasonic has unveiled its latest 4K OLED flagship TV that packs a few firsts. In addition to being the first TV to feature upward-facing speakers capable of delivering Dolby Atmos audio, the GZ2000 is also the first TV in the world to support both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats, as well as the new HLG Photo format for HDR still images.
Panasonic doesn't sell its TVs in the US anymore, after quietly withdrawing from the market in 2016, but it remains a player internationally. Looking to build on the reputation of its 2018 OLED TVs for delivering impressive movie color accuracy, the Japanese company enlisted the services of renowned Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld for the color tuning of the GZ2000 to deliver what Panasonic is claiming to be the "world's most cinematic TV."
In addition to "unparalleled color accuracy," Panasonic says the OLED panel in the GZ2000 offers better than average brightness levels – something which OLED panels struggle with – although it hasn't provided any specific brightness specs just yet. The company says the boost in brightness, coupled with improved contrast handling, results in increased dynamic range that adds even more punch to HDR content.
That HDR content can now come in the form of Dolby Vision or HDR10+, the two competing dynamic metadata formats that allow HDR information to be altered within scenes. Panasonic's previous OLED sets boasted HDR10+ support, but embracing Dolby Vision in the new TV leaves Samsung out in the cold as the only major manufacturer sticking solely with HDR10+, which currently offers much less content than Dolby Vision. The GZ2000 also supports regular HDR10 as well as HLG Photo, a new HDR format for still images that is also supported by Panasonic's mirrorless cameras.
Audio performance isn't usually a selling point for flat panel TVs but, like Sony with its Acoustic Surface technology, Panasonic is looking to turn this around with the GZ2000. With multiple upward-firing speaker units tuned by Technics engineers integrated into the top of the unit, Panasonic says the TV is able to deliver Dolby Atmos audio and produce "an immersive spherical soundstage."
The user interface takes the form of Panasonic's new My Home Screen 4.0, which lets users customize the layout of their home screen, and provides access to the usual array of apps and services, such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. The GZ2000 also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice control of basic TV functions.
Full technical specifications, pricing and exact release date of the GZ2000 are yet to be announced, but it will appear in stores in some parts of the world in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes later this year.