When it comes to home entertainment, the CES 2019 is undoubtedly 8K TV technology. This doubles the already impressive number of pixels of the 4K display.
But maybe 4K has not had its best hour yet, when the Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV screen has something to offer. HDR10 +, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and support for the leading voice-activated intelligent controllers. The Panasonic GZ2000 offers everything in a package that appeals to even the brightest minds in Hollywood's creative community.
We saw this stunning new set at Panasonic in Las Vegas – read here for our in love early judgment.
Prices and availability
The Panasonic GZ2000 does not yet receive a prize, but considering the specifications of this flagship set, you may want to fill that piggy bank. Also, note that it's been around two years since Panasonic last offered a TV for North America. Although the Panasonic GZ2000 will be available in Canada, it will be the most widely used in the UK and Europe. Expect it to hit the shelves in July 2019.
The Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TV is available in the sizes 55 and 65 inches and looks inconspicuous at first glance. Significantly thicker than much of the competition at the CES 2019, it has a simple industrial design that sits on a centrally located stand and has a thick lower frame that hides the screen's front speakers. A detachable cover on the back hides the input ports, leaving a cable neatly behind the screen.
But the devil is in the details, and although Panasonic has not opted for a flashy industrial design, it will surprise you with its datasheet – it's just about every box you can imagine for a top-of-the-line 4K- OLED TV.
Let's start with the "world novelties," two of which are particularly significant. For starters, this is the world's first television to support both HDR standards – HDR10 + and Dolby Vision. By increasing the peak brightness of an image to give details and contrast to a scene and richer colors, other manufacturers support the support of one or the other. Panasonic offers customers both in one set – a gift to Cinephile, whose title library dives into both formats.
Second, the screen not only supports Dolby Atmos, but also uses built-in speakers that are the first to be included in the set. A sound bar is located in this lower bezel, providing solid simulated surround sound channels, while the upper channels produce the enveloping overhead sounds that make the object-based Dolby Atmos sound mix so intriguing. These speakers were co-ordinated in collaboration between the Technics audio engineers from Panasonic and Dolby himself. The Technics Jeno audio engine is designed to deliver small details in busy scenes. The unit also supports output to a discrete subwoofer in case you want to improve the low end with another standalone device.
Both Google Assistant and Alexa Voice Assistants are also supported. The screen can easily be connected to a network that includes an Amazon echo or Google Home speaker. You can change channels, volume, and web apps with a voice command, among other voice-controlled controls.
So it's a generous and opulent 4K offering that's only sweeter with the custom image enhancement Panasonic uses here. Panasonic has collaborated with well-known Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld, whose works include Wonder Woman, A Star is Born, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to deliver what he regards as "close to a consumer-set reference level in terms of color accuracy " designated. For Company 3, the reputable color classification company for which Sonnenfeld is President and Senior Colorist, it is now the reference monitor to bring Hollywood's biggest upcoming hits to life.
This is complemented by the new intelligent processor HCX Pro, which optimally exploits the HDR modes and allows the best possible movement, without getting into the eerie, watery look that suffers some sets. The chipset provides particularly good details in the middle brightness range of the set and gives the surface additional texture. This is particularly noticeable in still images where Panasonic supports the latest HLG still image format.
What is still missing? Full support for the latest HMDI 2.1 specification, ie high frame rate adaptive frame settings are not supported here. For the cinephiles targeted, this should not be too much of a concern, as there are still few movie or television content that use the technology, but could disable gamers who are looking for a future-proof set not just for Hollywood. Finest movies, but also the possible features of the next generation of game consoles. However, a low latency mode should ensure that the games are still responsive on both sides.
The Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TV is an overwhelming effect – the kind of screen we kind of pulled back to see the rest of the offers at CES 2019.
When we saw some demo rolls selected, football (football, US-American readers), and clips from the 4K remaster of the stunning Blade Runner, we were overwhelmed with the set's offer.
Blade Runner is always a great test of the ability of a screen to find details in a darkened scene without rinsing out the richness of the image, with a smoggy futuristic LA dazzled by neon light, and the Panasonic GZ2000 delivered details in spades. The scene in which Harrison Ford swept the city in a flying police car, moving through gigantic billboards, looked awesome, with rich blues shining through the car's headlights. It demonstrated the screen's ability to extract fine details from a difficult-to-replicate screen. A Dolby Vision demo presentation was equally impressive.
Fast moving sports scenes were also handled well. Shots of a cyclist passing a row of trees (known as the "motion test" torture test by the Panasonic representatives) proved to be of little concern to the set and retained a well-defined line around the cyclist. Extreme close-up also became integrity and defining each grain.
The performance of the Dolby Atmos speakers was equally impressive. While we think you'll probably want to use the optional discrete subwoofer input, the up-and-coming speakers have wrapped the sound superbly around us as we listen, with shimmering detail in smashed glass and just enough power in the low end for you to enter dedicated surround system without being able to handle too many tears.
The buzzword for TVs this year may be 8K, but it's hard to imagine seeing a better 4K screen soon. The Panasonic GZ2000 is as good as any box you expect from a TV, especially when film watching is your main concern.
It might be the beginning of the end for 4K, but Panasonic will make sure it sees the format in a regal manner.
- Learn about TechRadar's full CES 2019 coverage, We're live in Las Vegas to show you all the latest news and product launches in the tech industry. You'll also get hands-on reviews from 8K televisions and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home devices.