The Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 is the top in video quality for an OLED TV and further refines the already valuable technical achievement of the past.
Successor to last year’s GZ2000, the Panasonic HZ2000, here in the 55 “inch size (TX-55HZ200), receives the baton by going to further improve the technical performance in various aspects. The very solid and heavy central support base does not differ from the previous design that has long distinguished this fine line of televisions.
The 1 mm frame is not at all invasive, the rear thickness of the new flagship of the Japanese giant is instead important, between ventilation elements and the placement of the up firing speakers to increase the soundstage and favor complex codecs such as ATMOS. This form, declined in 122.5 cm x 76.1 cm x 7.8 cm and weight approximately 26.5 kg (33 kg with base), however, leaves the possibility of being able to hang it on the wall using a VESA 300 x 300 connection.
Rich technical offer but without HDMI 2.1
The installation of the support base, as usual without a pin on which to rotate, does not
it should require more than two people, at least in the case of this 55 “inch (the other cut available for the HZ2000 is the 65” inch). The connections are entirely on the right side, between the rear and side. The side portion houses two HDMI 2.0b terminals, RF antenna input and double satellite (F-type, main / sub), making it easy to access if anchored to the wall. In the same position a USB 3.0 5V / 900 mA input that does not require the presence of a separate power supply in the case of hard disk, 3.5 mm connection, for any active subwoofer or to be used for wired listening with headphones, and finally double slot for CI + cards version 1.4.
The rest of the connectors see two additional HDMI 2.0, one of which is eARC with audio return, two USB 2.0 ports, AV / Component terminals and RJ45 Ethernet input. From this point of view, nothing has changed as regards the offer of connections, if not the relative technological advancement of the ports themselves. Present the automatic low latency mode (ALLM) for all HDMI ports, but the Variable Refresh Rate and the management of UHD data streams at 120 Hz, the prerogative of the superior HDMI 2.1 interface, not yet implemented by Panasonic, are absent.
The remote control is heard and seen
The remote is complete and fairly heavy due to the brushed aluminum, thankfully backlit, with the usual intuitive and easy-to-use button ordering, there is no shortage of voice commands for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Configuration is quick, with an invitation to enter the data necessary to connect to the local network (Wi-Fi or wired) and search for DGTV programs, where they are present here with the maximum compatibility allowed by DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-C , DVB-S2 and the double tuner.
A full High Dynamic Range
The shape will also be the same as last year, but inside this new OLED beats a technological heart that makes the difference, while retaining the characteristics of the GZ2000, True 10-bit and native UHD 3840 x 2160. The panel (LG production) in question, however, is the specific Master HDR OLED Professional Edition, there is also the new mode Filmmaker with Intelligent Sensing, Dolby Vision IQ and a further refined Calman semi-automatic calibration section. As usual, Panasonic embraces the entire wide color gamut offering for which total compatibility HDR-10, HDR-10 +, Dolby Vision and HLG, all managed through the HCX Pro Intelligent processor.
More specifically, the Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel offers a brightness level 20% higher than the competition, with improvement even on intermediate levels of brightness as well as contrast, while keeping the risk of “molding” low.
Ambient light is no longer an obstacle
This year at the Filmaker Mode smart ambient light detection function has been added through special sensors, performing a dynamic tuning of the image. The result is the ability to display content with enhanced detail regardless of ambient light conditions. The Dolby Vision signals remain out of this opportunity, so there is a different option, namely the Dolby Vision IQ. In this case, the optimization brings together the dynamic metadata and the light sensor balancing the environmental conditions with the displayed material.
Regarding the calibration options, their expansion allows further precision of the white balance at low lights, with the addition of the entry points at 0.5% and 1.3%, while the Calman software offers semi-automatic calibration also for video streams with Dolby Vision. The tests of the HZ2000 were carried out in the company of the Panasonic DP-UB450EG-K player.
Smart offer sui generis
Step forward also for the My Home Screen 5.0 operating system, for smart TV management, which includes new features such as thumbnail presentation of content, making program selection more immediate and intuitive. The HZ2000 also features Freeview Play, which caters to those who like to navigate live TV shows, on-demand content and catch-up TV. All obviously accompanied by quick connections to VOD platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Apple support is always absent.
Practically ready to use
The result out of the box is excellent, provided you choose the right preset for the images. In REC.709 (image on the left, under DCI-P3) going to “Normal” there is the usual excess of blue and a minimal lack of red, a result that changes radically by simply switching to the “True Cinema” preset, where the yield is much higher for color fidelity than the references and the DeltaE deviation is above 3 only from 70% to rise towards the highlights.
Remaining in this context, the preset “Professional 1” for daytime viewing and “Professional 2” or “Filmmaker” for dark environments. The same goes for HDR, with DCI-P3 coverage around 98% (XY) and REC.2020 at 70% (XY), the maximum brightness around 1000 nit in the smallest windows no more than 5% and around 830 nits at 10% and therefore similar to the 2019 GZ2000.
Dolby Vision wants to do it alone
Even with content at 4000 nit target there is a slow attenuation, a
demonstration of the work done to keep the details in the spotlight. Regarding gaming, the performance is good with input lag that with active Game Mode drops to about 22 ms. HDR games without noticeable drops in brightness also benefit from this.
On some basic settings it is not possible to intervene: selecting Dolby Vision IQ for exampleIntelligent Frame Creation it remains active, even if only at a minimum, and cannot be deactivated just like Resolution Remaster, Noise Reduction and MPEG Remaster. These are impositions that would need a revision, to grant more flexibility to the user, assuming it is more of a choice by Dolby than by Panasonic. After all, you can always opt for “Dark Dolby Vision” and find yourself free from constraints and presets blocked by third parties.
The image processor needed updating
Movement management has also been improved, where levels of excellence are reached in the presence of 23.97 / 24p material as long as you stay away from “Black Frame Insertion“and” Intelligent Frame Creation “, but there are still very limited transitions where one could perceive a very slight slowdown in the peak phase of the image processor engagement. Without prejudice to the impossibility of zapping TV channels, the re-processing of standard video signals remains interesting with the intervention flexibility of the noise reduction filter.
The Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 worthily collects the baton from the previous GZ2000 and at the moment remains one of the best OLEDs on the market, flagship of the Japanese company and the absolute purchase advice for those who want to enjoy a film or a television series to the fullest of possibilities offered by 4K and wide color gamut. In this regard, the Filmaker Mode with the new Intelligent Sensing is useful like Dolby Vision IQ, with refinement of the yield according to the external light and the material being viewed. These are no small differences for those who know how to appreciate them, marking a step forward compared to the past, as well as HDMI now eARC and a further focus on flexibility in the management of liquid contents. It is precisely the MyHomeScreen 5.0 interface that lags behind the competition, where the absence of platforms such as Disney + begins to become heavy and greater support from the Apple world is missing. A certain openness to the gaming world, with a good result in response times, however, fails to make us forget the absence of HDMI 2.1 ports, VRR and 120 Hz, with the arrival of the new consoles remains a handicap. However, the HZ2000 remains to this day a real benchmark for cinema lovers, who do not wish to compromise when it comes to image quality. The audio section remains very interesting for the offer in terms of power and directionality of the speakers, favoring listening even without a dedicated system or soundbar, while an active subwoofer would help make the soundstage even more concrete.