After two years of LG ruling the roost with OLED TVs, it’s time for a new competitor to enter the ring. Panasonic has two top-of-the-line OLED TVs on the way for Australia in 2017, and the company is talking up its years of experience with quality plasma screens to sell its new ‘Master OLED’ displays.
The two new screens in Panasonic’s local OLED line-up are the EZ1000 and EZ950; they’re very similar but for the fact that the EZ1000 has a 14-speaker ‘sound blade’ — it’s a soundbar-esque-stand for the TV that runs its entire length. They won’t be cheap, but they definitely won’t be as expensive as OLEDs used to be: expect $8899 for the 65-inch EZ1000 in July and $4999 and $7199 for the 55-inch and 65-inch EZ950 respectively. There’s also a 77-inch EZ1000 on the way in November.
The EZ1000 has what Panasonic is saying is its most accurate and detailed picture ever; the detail part isn’t surprising because, hey, it’s a 4K HDR OLED and those things can pump out some pixels. What is interesting is the claims to accuracy — OLEDs have always had perfect contrast thanks to those infinite blacks and self-lighting pixels, but colour accuracy has been a concern on some models. Panasonic is saying its screens can hit nearly 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour space, and that its screens have “astounding” accuracy.
As well as all that 4K OLED goodness, Panasonic’s OLEDs increase their appeal with support for multiple HDR formats — both the regular HDR-10 that most HDR sources use, as well as the open standard Hybrid Log Gamma that’s being pushed by the BBC. No Dolby Vision support, though — that’s something LG still has up its sleeves.
We’re going to try and get some proper face time with the EZ1000 or EZ950 as soon as possible; stay tuned for a full review. [Panasonic]