Panasonic has unveiled FZ8000 and FZ950 TV series and as we now know, they will be coming out in 55 inch and 65 inch size ranges as the flagship TVs of the 2018 Panasonic television lineup.
In 2017 Panasonic offered up a pretty flaccid selection of products for last year’s CES so it’s understandable that the company would be excited to beat the news headline rush of CES itself in announcing its brightest, shiniest new consumer electronics products for this year so far. After a CES 2017 event in which only one OLED TV was released along with a couple new 4K Blu-ray players and little worth mentioning beyond these two, the dual OLED 4K HDR television announcement we got last night is a nice sign of newfound productivity from the company.
These new OLED TVs are going to be accompanied by at least three 4K Blu-ray player models for 2018 as well so Panasonic’s robust beginning to this year is not limited to just televisions.
Moving back to the OLED TVs themselves, both will get their own 55 and 65 inch releases and both will feature all new OLED display panels which are expected to surpass the performance of what was released by Panasonic in 2017. They might even outperform some rival OLED TV displays for this and last year, but we’ll have to see how that plays out when all is reviewed and measured.
The pricier of the two, the FZ950 will come out with the model numbers TX-55FZ950 and TX-65FZ950 and the FZ8000 will be released in two models as well, the TX-55FZ800 and TX-65FZ800. Both of these TVs will come with full high dynamic range support and include Panasonic’s proprietary HCX picture processing engine for high quality upscaling, motion handling and rendering of other crucial HDR 4K TV picture quality specs. Panasonic also plans to continue production and sales of last year’s EZ1000 77 inch giant of an OLED 4K TV for the sake of fully rounding out its OLED size range for this year.
We assume that the new models will at least slightly outperform the 2017 OLED though. With LG’s 4K HDR OLED TVs(which sell much more on the U.S market) this has been the case right from their first ever release in 2014 –each year’s successive lineup has been at least a bit better at all major picture quality specs than the models of the previous year.
Giving favor to the likelihood of improved performance in the 2018 FZ models are some additional details about their new features: The improved HCX picture processing engine is going to also include what Panasonic is calling a Dynamic LUT (look-up Table) which will essentially take a given display image and break it down into a series of numbers representing contrast, brightness, saturation and so forth so that each of these settings can be corrected and improved dynamically as content plays back on the TV screen. This processing will be done on a millisecond-to-millisecond basis by the HCX processor for a constantly optimal level of picture quality, HDR rendering and overall content display regardless of source. Most importantly, the Dynamic LUT is supposed to improve how well the FZ950 and FZ8000 TVs handle HDR10/HDR10+ high dynamic range content during playback.
Yes, that’s right, another feature of the two new TV models is that they will support the newly developed HDR10+ high dynamic range standard right from their release date. Unfortunately, this also apparently means that they will NOT come with Dolby Vision support even though certain other Panasonic 4K content products do support Dolby HDR. Nonetheless, HDR10+ is expected to be a significant improvement over HDR10 and in most respects, it’s supposed to perform almost as well as or just the same as Dolby Vision already does. Panasonic is at least showing that it’s seriously committed to its joint venture with Samsung, Fox and Warner Bros in promoting the open source HDR10+ format’s further expansion. - 4K