Saturday, September 5, 2015

Panasonic Goes OLED: New 65-inch 4K TV Unveiled

   Kicking off the hot AV news from what’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting IFA technology shows for years, Panasonic has announced today that it’s going to be launching its first ever OLED TV. And yes, I really do mean launching; we’re certainly not talking here about yet another OLED prototype you’ll never actually be able to buy.
   The model in question is the 4K/UHD-resolution TX-65CZ950. This boasts a curved 65-inch screen, and as you’d expect Panasonic is keen to make much of the way OLED technology lets every single pixel in its screen produce its own luminance level and colour tone to deliver unprecedented contrast and, potentially, colour resolution. Like Panasonic’s beloved old plasma technology, only better.
   With LG already having OLED TVs out there that also make much of this inherent OLED advantage, Panasonic is understandably also keen to highlight why it believes its OLED debutante goes further than any TV before in the pursuit of perfect pictures.

The Panasonic TX-65CZ950 OLED TV: Coming to a living room near you soon. If you're very, very lucky.
The Panasonic TX-65CZ950 OLED TV: Coming to a living room near you soon. If you’re very, very lucky.

   The key, it seems, is a combination of picture/panel processing power, and the close links Panasonic has forged with the Hollywood filmmaking community through its LA-based Hollywood Laboratory.
   The processing part of the equation comes courtesy of Panasonic’s 4K Pro technology, which applies techniques (such as advanced gradation controls and 3D colour lookup tables for red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow) previously only available on professional-grade monitors to deliver a level of control over each individual pixel that previous OLEDs have not being able to muster.
   Included within the 65CZ950’s movie-friendly processing features is support for the new high dynamic range (HDR) technology that’s now looking set to become a major feature of next-generation picture quality.
   The 4K Pro system we’ve seen previously on Panasonic’s top-end 2015 LCD TVs was itself born of the brand’s desire to try and reproduce films on your TV so that they look as close as possible to the vision of the directors/cinematographers/colourists who made them. But to underline the point that OLED technology appears inherently more capable than LCD of truly recreating the cinema experience in your living room, Panasonic has had the 65CZ950’s colours tuned by renowned Hollywood colourist Mike Sowa.
   Sowa, whose movie credits include Oblivion and Insurgent, says of his involvement with the 65CZ950: “Panasonic is proving their commitment to excellence by engineering their newest 4K Pro TV to satisfy my professional standard of zero compromise. My world of visual storytelling is based around colour accuracy and the need for a display that compliments the creative vision. Panasonic has engineered their newest 4K Pro OLED TV to a standard that I would only expect in professional displays.”

The Panasonic TX-65CZ950 OLED TV.
The Panasonic TX-65CZ950 OLED TV.

   The 65CZ950’s picture quality has also been certified by independent quality assurance group THX, making it the first 4K OLED TV to achieve this certification. Eric Gemmer, THX’s Director of Imaging Technologies, says this of THX’s experience with the 65CZ950: “OLED is a very promising display technology but getting an accurate picture from an OLED TV is quite challenging. THX put the CZ950 through over 400 laboratory tests working with Panasonic engineers to make certain each pixel’s performance is accurate to the source content. The result is a television capable of creating bright objects with excellent white uniformity that delivers native 4K and up-converted HD images with the contrast and clarity previously reserved for professional monitors.”
   Panasonic hasn’t yet discussed a potential price for the 65CZ950, though given that its promising specifications are joined by a rear panel that’s upholstered in Alcantara (!), my expectation is that it will likely cost more than LG’s equivalent OLED models.


source: forbes.com