Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- - Phenomenal contrast
- - Great natural colours
- - Soundbar in flagship model
- - Entry-level model lacks Absolute Black Filter
- - Not as bright as LED-backlit rivals
- - No Dolby Vision
Fantastic picture quality and elegant design, but it's hard to ignore LG's rival OLEDs
Price$ 4,199.00 (AUD)
Australia's OLED television market is no longer a one-horse race, with the Panasonic stable putting forward an Ultra HD thoroughbred to challenge in the lounge room stakes.
LG has has dominated OLED for several years, leading the way when it comes to television picture quality, and Aussies with an eye for detail have backed the screen technology as a winner. Australia has the world's second-highest OLED take-up per capita, after Sweden, and now Panasonic wants a slice of the action (with Sony following close behind).
Panasonic is bringing two Ultra HD OLEDs models to Australia; its flagship EZ1000 series (65-inch $8899, 77-inch $TBA) and the more affordable EZ950 series (55-inch $4199, 65-inch $6599). These prices stack up well against the equivalent LG models.
Thankfully you're not asked to sacrifice picture quality, as both Panasonic models rely on exactly the same OLED panel, although only the EZ1000 features an "Absolute Black Filter" to reduce reflections and screen glare. You'll appreciate it if you regularly watch television in a brightly lit room. As for audio, the flagship OLED features a soundbar built into the base.
Both Panasonic models rely on a thin, elegant panel design with the bottom half of the back of the EZ950 protruding slightly to make room for the television's electronics. The EZ1000 restricts this rear bulge to the bottom quarter of the panel, while offering better cable management.
Brightness and contrast
OLED's lack of a backlight lets it produce perfect blacks without unsightly halos around bright objects on a dark background. The result is phenomenal contrast which contributes to amazing overall picture quality.
Panasonic's OLED panel pumps out 900 nits brightness, roughly on par with LG's OLEDs, making both of them easier to watch in a brightly-lit room than previous generations of OLED. Admittedly this still falls short of LED-backlit televisions like Samsung's QLED, but OLED's ability to display darker shades means there's still enough range to reveal plenty of detail in the brightest highlights rather than blowing out.
Panasonic's OLED doesn't disappoint, with incredible detail in the darkest parts of the picture to let you peer into the deepest shadows. You'll also see the finest stars in the night sky which are lost on televisions with a backlight. Panasonic's OLEDs match LG's ability to reveal the finest details in the shadows, although LG still comes out ever so slightly ahead when looking at detail in the brightest highlights.
High Dynamic Range
The ability to display a bright full moon without compromising on the deep blacks of the night sky allows Panasonic's OLEDs to support the HDR10 High Dynamic Range format used by Netflix, Ultra HD Blu-ray movie discs and some console games.
The overall picture quality sees Panasonic's OLEDs gain Ultra HD Premium certification, but they don't support the Dolby Vision HDR format used by LG which recalibrates the screen for every scene in a movie. A handful of Dolby Vision titles are available on Netflix and it's coming to Ultra HD Blu-ray this year, requiring a compatible disc player. It remains to be seen whether movie-makers will embrace the new format.
Colour and motion
This is where Panasonic's breeding shows through, with remarkably natural and lifelike colours. The televisions have THX 4K certification with a wide range of picture calibration modes, even when displaying HDR content.
If you're a fan of Samsung's vibrant QLED colours you might find Panasonic's OLED slightly understated but it comes down to personal taste. Purists would argue that QLED's eye-catching colours are overdone, adding a little punch to blockbuster action movies but falling short of Panasonic when it comes to doing real life justice.
OLED also eliminates motion blur but viewers with an eye for detail will notice that Panasonic's motion interpolation video processing, dubbed Intelligent Frame Creation, is a little more fickle than LG's when it comes to smoothing out panning shots.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Internet Security
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Developing data science skills is one of the best things that you can do for your career.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
- Telstra customers can now add the Kayo app to their account
- Streaming service delivers over 50 sports live and on demand for Aussie fans
- JBL introduces JRPOP Ultra Portable Speaker
- Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp is now available
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?