Panasonic intros first 48-inch OLED TVs and ramps up gaming support on 2021 LED TV models

posted on Thursday, 25th March 2021 by Steve May

Panasonic  OLED 

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Panasonic has unveiled its OLED and LED TV line-up for 2021, throwing a big emphasis on gaming features and extending its Master OLED Panel technology, which we’ve already seen on the previously announced JZ2000 flagship, down a level to a more affordable model.

Joining the aforementioned JZ2000, will be the JZ1500 (pictured above), JZ1000 and JZ980 series. All three will be available in 65-inch, 55-inch and now 48-inch sizes. All benefit from the colour tuning of Stefan Sonnenfeld - specifically, this Hollywood input ensures there’s as close a colour match as possible between the OLED reference monitor used in grading suites and the cinematic True Cinema image preset provided on the Panasonic screens - and were launched with endorsements from leading Hollywood directors.

Significantly, its Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel will migrate to the JZ1500, something enthusiasts who don’t require the onboard Dolby Atmos speakers of the flagship model, have been clamouring for. Before you get too excited, the Master HDR Pro Edition panel is not available on the 48-inch version of the JZ1500.

All of these OLED series will feature the brand new HCX Pro AI processor which was announced with the JZ2000, with Auto AI picture mode, as well as Game Mode Extreme, which reduces latency down to amongst the very lowest figures we’ve seen on consumer TV displays - down to 2.5ms with VRR. All OLED models will also support AMD FreeSync Premium.

Panasonic also announced three new LED TV series for 2021 at its annual range reveal: the JX940 series (75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch, 49-inch), the JX850 series (65-inch, 58-inch, 50-inch, 40-inch), and JX800 series (65-inch, 58-inch, 50-inch, 40-inch).

Panasonic JX940-Series _front

The JX940 series target sports and gaming enthusiasts. The JX940 also features the new HCX Pro AI processor, meaning it can automatically detect sports broadcasts and optimise the picture quality accordingly. Intelligent Clear Motion also smooths out dynamic actions for flicker-free viewing.

The JX940 series also uses a 120Hz, bright HDR Cinema Display Pro panel with wide viewing angles.
Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos and Netflix calibrated mode are standard, along with Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent sensing.

The sets will have two HDMI 2.1 ports featuring High Frame Rate (HFR) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). The JX940 also supports AMD FreeSync Premium.

When shipped, HDMI 2.1 ports will support 4K, but, in the case of 4K High Frame Rate and 4K@120Hz VRR, will only display half the vertical resolution. A firmware release is planned to restore full support for 4K High Frame Rate later in the year.

Panasonic says it will make a further announcement about 4K@120Hz VRR latter in the year.

The JX800 will use last season’s HCX processor, combined with HDR Bright Panel Plus technology.

These sets will also use the Android OS, first teased on one lone model by panasonic in 2021, in combination with My Home Screen. FilmMaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing, which Panasonic announced in its 2020 OLED models, will be supported in 2021 all the way down to the JX800 series.

In terms of HDR formats, Dolby Vision IQ will be supported in all 2021 OLED TVs and also on the JX940 series LED TV. Dolby Vision and the HDR10+ Adaptive format will be supported all the way down to the JX800.

Game Mode Extreme will be supported down to the JX940, bringing with it the advantages of 4K High Frame Rate (HFR) and Variable Refresh Rates.

Dolby Atmos audio will be supported down to the JX850 series.

All new models down to the JX850 series feature the latest iteration of Panasonic’s highly regarded smart TV OS, my Home Screen 6.0, with new My Scenery mode and On Timer. Other niceties include a Dual Bluetooth Connection.

All models down to and including the JX850 support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in. The JX800 supports Google Assistant but not Amazon Alexa.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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