Panasonic expands OLED TV line-up with entry-level HZ980

posted on Friday, 12th June 2020 by Steve May

home cinema  4K  OLED  Dolby Vision 

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Panasonic has expanded its OLED TV line-up with a new entry-level model, the HZ980. Available in 65- and 55- screen sizes, the HZ980 arrives with both Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing, two key attractions of the brand’s 2020 OLED range.

The screen also offers multi-HDR support, adding HDR10+ compatibility to Dolby Vision, and immersive Dolby Atmos audio. The set has a built-in Cinema Surround Pro sound system, compatible with a Panasonic wireless subwoofer, sold separately.

Behind the glass is the latest iteration of the brand’sHCX Pro Intelligent processor, with fine colour tuning guided by leading Hollywood colourist Stefan Sonnenfeld. A regular collaborator with Panasonic, he’s worked on a raft of blockbusters, including A Star is Born, Wonder Woman and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Filmmaker Mode allows users to enjoy movies, as intended by creators, mimicking the frame rate, aspect ratio, colour and contrast of the content of pro mastering monitors, while turning off noise reduction and sharpening.

The addition of Intelligent Sensing allows the image to be balanced based on the ambient light in the room, creating the best possible perceptual match. Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing is unique to Panasonic and supports content in HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, and SDR.

Similarly, Dolby Vision IQ uses Dolby Vision dynamic metadata to intelligently display every detail of the content, adjusting to the brightness of the room. It also informs the TV what type of content is being shown and will modify its settings to ensure images are displayed exactly as they should be.

The HZ980 is positioned just below the HZ1000 in the manufacturer’s 2020 range.The LG-baiting HZ980 features a regular OLED panel, rather than the Master HDR OLED panel, which is used for the HZ1000. Similarly, the HZ980 features a Smooth Motion Drive, while the HZ1000 has a Smooth Motion Drive Pro. The HZ1000 sports a swivel stand.

Connectivity includes HDMI 2.1 eARC and Bluetooth Audio Link, which allows the set to be paired with wireless speakers or Bluetooth headphones.

The HZ980 will be available from July, with prices starting at £1700 for the 55-inch model, and £2,400 for the 65-inch model.

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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