Panasonic confirmed its newfound commitment to 4K OLED at the 2015 IFA consumer technology showcase, by unveiling the curved-screen Viera TX-65CZ950V TV at its press conference.
It's not the first time we've seen a Panasonic OLED set, with various prototype models showing face before now, in particular at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Now the prototype stages are over and the CZ950V, complete with its curved OLED panel, will be available from October this year.
And the company isn't doing things by halves, digging deep to ensure it hits the required standards for black levels and colour fidelity. Indeed, the Viera CZ950 is the only THX Certified 4K OLED TV in existence (to date, anyway).
How did it achieve such an accolade? By working with acclaimed colorist Mike Sowa, who has over 30 years of colour work on Hollywood movies under his belt. Now that's expertise.
It was only a couple of years ago that Samsung pulled acclaimed director Michael Bay on stage at its IFA conference to try and show off its latest tellies. However, he made such an epic gaffe in stumbling through his lines that it produced the biggest story that year from the show.
Panasonic, on the other hand, is all about subtle statement. Sowa delivered a concise delivery on stage, detailing his work in matching his expectations with Panasonic's Japanese engineers' capabilities. He seemed like a convincing and real person given the opportunity to make his mark on a consumer product, without the pomposity of celebrity.
Such subtlety and understatement can be seen in the TV itself. Following the press conference, we went to preview the TV on the Panasonic stand at the show, where it's shown both at floor level and at an above-eye-level mount adjacently.
The first thing that stands out is the slender OLED frame, which protrudes from the slightly bulkier rear, where the 4K UHD engine and other ports and necessities are housed.
The second thing is the chrome-like stand, which sweeps around the base of the TV right through to the back and looks great (hopefully it's not excessively wide like the current CX802 4K model though).
Then, of course, there's the picture quality. Sure, the CZ950V looked great on the Panasonic stand under the spotlights, but a true test of a TV is in a dim-lit or pitch black room and through a variety of live-with scenarios (such as reflective daylight). Saying that, we already know how deep OLED black levels are, given how the technology works in not requiring edge or back-illumination like LCD LED TVs do. The LG EG960V has already proven how good OLED can be.
For now the Panasonic Viera TX-65CZ950V will only launch in its 65-inch size, with a price yet to be announced. Given the level the company is aiming at, not to mention its sheer screen stature and the price on OLED at present, we suspect this will easily be upwards of £6,000 when it arrives in the UK next month.
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