(Pocket-lint) - Finding the right TV can be tricky. You want the best picture, of course, and cinematic sound. What about 4K UHD? And is Dolby Vision or HDR10+ the way to go?
The Panasonic GX820Series of TVs look and sound tremendous. They offer the latest technology for the best picture, and they come in a variety of sizes. Here are five reasons to buy.
Unquestionably this is the most important feature. The right TV with the best picture will gently take your breath away every time you turn it on. So, you certainly should go for UHD, also called 4K, which has four times the resolution of HD and looks amazingly realistic. Importantly, there’s now plenty of 4K content available so this is the perfect time to buy.
But flatscreen TVs are governed by the smarts inside them and the HCX processor, a Panasonic speciality devised in conjunction with Hollywood, means that when you're watching a movie, you're seeing what the filmmaker intended.
This is an LED TV, which means it has a backlight that could make some parts of the display look grey instead of deep black, for instance. But this TV overcomes this with local dimming, where individual zones can be turned on and off independently, so deep blacks and high contrast are delivered strongly.
Then there's HDR, high dynamic range, which means that you can see detail in dark shadows and bright skies at the same time. There are several flavours of HDR, but Panasonic supports all of them, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, as well as HDR10 and HLG. Which means that you’ll find full compatibility, and an eye-poppingly good picture, whether you're streaming a 4K movie or watching a UHD Blu-ray.
This is such an important part of the experience. Flatscreens by definition have thinner speakers. The ones on this TV are good, but, thanks to compatibility with Dolby Atmos, you can make it sound extraordinary with the right soundbar. The surround sound effects are completely immersive and will persuade you you're watching in the cinema (especially if you buy some popcorn and walk people to the sofa with a torch). There are special sound modes built in, so even if you don't have a soundbar you can still choose between settings optimised for music, speech or a sporty option called Stadium.
This is a great way to watch TV. It means your TV effectively becomes a personal video recorder thanks to Freeview Play's brilliant system for catch-up TV, including box sets. It means you can scroll backwards through onscreen TV guide to choose programmes you've missed, as well as browsing forward. Choose a show you've missed, and the TV launches the right catch-up service. Panasonic has special unique Freeview Play features, such as a Quick Look Guide which makes finding programmes even easier with a live video window in the middle of the screen. There is also a recommendations feature which has programmes in 10 different genres, to find hidden gems.
Flatscreens don't always mean completely flat, thin displays but this one is super-slim and looks gorgeous. That's partly because the screen goes all the way to the edge so it's practically all picture. The display seems to float, with the attractive graphite stand offering solid but discreet support that looks good in any setting and of course you can wall-mount it with a bracket, sold separately. From any angle, this is a handsome TV, even when it's turned off. The premium build quality and understated design are hard to beat.
The right size
Living rooms vary in size considerably. The latest 4K UHD screens tend to be too large for many, but Panasonic has this sorted. There's a 65-inch model to fill the biggest room, and a 58-inch screen for rooms where 65 inches would dominate. But Panasonic has more options so you can get things just right: a 50-inch model and one with a 40-inch display. That last one is unusual in the world of UHD screens and means nobody needs to be left out, whatever the room size.
Add in a neat user interface that's attractive and easy, compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant so you can control the TV with your voice via a compatible speaker or the smartphone app, not to mention a remote control with a dedicated Netflix button, and you have a television that's hard to resist.