Unveiled at CES, Pocket-lint was one of the first publications in the UK to get eyes on the new TV, but is it something that you should be putting on your shopping list?
Available in 65- and 55-inch sizes the HZ2000 follows on from the company's 2019 flagship, the GZ2000, and keeps a few of the 2019 model's features with Panasonic believing that it didn't need to update everything this time around.
What is new is a new Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel that promises to deliver an extra 20 per cent of peak brightness compared to conventional OLED TVs, and a new ambient light sensor that is used by the new Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ features.
It's all about the picture settings
- Filmmaker Mode
- Dolby Vision IQ support
- Panasonic Intelligent Sensing
The new image settings - Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ - dominated chatter at CES amongst AV journalists and industry folk alike and the Panasonic HZ2000 allows you to enjoy both, in addition to Panasonic's own take on the settings.
That gives you three possible super-picture settings options, which should be more than enough to get the picture you want, or as Panasonic likes to refer to it - bring Hollywood to your home.
In our demo at CES 2020 we got to see both Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ in action. Filmmaker Mode is about removing many of the digital image processes TV makers have been piling into televisions for a number of years. Press the dedicated button on the remote and you'll get the picture that the filmmaker wanted.
It's not, as you might expect, a series of hidden signals within the content to change your TV settings provided by the director, but it will go some way to ensuring you get a more "natural" picture. Furthermore the HZ2000 features an ambient light sensor so that if you watch the movie in a well-lit room or with the curtains open, the brightness of the TV will be boosted to compensate.
For our demo we watched a darkly lit scene in Jordan Peele's "Us". Side-by-side against the GZ2000 we were able to spot the difference, and even more so when we turned the lights on. It's subtle, but it will make a difference and we like the approach and implementation of the technology.
As for Dolby Vision IQ, it follows the same belief, but works automatically on any Dolby Vision content and is slightly different in the end result as it comes from Dolby via the metadata in the same way as Dolby Vision works rather than simply turning off all the processing presets. It too relies on the ambient light sensor in the TV and it to will adapt the image to suit the conditions in the room, but in this case it's all automatic.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the settings improve other films when we get the TV in for review.
Chances are if you get this TV, you'll notice that the picture looks as good during the day as it does when you turn the lights out.
There is a third Panasonic created preference, dubbed Intelligent Sensing, that still allows you ultimate control if you want to calibrate your TV yourself. Combined with further support for HDR10+ and HLG Photo formats and the like we can't see anyone being able to say they've not be catered for.
Of course everything can be turned on or off according to your needs.
- Built-in Upward-firing Speakers capable of delivering Dolby Atmos
- Speakers tuned by Technics with JENO Engine technology
The set comes with Dolby Atmos support built in with the speaker offering being virtually identical to the 2019 GZ2000 range. That means you get upward facing speakers behind the screen and a small sound bar built into the design beneath the main screen panel.
The total sound system adds up to a huge (by TV standards) 140W of power - and an external subwoofer can even be added to the system via the TV's switchable headphone socket.
We liked the sound quality of the GZ2000 in our 2019 review and while we acknowledged there was room for improvement, were overall happy with the experience. Testing sound capabilities at a noisy tradeshow is always difficult, even if Panasonic had gone to some lengths to reduce outside noise, so we'll refrain from final judgement until we get it installed in a lounge, but if it's as good as last year's efforts then we don't expect to be worried about the performance.
While the likes of Samsung and LG are fighting over 8K and bezel-less designs, the Panasonic concentrates on delivering a cracking picture that can be watched at any time of time day regardless of whether the sun is streaming in through your living room window.
From what we've seen this certainly ticks all the boxes so far, and the ability to cope with pretty much any 4K HDR file format that you care to watch means that the HZ2000 OLED TV continues the fantastic performance set by the GZ2000 in 2019.
Naysayers will claim this could just be seen as an evolution rather than groundbreaking revolution, but when the starting point is as good as it was, many will be more than happy by the prospect of what's in store when the TV goes on sale later this year.
We look forward to getting the TV in for further testing.