This HZ1000 series constitutes the “entry level” of the OLED televisions of this 2020 collection. We tested the 65 inch version which offers most of the improvements made by the manufacturer and, above all, full compatibility with the different HDR modes, to produce the most beautiful images possible. Let’s see what it really is.
After the televisions Sony KD-75XH95 and Samsung QLED QE55E80T, now is the time to tackle a very important new benchmark for the market, the Panasonic HZ1000. Specifically here, it is the TX-65HZ1000, a 65 inch version, the largest of the models supposed to represent the entry level of the OLED family at Panasonic in 2020. But let’s be clear, the entry of range does not mean affordable. Count around 3000 euros for the 65 inch version and 2000 euros for the 55 inch version. For these prices, the Japanese manufacturer does not skimp on tech with an HCX Pro Intelligent processor, a 10-bit 100 Hz panel, support for HDR10 / 10 +, but also HLG and Dolby Vision. In short, the full panoply and now classic, with a few more subtleties such as Dolby Vision IQ and HDMI 2.1 connectivity with partial support for associated technology. Let’s see it all in detail.
The Panasonic TX-65HZ1000 video test
Technical information sheet of Panasonic TX-65HZ1000
Panasonic HZ1000 and the beauty of OLED
On reading the technical promise made by Panasonic and the qualities of the TX-55GX1500 which had seduced us during the tests… we were naturally impatient to test this new model. And you know, this disappointment that invades you at the end of a movie that you watched after your loved ones oversold you its story … well that’s a bit what drives us after a week of testing this Panasonic TX -65HZ1000. It all started so well…
During our little test routine (or protocol as you wish), this OLED television easily takes up the various challenges imposed. The blue sky, the depth of field, the detail of the bricks, the skin tones, the gradient of the sky, the texture of the trees and the water … the HCX Intelligent Pro processor does a remarkable job with this version of Marco Polo (John Fusco) broadcast on Netflix with Ultra HD compression, however important.
No problem either in the management of blooming or clouding on Méridian. This test makes no sense here with an OLED TV, since each pixel emits its own light, but this will allow you to understand the difference that we evoke during the tests of the “classic” LCD and QLED LCD models.
We can say, during our sessions, the upscalling capacities (especially with a TNT signal) of the home processor are not the only elements that charmed us. The work done by Panasonic to produce a beautiful image, at the same time pleasant, dynamic, but without ever being aggressive or saturated is remarkable. The manufacturer manages to mix in a single scene a whole palette of colors where each is perceived with a striking accuracy. The warm atmosphere of a film and a series as we see a lot today or, on the contrary very dark does not really go unnoticed. On the other hand, on the side of fluidity even if we are not fans of these treatments which can quickly give rise to an artificial rendering, some of our sports programs pushed us to play the “Intelligent Frame Creation” function.
The option set to “minimum”, we found a very good and versatile rendering. In short, for all image processing, Panasonic once again confirms its know-how, while leaving the possibility for its users to appropriate the smallest adjustment. In the options … “it’s carnival”! It has everything you need to adjust the slab with small onions. It’s clear that the operating system for Panasonic TVs isn’t a benchmark (we’ll come back to that later), but when it comes to tweaks, there’s really all you need.
So, if you are not fully convinced by the Netflix modes (which is activated on demand when you watch content on this application), the long-awaited and very pleasant “film maker mode” (created by UHD Alliance and which here visibly replaces the excellent THX Cinema mode) or the spectacular Dolby Vision modes, you can customize the rendering thanks to an impressive number of settings: noise reduction, MPEG remaster, Resolution remaster, Dynamic range remaster, Intelligent Frame Creation, white balance, contrast control, color management, gamma, HDR management … nothing is missing. Not even, and it’s fortunate, the ability to reset the default settings, which will save your day when you’ve fished over-confidently.
And if we blamed Samsung during the test of the QE55Q80T to offer only a few image modes, at Panasonic, it’s abundance: cinema, filmmaker, real cinema, professional 1 & 2, dynamic, normal, photo pro, sports and games … Just that! Especially since you have to add HDR variants.
To complete this very good visual experience, you need an audio system at the height of such a 65-inch OLED TV, but suddenly … we will come back. The rendering of the built-in 2 x 15 watt stereo kit is fairly arbitrary for us. Sufficiently powerful, certainly, for most programs, but it is not really able to compete with the solutions offered by competitors at equivalent prices. As for the image, Panasonic offers a multitude of adjustments for the audio, the equalization modes (standard, music, speech, stage and user) are rather effective and the few tricks like the “bass boost” or the Surround modes (Dolby, Cinema Pro, Cinema and Stadium) will give the illusion … but for a very long time and not to everyone’s ears.
Dolby Vision IQ: frankly nothing very impressive
When viewing Dolby Vision content, three of these HDR modes are available: Dobly Vision Vivid, Dolby Vision IQ, and Dolby Vision Dark. Logically, the latter is to be used in a subdued environment, so that the brightness of the panel is not too annoying or tiring for the eyes.
The Dobly Vision IQ mode is probably the one that you will use the most, because it is the one that is responsible for producing the best possible image according to the light conditions of the room. In any case, that’s the promise of Panasonic. The HZ1000 indeed combines the measurement of the ambient light sensor with the metadata present in the HDR Dolby Vision source to adjust the brightness while ensuring the accuracy of the contrasts. And even if this techno takes a very special name on paper – even if we recognize the benefits of Dolby Vision – for us it is no more and no less than a brightness sensor coupled to the image adjustments.
Panasonic will no doubt defend itself with a shocking argument: “The intention is to ensure that the images appear exactly as they should be […] and that viewers will see what the creator wanted to show whatever the piece and whatever the content “, as you can read on his site. All right … but wouldn’t that be a speech close enough to what we were served in the past?
Finally, there is the Dolby Vision Bright mode which really boosts the brightness of the screen, but seriously raises the color temperature: it turns blue… but it farts! Besides, we can notice it in the color temperature settings which is automatically set to “cold 2”. However, this dazzling Dolby Vision mode is perhaps the means that best corrects the main defect of this panel: its reflections!
TV penalized by reflections
Indeed, throughout this week of testing, these moments of happiness at the end of the evening were somewhat marred by disappointments during the day. Why, why are the tiles on these OLED TVs so bright?
Tested under the same conditions as Sony KD-75XH95 and Samsung QE55Q80T (see installation details in our videos), this Panasonic TX-65HZ1000 was not unanimously received by family members when it came to watching our programs and playing the console during the day.
In our living room, the two bay windows facing south in the afternoon and our kitchen lit by a few glass blocks are all light sources that pollute the experience. It’s a real mirror. In the same way, at the end of the day, our LED spots recessed in the ceiling amplify the reflections when we are not perfectly installed in front of this large slab.
Even if we have to thank Panasonic for its central rotary foot which equips this television and thus makes it possible to fight, as best as possible, against reflections, remember all the same that the viewing angles have never really been a problem on OLED televisions, as long as the stray light sources are controlled. Anyway, at times, disappointment almost turns into a nervous breakdown when these flaws penalize a gaming experience that could have been so much fun.
Indeed, with this partial support for HDMI 2.1 including support for Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), this TV promises great performance for gamers. Please note, however, in this version of HDMI 2.1, the HZ1000 does not support 4K at 120 fps, the interest of which is in any case debatable … for the moment.
The response time and input lag should be continuously adjusted to achieve smooth flow in video games. Still, the input lag, precisely, is measured at 21.6 ms which is not a record for OLED. However, this TX-65HZ1000 is rather among the good students. In short, on the video game side, everything should be fine … if we except the problems of reflections which are not always forgotten despite the good brightness of the screen.
Excellent measures to correct the situation a bit
We cannot admit to you how many measurements we were able to make on this Panasonic TX-65HZ1000 as it offers modes and settings. And you may not be aware of it, but the more there are … the more it is a hassle for electronics and processing overlayers to not interfere with the process. The advantage is that you quickly notice when something is wrong.
And if everything goes rather well under cinema and real cinema modes, it is indeed the Film Maker mode that we recommend you use. At least as much as possible, because this one is not the brightest of all – the Dolby Vision modes do better – but our measurements show an excellent color fidelity! As the THX Cinema mode could have been in its time.
Unsurprisingly, the REC 709 color space is 98.2% covered and 94% covered for the DCI-P3. Values in the current trend of OLED panels that LG Display provides to manufacturers. On the other hand, this very gentle mode for the eyes displays a manifest tendency to draw towards red. In fact the color temperature is rather warm: 6386K, against 6500K for the reference data.
Whether in SDR or HDR, the color fidelity is really excellent! We got an average Delta E of 1.73 in REC.709 which is just perfect. The results are of the same order when the Delta E is measured in DCI-P3 mode with an exceptional performance of 1.65.
Out of curiosity, we did the test under the HLG configuration (HDR for Broadcast TV) and obtained an excellent average Delta E of 2.59. The measurements made in Dolby Vision mode and and HDR Film Maker attest to a light power rather in the high fork. The probe detects light peaks (generated by a white square occupying 10% of the screen) at almost 702 nits for the Dolby Vision and 622 nits for the Film Maker. But as we can also see in the screenshots above, the brightness curve quickly plummets as soon as the white surface becomes larger.
The limits of electronics are manifested, the more so as the performances are regulated to respect a level of max electrical consumption also.
My Home Screen 5.0, Pana struggles to catch up
If you don’t know it yet, Panasonic integrates a proprietary software solution whose application developments are (were?) Picking it up compared to an Android TV, TizenOS or webOS. My Home Screen (for my home screen) therefore tended, in our eyes, to penalize the brand’s models. This new version 5 installed on the TX-65HZ1000 would offer “Considerable usability improvements” according to Panasonic. Yep!
There is one that is obvious and very practical. Now, in the icon bar that appears at the bottom of the screen, recent content associated with VOD applications is offered on a second row of icons. This did not exist on version 4 that we tested on the TX-55GZ1500. It is certainly welcome, but it is already seen too. The manufacturer also highlights the Xumo application which is none other than an IPTV application … badly made. When it is first used, the application indicates that it is looking for “Operator programs”. In our case, we are subscribed to the SFR fiber and even if a validation message appears, we do not see any French program or channel appear in the list.
Only dozens of foreign channels, all (or most in any case) American and no sorting option by country are offered. The list of channels does not seem to respect any particular rule and the zapping time between two channels is several seconds on our 1 Gbit / s fiber connection.
In short, we are still not convinced by the multimedia and application aspect of My Home Screen 5. Certainly it offers Netflix, YouTube, Molotov or Prime Video applications, but forget some essential applications for football fans. While other platforms quickly saw the Disney app land, here it is nothing. Once again, Panasonic Japan is stubborn… and we are still not convinced, even if this operating system offers an impressive amount of settings to improve and personalize its settings.
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Finally, last point, the remote control. It has the advantage of offering all the keys necessary to access the functions with a minimum of commands. On the other hand, we found that you have to aim the TV really well for something to happen. In addition, we are moderately convinced by the impression of quality that these inscriptions give off, which seem to come from a piece of iron-on paper.
This may already have been the case on older models, but here it caught our attention and it is not worthy of a zappette that accompanies that accompanies a television set at 3000 euros. Yes ? Doesn’t that shock you? Are we exaggerating?
Price and availability of the Panasonic TX-65HZ1000
The Panasonic TX-65HZ1000 TV will be available in June. It will be offered with a diagonal of 65 inches around 2999 euros. It will also be launched in a 55-inch version at around 2,000 euros under the reference TX-55HZ1000.