Want a new Panasonic OLED TV? You’ll pay top dollar for directional Dolby Atmos
Full details of Panasonic’s TV lineup for 2022 are in and, having shone a spotlight on the impressive LZ200 flagship OLED model back at CES in January, many of us have been waiting with baited breath for clarity on the rest of the range ever since.
Panasonic has now peeled the covers off four further OLED models plus two LCD sets and, there’s no easy way to say this… it seems that the impressive sonic wizardry we hoped might trickle down to at least one of the more lowly sets has not materialised.
Panasonic LZ15000: same picture, pared-back sound
The new LZ1500 joins the top-tier LZ2000 in terms of picture-quality, boasting the same Master OLED Pro panel and picture processing tech, but it features a pared-back sound system when compared to the 2000’s Technics-tuned front-, side- and upwards-firing speaker arrangement.
To dig into what that means a little more, the LZ2000 is exciting because it introduces directional sound as well as Panasonic’s 360-degree Soundscape audio package. Its multiple built-in upward-firing, side-firing, and front-firing speaker units promise a spatial soundstage with Dolby Atmos content, but thanks to the new advanced Front Array Speaker System, they should also be able to direct the sound towards the viewer; there’s a Pinpoint mode that can focus audio at a specific spot in front of the TV, while an Area mode emits sound in a larger space. A third and final Spot mode offers something in the middle, while focusing most of the volume at a specific seat. Engaging stuff.
The two biggest models within the secondary OLED LZ1500 series (65”, 55” models only) boast a sound system Panasonic is calling ‘Dynamic Cinema Surround Pro’, which supports Dolby Atmos and uses a built-in woofer to add bass clout – but it’s certainly a step down from throwing immersive sound around your living room…
Where the LZ2000 comes in 55-inch, 65-inch and (new for Panasonic OLEDs) a big-screen 77-inch model, as you might expect, the LZ1500 comes in smaller sizes of 65 inches, 55 inches, 48 inches and (another first within Panasonic’s OLED lineup) 42 inches. But it’s not Master OLED Pro displays across the board: Panasonic is quick to state that the 48- and 42-inch LZ1500 sets lose the Master OLED Pro panels in favour of a regular OLED display.
Panasonic LZ1000, LZ980 and LZ800 OLEDs
Beneath the Panasonic LZ2000 and LZ1500, three further OLED TV models make up the quintet for 2022. First up, the LZ1000, which features a Master OLED (rather than the flagship Master OLED Pro) display and comes in 55 and 65-inch models. Sonically, here you’re getting another slight step down, to what Panasonic calls Cinema Surround Pro (ie. without the Dynamic prefix).
Below this are two entry-level OLEDs called the LZ980 and LZ800, which sport neither the Master OLED Pro nor Master OLED screen. These OLED models are both available in 42, 48, 55 and 65 inches and again, with the big difference being the onboard speaker setup, with the LZ980 boasting the same Cinema Surround Pro as the LZ1000 and the LZ800 featuring the more rudimentary Cinema Surround.
All of the models support Dolby Vision and HDR10+, as well as (an unspecified number of) HDMI 2.1 sockets for 4K 120Hz at full resolution and VRR (including AMD FreeSync Premium) plus a new Game Control Board similar to LG’s Game Optimiser, which should corral all of your gaming features and info into one place.
Good evening Europe!
Additionally, Panasonic has unveiled two LCD TVs to sit below its OLEDs – although the most entry-level of the pair seems to be a UK-only model and the more premium TV is an EU-only set.
Where Panasonic’s OLEDs are designed for movie-lovers, the company has officially billed the EU-only LX940 as “an immersive viewing experience for sports and gaming fans” and to that end it has a 120Hz LCD panel with an LED backlight. Panasonic lists it as available in 43, 49, 55, 65 and 75 inch sizes, with an HDR Cinema Display Pro picture.
And, somewhat surprisingly, there’s a UK exclusive model, too. Unlike propositions further up the Panasonic 2022 TV food chain, which use the company’s proprietary My Home Screen 7.0 operating system, the LX800 is an Android TV. It is available in 43, 50, 55, 65 and 75 inch sizes, the two smallest sporting HDR Bright Panel+ displays and the larger options listed as HDR Cinema Display – note the omission of the ‘Pro’ suffix.
Official pricing and availability details have not yet been released by Panasonic, but as we know, so shall you.
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May 13, 2022 at 06:15AM