Panasonic spent a lot of its press conference touting its rather impressive initiatives in segments like infotainment systems, aviation, and smart cities. And while they’re all impressive, we were admittedly most excited about news that the brand that championed plasma TVs a few short years ago is back in the TV game in a big way, announcing two new OLED TVs, the FZ950 OLED series and the FZ800 series.
The big daddy is the FZ950, which was shown off at the press conference and offers some key traits including Panasonic’s new HCX Video processor, which the company claims helps the panel display Hollywood-level accuracy — in fact, the company claims the TVs are “Hollywood-tuned.”
Panasonic also says “most 2018 models” will offer support for the newest HDR format, HDR10+, to allow for dynamic metadata that can change the way the TVs react to HDR content scene by scene, and even frame by frame. We’re assuming this means the TVs will also offer HDMI 2.1, which is necessary for connecting components compatible with HDR10+, though the company didn’t mention that specifically. It may well be the TVs only support HDR10+ for future streaming content, but that remains to be seen. All screens will also offer regular HDR10, as well as HLG HDR technology.
The FZ950 also offers a Blade speaker system built into the pedestal that has been tuned by Panasonic’s high-end audio brand, Technics. It’s a nice bit of leveraging of synergy as the company’s sterling audio brand melds with its new televisions, so we’re hoping these new OLEDs will at least come close to sounding as good as they look. The FX800 series appears to break there, offering the same (or a very similar OLED display), but without the Technics audio tech onboard.
That’s about all we’ve got for the TVs, as Panasonic is holding its cards very close to the chest — in fact, we don’t know yet when (or if) Panasonic will offer the TVs in the U.S., as the company has been out of the local TV market stateside for a number of years, but we expect them to be available sometime this spring.
Panasonic also unveiled two new Ultra HD Blu-ray players, including the DP-UB820 and the UP-UB420. The two new players are expected to offer impressive video quality and HDR10+ support, as well as access to multiple streaming sources.
For now, we’re just excited to see Panasonic get back in the TV saddle. We’ll update this post as we find out more, so stick with us.