Although it may not have as much "pull" as Korean manufacturers, the Japanese firm Panasonic continues to launch high-quality televisions. Especially when we talk about models located in the high range. As the new Panasonic FZ950 proves, a 4K OLED TV that achieves impressive image quality. A television that arrives willing to become a tough rival for the Samsung Q9F, the Sony AF8, the LG OLED E8 or the Philips OLED 973. And, as we will see now, arguments are not lacking.
In addition to great image quality, it has a powerful sound thanks to the bar designed by Technics. It also sports a beautiful glass design with premium finishes. And there is no lack of a Smart TV system that, while not as complete as that of its rivals, offers the majority of applications that users are looking for. All this with a fairly competitive Panasonic tv price in Bangladesh, always remembering that we are talking about high-end devices. I have had the opportunity to test the 65-inch model of the Panasonic FZ950 and in this analysis, I tell you all its secrets.
IT WILL GET THE ATTENTION OF YOUR GUESTS
If you are followers of the Japanese manufacturer, surely the design of the Panasonic FZ950 is familiar to you. And this new model follows the same line we saw in the Panasonic EZ1000 last year.
We start at the front. We have a panel with virtually invisible edges between the four sides. In the lower part, we have a few millimetres edges, in which the brand logo is located. There is no doubt that the screen is the main protagonist.
A role that shares with the huge soundbar that we have at the bottom. This is placed on the support, almost literally, since the installation consists of simply "dropping it". The soundbar is connected to the TV using a small special cable that, once plugged in, goes completely unnoticed.
To place the TV on the furniture we have pedestal support. The "neck" that connects this support with the panel is quite thick and sports a matte black colour. You can see practically nothing since it is almost hidden behind the soundbar. This support is wider than last year's model, I understand that to give some more stability to the whole. The truth is that TV is perfectly positioned on the furniture. At no time gives the feeling of instability.
We have tested Panasonic FZ950 rear
At the rear, as is usual for OLED TVs, we identify two distinct parts. The top looks a beautiful black glass finish, very premium. However, the bottom is somewhat less colourful.
In it we find the area of electronics, so get fat. We will be about 5 centimetres thick. The housing is plastic, with a rough touch to the touch. The power connector is on the right side (looking at the TV in front of the screen) and the rest of the connectors are on the opposite side.
GOOD CONNECTIVITY, WITH SOME "BUT"
The latter is covered by a cover to hide them. But here I must make a stop. When removing the cover we have all the connectors that we have reviewed in the datasheet. However, only some are placed horizontally. The rest are placed in a frontal position, which means that if we have to use them, the cover can no longer be put on. It is something I do not understand since the idea of the cover is good to have a cleaner back, but useless as soon as we have several devices to connect to the TV.
In lateral format, we have two HDMI ports, a USB port and tuners. The rest of the connections, such as the important network connection or the digital optical output, are in the front position. For example, in my case, I could not put the cover, since I had to use 3 HDMI ports.
And speaking of the HDMI connectors, I have to give Panasonic another “touch”. Of the four HDMI ports, only HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 have full bandwidth. What does this mean? In my case, for example, that when I connected the PS4 Pro to HDMI 3, I didn't recognize the HDR in games. With the aggravating fact that the ARC port is precisely HDMI 2. Since we only have two “full” HDMI, they could have placed the ARC protocol on another of the HDMI ports. This, which personally frustrated me a bit, most users may not be affected in the least. But you must know to take it into account.
Finally, comment that the Panasonic FZ950 comes with two controls included. The first is a complete command, possibly one of the best in the market. It has a very elegant metallic finish, direct buttons to the most common services and a specific button to illuminate the keys, something that I have not seen in any other model.
The second command, however, is not excessively useful. It is a more compact, although quite thick, control that has a large central touchpad. It is not a too ergonomic control and, honestly, the touch control has not worked as expected. It is somewhat imprecise and in the end, it compensates to use the arrow keys instead of the touch part.
Before entering to assess the image quality that the TV achieves, we will review the technical characteristics of the Panasonic FZ950. We have a 10-bit OLED panel with a 4K UHD resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.
The TV is equipped with the second generation HCX processor. This is capable of working with HDR10 and HLG images, but also with the HDR10 + dynamic metadata system. It is not compatible with Dolby Vision, as Panasonic is one of the leading companies that support the HDR10 + system.
The Panasonic FZ950 has Search Tables (LUT) with more layers, which translates into greater precision in colour management. Besides, these tables are now dynamic. That is, the TV adjusts the colours based on the luminance of the image displayed on the screen.
Panasonic has been insisting for some years that its televisions show the image as created by content creators. For this, according to the manufacturer, its high-end models have been adjusted by Hollywood experts. So, taking this into account, for the tests I used the image modes included in the TV, without any modification.
And now that we know what this TV "has inside", let's see how this translates into image quality. I make a small spoiler: the image quality achieved by the Panasonic FZ950 is impressive. The photographs do not do it justice.
We have many image modes available, but I have done almost all the tests alternating between the THX Cinema Day and THX Cinema Night modes. I have also used the Real Cinema, very similar to THX Cinema Night.
First, the level of blacks is sublime. Virtually all OLED TVs indeed have an impressive black level, but Panasonic has taken it a step further. Get some very dark scenes are more defined and the image has a little less noise than other OLED models.
At the opposite end, we have the brightness. According to Panasonic, the FZ950 has a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits, a fairly high figure for an OLED TV. The truth is that when viewing images I have not noticed much difference with OLED TVs from other manufacturers. But it is enough to watch TV in bright conditions.
We have tested Panasonic FZ950 coco image quality
The commented extended LUT tables are noticed when working with colours. Panasonic tends to prioritize the most real image over the most shocking image, just like Sony does. Thus, the colours shown are pleasant, without excessive saturation, with a very natural tone.
This does, that remains a little spectacular, in the long run, it is much better. Something similar happens to what we see in today's mobiles. AI systems tend to saturate colours to get more striking images. But in reality, we have less real images, in which elements such as the blue of the sky or the green of the grass show an unreal colour. The Panasonic FZ950 chooses to show a more realistic, less saturated image, which is appreciated when you use the TV for a long time.
The handling of moving images is also excellent. I have not detected any type of failure in fast scenes or sports. On the other hand, we have a completely sharp image, both in 4K movies and in images with Full HD resolution.
It is the same as I commented with the colour. Panasonic opts for subtlety, with a very good sharpness but without becoming excessive, artificial. I have also found that the TV does a great job of scaling with DTT images, with a much cleaner image than that seen on other models.
We have tested Panasonic FZ950 DTT image quality
Finally, no problem with the viewing angles. OLED technology once again demonstrates that it is ideal if we are going to have spectators located in a position that is very hidden from the screen. From any angle, we will have the same image quality, without loss of saturation or brightness.
Let's now talk about the sound. The Panasonic FZ950 is equipped with a Dynamic Blade soundbar. This has been adjusted by Technics, the audio specialist branch of Panasonic.
Inside this audio system, we have no less than 12 speakers, which allows achieving great sound. It is a powerful system that offers dynamic and very well balanced sound. Get clear dialogues in programs and strong bass in movies and series.
It offers several sound modes that try to offer the feeling of being in a surround system. Among them, I want to highlight the “ Cinema Surround Pro ” mode, since it manages to open the sound field and place the effects on the back in a very interesting way. I do not say that I can replace a complete 5.1 system, far from it, but it does a great job daily and to watch movies if we do not want to pull external equipment.
Panasonic insists once again, with the My Home Screen system. This time we reached version 3.0, with a design very similar to that seen in other years.
Let's be honest, it's not the best Smart TV system on the market. But the truth is that, for the vast majority of users, it will be enough. We have access to the 4K and HDR versions of Netflix and Amazon Video, as well as the YouTube application. It also has a web browser and RTVE applications, present in all systems.
For the rest, many applications that, at least in Spain, do not have much value. I have personally missed some application for IPTV and the on-demand television options of A3Media and Mediaset.
As for the menus, they have been somewhat outdated. If we press the Start button, the shortcuts to the most used applications (configurable) appear on the screen. To see the rest of the applications and options we will have to click on the Apps button.
Its design is what we have been seeing for several years at Panasonic. Large circles arranged in a horizontal line in the quick menu and as if it were mobile when entering the full menu.
The configuration menus, on the other hand, are very complete. Perhaps too much, since seeing so many configuration options can overwhelm less experienced users. But, true to its style, Panasonic offers us a great configuration system to those who like to “flirt” more.
We reach the end of the analysis and we have to conclude. I will make it very easy for you: the Panasonic FZ950 is one of the best OLED TVs of 2018. I can not say that it is the best, because I have not been able to test the proposals of LG and Sony, but surely it is very close to being.
We are facing a television with exceptional image quality. A natural image, subtle and refined, but with that extra "punch" expected from OLED TVs. It comes excellently calibrated from the factory and has a Game Mode with a fairly low input lag.
Along with its great image quality, the FZ950 has a soundbar that offers really good results. Its weak point maybe its Smart TV section, but I would not rule out this TV for it. My Home Screen is a simple system, but with which we can access Netflix and Amazon Video, two of the services most demanded by users.
As for the TV price in Bangladesh, we are within the usual in the high range. The 65-inch Panasonic FZ950 we have tested is priced at 3,600 euros. If we want it in 55 inches its price is 2,300 euros.
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