While Samsung is placing their bets with QLED, the OLED side of the home entertainment arms race looks set to intensify with Panasonic bringing its next-generation display range to Australian shores in the coming months.
This year, the company is talking up its new mantra of perfecting the extraordinary and in the context of the home display market, it’s hard not to see that as both a wholehearted embrace of OLED as a technology and an open challenge to rival LG.
The range will be headlined by the EZ1000, available in two sizes. Touted as the company’s “Master OLED”, the EZ1000 is due to hit the market with both a 77-inch and 65-inch variants. It’ll arrive equipped to deliver HDR, 4K and Hybrid Log Gamma standard video. For gamers, it’s even got a dedicated gaming mode that reduces input lag
The last piece of the puzzle is the smart functionality. The EZ1000 is powered by Panasonic’s My Home Screen 2.0 interface. They promise easy integration with nearby smart devices and intuitive juggling between different inputs.
Panasonic are bringing plenty of their own touches to the OLED experience too. Both branches of their OLED range come with a slim and fully-featured ‘Dynamic Blade Speaker soundbar. Built by Pansonic’s Technics division, it brings no less than 14 speakers to bear in pursuit of bringing Hollywood-grade cinematic experiences to the homes of customers.
While it lacks the Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision featured in LG’s OLED range, Panasonic say it’ll make up for it by bringing a powerful StudioColor HCX2 4K Processor and HEXA Chrome Drive to the table.
The company argue that Panasonic’s prior experience with self-emitting diodes (specifically with plasma displays) will enable them to take OLED-based home entertainment experiences to the next level.
Doug Campbell, Category Manager for AV and Imaging at Panasonic Australia explained that “for Panasonic, these innate OLED talents are just the start. Panasonic OLED TVs take OLED’s unique qualities and add a powerful mix of hardware and software innovations that’s born from decades of experience in developing TV technology, as well as a 20-year collaboration with Hollywood.”
Alongside the top-of-the-line EZ1000, there’s also the somewhat-cheaper EZ950. The EZ950 promises more-or-less the same results but come sized for smaller living environments at 65 and 55-inches.
For those not ready to make the jump to OLED, the company are also rolling out a range of traditional UHD LED LCD TVs. Starting at $3299 and due to rollout as soon as this month, the EX780 promises to deliver outstanding levels of brightness at a crisp 200Hz refresh rate. It’ll also incorporate a versatile ‘swivel and lift’ design, which Panasonic say will help “ensure the perfect viewing angle”.
Following up on that in May, the EX600 starts at $1799 and promises to leverage a super-bright panel, advanced color processing and adaptive backlight dimming to bring a quality HDR experience to the masses.
Finally, there’s the low-end ES500 and E400 HD LED LCD TVs, which round out the range and start at $1399 and $499 respectively. They are the only models in the 2017 range that won’t come with smart TV integration – which might not be a deal-breaker if you’re approaching the displays from an affordability-standpoint but is still worth taking note of.
The 65-inch EX1000 will be available from July at a price of $8899. The 77-inch model will arrive later down the track in November. Meanwhile both the 65-inch and 55-inch EZ950 land in July at $7199 and $4999, respectively.