Technology

2021 Panasonic OLED and LED TVs stay cinematic but up their game, new 48-inch OLED models debut

Panasonic has taken the wraps off its 2021 TV range, with screens designed to deliver the best performance for home cinema fans, gamers and armchair sports enthusiasts.

Earlier this year, the company previewed its flagship JZ2000 OLED. Now we know there with be three models positioned below it:  the JZ1500 (pictured above), JZ1000 and JZ980 series. All three will be available in 65-inch, 55-inch and 48-inch sizes.

One announcement we’re cock-a-hoop about is that the brand’s high performance Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, used in the JZ2000, will also be available on the step-down JZ1500. This will be welcomed by those that don’t need the fancy Dolby Atmos sound system built into the JZ2000 model.

It’s worth noting though that this high-brightness Pro Edition panel is only available on the 55- and 65-inch JZ1500 models, not the new 48-inch small screen.

One screen size missing from the 2021 Panasonic line-up was a 77-inch model. Panasonic explained: “Total volume for large inch sizes is comparatively small. Although we are always watching the market, we are prioritizing our resources on popular screen sizes…”

One announcement we’re cock-a-hoop about is the brand’s Master HDR OLED Pro Edition panel is available on the step-down JZ1500…

The Panasonic JZ100 OLED – more for less?

All OLED models benefit from colour tuning by leading Hollywood colourist Stefan Sonnenfeld, to ensure their cinematic image preset is as close a match as possible to the reference monitors used in colour grading suites, and feature the brand’s new HCX Pro AI processor. 

To further stress their cinematic credibility, the new screens were endorsed at their launch by legendary director Michael Mann, and Godzilla Vs Kong director Ben Seresin.

Micheal Mann said: “I try to calibrate the precise mood that visual imagery has the power to invoke within people. The Panasonic OLED delivers, superbly, exactly what we crafted in weeks of colour timing with Stefan at CO3 to generate the effect time after.”

Ben Seresin said: “The colour accuracy of Panasonic’s OLED TVs perfectly match what I see in the editing bays as a part of the creative process, and in my opinion, deliver the most cinematic home experience.” 

Other features include an Auto AI picture mode, which optimises image quality automatically based on whatever you’re watching, as well as Game Mode Extreme, which reduces latency for better fragging.

All 2021 OLED models support AMD FreeSync Premium, for Xbox Series X and PC gamers.

The gamer-friendly JX850 LED TV

The design of the 2021 range is elegantly minimalist. “We believe that our TVs should exist in harmony with our living spaces,” we were told, “to allow viewers to be fully focused on their favourite content. Our designers were strongly inspired by Japanese architecture – static, silent and still. We call this Architecture of Serenity. Inspired by the same Japanese philosophy, we will be introducing a brand new remote control in 2021, seamlessly fitting into your living room environment. It has actually been modelled on the rounded shape of traditional bowls, which make it ergonomic and comfortable to hold.” 

Joining Panasonic’s 2021 OLED fleet are three well specified LED TVs: the JX940 (available in 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch and 49-inch sizes), the JX850 (65-inch, 58-inch, 50-inch, 40-inch), and JX800 (65-inch, 58-inch, 50-inch, 40-inch). 

The top-end JX940 line is aimed at both sports fans and joystick jockeys. Here the new HCX Pro AI processor, is partnered with Intelligent Clear Motion which smooths out fast action, to remove judder.

The JX940 series also uses a HDR Cinema Display Pro panel with wide viewing angles. The entry-level JX800 will use last season’s HCX processor, combined with HDR Bright Panel Plus technology. 

HDR support covers Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ and HLG. There’s also wider availability for Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing, which like Dolby Vision IQ, improves HDR viewing in rooms with high ambient light.

Panasonic’s new Game Mode Extreme will be supported down to the JX940, bringing with it the advantages of 4K High Frame Rate (HFR) playback and Variable Refresh Rates. Dolby Atmos audio will be supported on TVs down to the JX850 series.

Prices are TBA.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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