Whenever a friend buys a new TV, they’ll generally try to convince you it’s upgrade time for you too. It’s often just so they feel better about spending hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds on a new set. The Panasonic TX-65CZ952B is different, though.
While you probably won’t be able to afford one, this 65-inch OLED TV’s picture quality will probably make your current one look, well, a bit crap. You’ll be able to check one out yourself from October, when the Panasonic TX-65CZ952B goes on sale.
Before we talk about pictures, though, there’s something that needs to be addressed. The Panasonic TX-65CZ952B is one of the most ridiculously well-dressed TVs ever made.
To let it become a bit of a lounge statement rather than something you just bung against the wall, almost all of the rear of the set is covered in Alcantara. Not heard of it? We’re not surprised. This man-made luxury fabric is used for the interiors of expensive yachts, offering great ruggedness but the feel of suede.
It’s used in some headphones too, like the cups of the Sennheiser Momentum On-ear. It feels great, but is it overkill?
Of course it is, but this is Panasonic big entrance into the world of OLED TVs. It doesn’t want the Panasonic TX-65CZ952B to be beaten by some old plastic LG OLED model. It’s seriously impressive, slim without seeming like it sacrifices anything just for the slim factor, and has a pretty swish metallic stand that makes it look a bit like the TV is floating in the air. Classic ‘stylish’ TV fodder, then.
Panasonic UK’s David Preece told us to expect the TV to be ‘relatively premium’ compared with what’s out there at the moment. If your wallet isn’t crying already, it will be by the time the Panasonic TX-65CZ952B’s price is officially announced.
However, if in say two years you end up owning an OLED TV, it probably won’t be this one. This is the bombastic scout, the one that proves Panasonic is out to reclaim the image quality king’s crown, which it owned when it was cranking out TVs like the Panasonic VT65.
This TV a great start. The Panasonic TX-65CZ952B has the same perfect blacks that make just about every OLED TV just staggeringly impressive if you’ve not seen one before. Even in a pitch black room, those space scenes in Gravity will look perfectly dark. I got to check out the TV in a dark room next to the last generation of Panasonic plasmas, and the OLED’s contrast was, sure enough, far better.
This is just the nature of OLED, though. As the pixels are their own light sources, getting perfect blacks isn’t really a specific Panasonic TX-65CZ952B feat. It begs the question: how is this better than LG’s big flashy OLED boxes?
The tricky bit in getting an OLED TV perfect is keeping colours looking accurate rather than overblown, and managing to keep those subtle gradations between dark, dark, dark grey and so grey it hurts. It’s those subtle bits that matter.
Standing next to Panasonic’s demo TVs, looking at the Panasonic TX-65CZ952B next to a pro calibrated colorist’s display, the TVs images didn’t look too far off perfect. Are we going to judge the TV from that? Of course not, but Panasonic seems to be putting the effort in.
One of the big ‘features’ of the Panasonic TX-65CZ952B is 4K Pro. It’s a silly marketing term, but one meant to indicate the processor puts extra effort into picking out those ultra-subtle gradations between colour tones and levels of grey. It may sound boring, but this is what’s going to separate a great OLED from the best OLED in the world. Now that LG’s not the only company making OLED TVs, that title is up for grabs.
To convince those not really into the nitty gritty tech behind all this TV nonsense, Panasonic has also teamed-up with Mike Sowa, a colourist who has worked on loads of big Hollywood films including Oblivion, Need for Speed and, err, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.
For the more commonplace TV specs, the Panasonic TX-65CZ952B has, as the name suggests, 65 inches of screen real estate, and a 4K resolution panel. It supports HDR content too, and has a light curve just like virtually every high-end TV to come out these days. This isn’t every TV, though. This is a TV we want with a passion that ruins credit ratings and break up relationships. Fingers crossed it costs under a grand, eh? Spoiler: it won’t.