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Panasonic TX-55HZW2004: Bright screen with Atmos sound


Clark Mcgreat

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With the TX-55HZW2004, Panasonic is building an OLED television that the rest of the industry has to measure itself against. Thanks to improved thermal management, the screen generates more peak brightness than others with this technology. This is particularly beneficial for the detail resolution of bright areas of the image. With Dolby Vision content and in Filmmaker mode, the integrated light sensor can adapt the image to the ambient light. With two additional loudspeakers firing upwards, the HZW2004 generates three-dimensional surround sound in Dolby Atmos format without additional peripherals. However, this is only really impressive if the ceiling and walls play along and reflect the sound properly. In addition, the price for a 55-inch TV is very high.


Panasonic TX-HZW2004: More light for more details
Like most TV manufacturers, Panasonic also sources the OLED panels for its televisions from LG displays. For the premium models of the HZW series, however, these are specially modified. For example, the Japanese developers have installed an extra heat pipe for them, thereby improving heat dissipation. Less heat means less thermal stress for the pixels. This benefits the service life and could also help against a dreaded burn-in effect. The cooling system is immediately noticeable through less afterglow and thus a more fluid display of moving images and, above all, more peak brightness.

With a measured brightness of 967 cd/m², the TX-55HZW2400 is currently our brightest OLED television. However, it does not achieve the luminosity of current LC screens. For a brilliant picture he still prefers a rather dim environment. The display of reflections and highlights in particular benefit from the additional brightness reserves. Particularly in HDR images, the detail resolution of bright image passages is almost perfect. In our test sequence with a herd of bison in the snow, every snout hair is clearly drawn. The relatively high checkerboard contrast of 246: 1 and the very even illumination also help. The screen covers more than 99 percent of the DCI-P3 color space required for impressive HDR images.

Regardless of whether it is 720p and 1080i from the TV stations or Full HD from the Blu-ray Disc: The HCX-Pro image processor scales action-packed videos cleanly and almost without artifacts to 4K. Only where sharply contoured objects move over a restless background, such as children swinging in front of a forest backdrop, can slight flicker effects be seen at the edges. The latency of 22 milliseconds we measured after a brief settling in is not excellent, but it should satisfy most gamers.

 

Technical test data for Panasonic TX-55HZW2004 Specification:

Product: Panasonic TX-55HZW2004
Maximum brightness: 967 cd / m²
Checkerboard Contrast: 246: 1
Color space coverage DCI-P3: 99%
acceptable viewing angle range: > 90 ° (H) /> 90 ° (V)
Display type: OLED
Diagonal: 55 inches
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
Latency in gaming mode: 22 ms
Local dimming: Pixel dimming
Speaker: 2 x 40 watts, subwoofer
Digital tuner cable: 2 tuners
Digital tuner satellite: 2 tuners
Digital tuner DVB-T2: 2 tuners
USB recording possible: Yes
HDMI inputs: 4 sockets
HDMI 2.1: individual features
SCART inputs: unavailable
Component inputs: 1 socket
Headphone output: Yes
Output audio digital: Yes
Bluetooth headphones support: Yes
Number of USB ports: 3 sockets
LAN: Yes
WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: Yes
Smart TV: Firefox OS
Netflix: Yes
Amazon Prime Video: Yes
Disney +: No
Max cathedrals: Yes
Chromecast / Miracast: Yes
Airplay: No
Youtube: Yes
Browser: Yes
HbbTV: Yes
Illuminable remote control: Yes
DLNA support: Yes
HDR10: Yes
HDR10 +: Yes
Dolby Vision: Yes
HLG: Yes
Format support H.264: Yes
Format support HEVC: Yes
Format support DTS: No
Format support AC3: Yes
Format support Dolby Atmos: Yes
Power consumption in SDR mode: 124.5 watts
Power consumption in HDR mode: 172.3 watts
Power consumption in standby: 0.4 watt
EU energy label: A.
Light sensor: Yes
Miscellaneous: 0
Dimensions: 123 x 78 x 31 cm
Screen thickness: 60 mm
Weight: 33.0 kg
Tested on: 10/14/2020

Acoustically in the third dimension
Where other TV manufacturers need outside help, Panasonic draws on its own acoustics experts from its own Technics brand. The visible result of this collaboration is, in addition to the speakers at the bottom of the screen and the bass in the back, two additional speakers that fire upwards. That slightly scratches the elegance of the ultra-thin screen. But this television is able to create the three-dimensional surround sound of Dolby Atmos without separate boxes or a soundbar. Provided that the ceiling and the adjacent walls play along. Only when they reflect the sound hard enough does the wow effect appear.

Even without spectacular helicopter overflights or explosive orgies, acoustic moods are given more space overall. Dialogues, but also music, for example, have a harmonious height effect, and singular sound sources can be precisely located. But only if you are sitting in the sweet spot. This can be determined individually in the menu by entering the distances between the TV and the ceiling, the walls and the seating position. With a maximum output power of 140 watts together, the TV generates a powerful sound that goes well beyond room volume and is almost free of distortion up to the full limit.

The manufacturer does not provide that you also integrate the good sound device into a separate system. Only one subwoofer can be switched on via the headphone socket. Instead of the television speakers, you can also connect your own system or soundbar via eARC.


Sensitive image adaptation to the environment
As one of the few TV manufacturers, Panasonic has supported the two competing HDR standards HDR10+ and Dolby Vision for its televisions for a long time. The televisions also know how to deal with the HLG standard, which is interesting for HDR broadcast via cable and satellite. Thanks to HLG-Foto, amateur photographers do not have to do without the extended contrast range when presenting their own works.

A new addition to the HZW2400 series is the improved interaction with the built-in light sensor. Instead of roughly adjusting the overall brightness of the screen to the ambient light, the screen works in a differentiated manner. During the day, for example, the deep black parts of the picture are not washed out to gray, while dark areas are brightened and light areas are only so far that cloud structures are retained.

Panasonic adorns its flagship with the HDMI 2.1 seal, but the four HDMI interfaces only have a few features. Everyone can use the ALLM mode, which is of interest to gamers, and which deactivates image enhancement modes that slow down the game console when it starts up. The extended audio return channel (eARC), important for the playback of Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, only runs via HDMI socket 2. The transmission bandwidth is limited to 4K images at 60 fps (images per second). The manufacturer has not yet decided whether and when there will be an update to the variable refresh rate (VRR).

As the owner of an Android smartphone, you can stream your own content wirelessly to the television via Google Cast. With the iPhone or iPad, however, the screen remains dark because Airplay is not provided. Here you can find out how it works anyway .

 

Above average energy consumption
The high peak brightness as well as the lush audio equipment take their toll on the socket. The TX-55HZW2004 can adorn itself with the EU energy label A, but with a measured 172 watt power consumption in HDR mode, it only receives the energy efficiency rating "Good" from us. But you have to take this television into account for the fact that you can save yourself an otherwise often additionally necessary soundbar with it.

Panasonic TX-55HZW2004 Pros:

  • Excellent picture quality
  • 3D surround sound
  • Automatic adaptation to ambient light

Panasonic TX-55HZW2004 Pros:

  • No integration of the speakers in an external sound system
  • No full HDMI 2.1 support
  • Expensive

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