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(Pocket-lint) – The Panasonic TX-55LZ2000 is your living room equivalent of a high-end West End cinema. It’s a no-compromise entertainment machine, delivering incredible 4K picture quality thanks to the brand’s HCX AI Pro SoC, new OLED.EX panel technology and the best in-TV Dolby Atmos sound system.
But as with any high-end cinema, the ticket price is steep. The good news is that no one is going to kick the back of your seat here.
Panasonic has also upped its game (literally), with its new Game Control Board interface and offers console-friendly features. If you spend as much time gaming as you do watching movies, this is a TV worth checking out.
The LZ2000 is available in three screen sizes (one more than last year’s JZ2000 line): 55, 65, and (the new) 77-inch (TX-55LZ2000, TX-65LZ2000, TX-77LZ2000), at priced at £2,299, £2,899 and £4,299 respectively. We tested the TX-65LZ2000 on our test bed, and we think it’s one of the best TVs of the year. Read on to find out why.
As befits its flagship status, the LZ2000 is, as expected, brilliant. We’ve always appreciated the precision and cinematic presentation of Panasonic’s HCX processing, and here we see it at its zenith, coupled with a stunning dynamic OLED panel. Big budget TV shows and movies get the red carpet.
I’m not quite sure how much value this new beamforming driver array is worth, but the device’s overall Dolby Atmos spread is impressive. It’s more than capable of keeping pace with blockbuster soundtracks, in terms of direction and visceral attack.
HDMI feed is also good, although it would be nice to upgrade to four HFR cable inputs at some point; nonetheless, the TV is a great partner for a next-gen games console. We’ve never seen Call of Duty Warzone run smoother or look cleaner than on the TX-55LZ2000.
All things considered, the TX-55LZ2000 can be considered a real movie star. It is highly recommended.
Panasonic TX-55LZ2000 review: The ultimate 4K home cinema TV
5 Stars – Pocket-lint Editors’ Choice
- Superior 4k picture quality
- 360° Audio Soundscape Pro Dolby Atmos
- Universal HDR coverage
- Only two 4k 120fps HDMI inputs
- 4x HDMI
- Soundscape Pro 360° sound system
- 1 digital optical audio output
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
It’s true that the LZ2000 looks a lot like its predecessor, the JZ2000, but behind the looks is next-gen OLED glass and a Dolby Atmos sound system, which has been upgraded with an all-new tilting assembly on the front. You can actually steer its sound output left or right, using a nifty on-screen graphic, and thus favor one part of the room over another.
The flagship display still features the rear-mounted height speakers and side speakers, complemented by a rear-mounted woofer. Panasonic calls this 360° system Soundscape Pro, with an impressive total power output of 150W.
The TX-55LZ2000 might not be the slimmest of models – those rear-placed speakers need a bit of room to breathe after all – but the whole thing is pretty sleek.
The screen sits on a central plinth and has a very thin bezel (it’s so thin I’m not even sure you can call it a bezel anymore). The remote is also well made and substantial, with dedicated buttons for Netflix, Rakuten TV, Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube and Freeview Play.
Connectivity is good, with one downside. There are four HDMI inputs, but only two can handle 4K 120HZ high frame rate (HFR) video. eARC is supported (but given the power of the TV’s audio system, it’s unlikely to be paired with a soundbar), plus ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and VRR with jack AMD Freesync Premium support.
If you need it, there are three USB ports, plus digital optical audio output and Ethernet. Wireless connectivity is provided by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The LZ2000 has Freeview Play terrestrial and satellite tuners, as well as a CI slot.
- My Home Screen v7.0
- Game Control Board interface
- Support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
Panasonic’s My Home Screen platform, now in version 7.0, handles the device’s smart streaming functionality. Intuitive use remains the main selling point here, with customizable home pins for easy access to your favorite services.
The selection of streaming apps includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, Britbox, Rakuten TV, Disney+, plus all the catch-up services you’ve come to expect from Freeview Play including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 , UKTV Play, CBS Catch Up and Legend.
Gaming enthusiasts will appreciate the new Gaming Control Panel, a pop-up overlay of related settings (picture mode, 4K bypass, HDR tonemap status, and VRR). There’s also an information panel that provides details on resolution, frame rate, and color space. To avoid having to navigate menus to find that cornucopia of details, you can assign the game board to the ‘My App’ button on the remote, which is a nice touch.
Input lag is good at 14.5ms (1080/60).
- Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, Filmmaker mode with Intelligent Sensing.
- HCX AI Pro Processor
- Dolby Atmos audio
The TX-55LZ2000 is a pleasure to watch. Its images are detailed and rich in color, with no hint of sharpening or unwanted noise. There is depth in its shadows and nuance in its broad band colors.
The combination of the brand’s proven HCX AI Pro processor and OLED Master Pro panel results in immense visual brilliance. This monitor is just as well suited to a bright room as it is to a darker one. Leave the screen on its Auto AI preset and it’ll work in tandem with an ambient light sensor to present the best-balanced image possible, given your viewing conditions.
The HCX AI Pro chip is extremely powerful and helps to ensure that you are always watching the best picture possible. It can compare the content frame by frame in real time, referencing it in a database using genre recognition, in order to adjust the image parameters accordingly.
Panasonic TV engineers have a lot of experience in heat management, which allows them to make the most of panel technology to achieve better brightness. Here, that expertise gets a welcome boost, thanks to OLED-EX.
Using the Normal screen preset, we measured peak HDR brightness in a 5% window at around 1000 nits, which means it does an amazing job with HDR highlights, like lamps, lights and fireworks.
At the other end of the spectrum, things are also very good. Sure, all OLEDs deliver perfect black, but many crush black detail in the process. Fortunately, that is not the case here.
In fact, this 55-inch TV does a terrific job pulling fresh detail from The Terminal List’s famously challenging opening shootout (UHD/HDR Prime Video). Our favorite picture preset, True Cinema, is sublime – cinematic yet smooth – with no obvious artifacts.
As Panasonic wants, the color adjustment is signed by Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld, and the whole thing has sparkle to spare. Improvements have also been made in terms of color volume, especially for blue.
The LZ2000 offers universal HDR playback, with support for Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive and Netflix Adaptive calibrated modes, which dynamically adjust HDR content based on ambient lighting conditions in the room.
There’s also the universal standardized Filmmaker Mode, backed by Panasonic’s Intelligent Sensing technology, which does the same thing.
There’s no penalty if you’re watching non-4K content, as TV upscaling is excellent. We even praised the screen’s motion smoothing options, which work remarkably well with live sports and soap operas.
- Integrated audio system
- Dolby Atmos support
- 150W total power
Audio has not been neglected. The LZ2000 range benefits from a fully engaged Dolby Atmos sound system, via an integrated soundbar. You have to calibrate it during setup using Space Tune, an automatic equalization system that optimizes the output for your room, but it only takes a few minutes.
The forward-facing soundbar is backed by height speakers and dedicated side speakers, and they’re substantial and efficient, spreading the soundstage high and wide. The set also has surprisingly strong mid and low bass, thanks to the rear woofer.
It fails to place objects behind the viewing position, but still sounds appropriate and immersive. For non-Atmos content, the algorithms adapt normal multi-channel and stereo streams to all speakers.
Total output power is rated at 150W. The front panel receives 70W, including 2 x 15W for the side speakers and 2 x 15W for the heights. The woofer receives 20 W to play.
Sound presets cover Auto AI, Standard, Music, Speech, Stadium, and User. We found Auto AI for audio to be a bit inconsistent, so Standard became the default setting.
New to the TX-55LZ2000 is the Beam Forming feature, which lets you aim the front speaker array at a specific listening area, using an on-screen graph to judge the direction. We think this feature might appeal to those with large open spaces who don’t want to disturb their neighbors.
Panasonic has upgraded its range of premium OLED TVs with a high-brightness panel, new beam-steering audio technology and a set of advanced gaming features, with high frame rate 4K playback. Whichever way you look at it, the LZ2000 is a winning package.
Written by Steve May. Edited by Verity Burns.