Panasonic is back in the 4K OLED TV game at CES 2017 with the EZ1000 (EX1002 in the UK) series, which offers its "most faithful picture ever", as well as announcing three new 4K Blu-ray players.
Panasonic means business with its second OLED TV. Quite aside from looking stunning thanks to a super slim design, it makes some big claims about its performance.
The new TV, which will go on sale in Europe from June 2017, claims to offer double the peak brightness of 'conventional' OLED TVs. Panasonic says to can reach up to 800 nits, more than double Panasonic's previous OLED TV.
This is why, in Panasonic's view, the EZ1002 is the first truly HDR OLED TV. It also supports Hybrid Log Gamma and, of course, the HDR 10 standard, so it has all the things it needs to display HDR content at its best.
Related: HDR TV explained
Beyond this, Panasonic has added a few important features to create what it clearly believes to be the best TV it has ever made.
An Absolute Black Filter soaks up ambient light, reducing reflections and ensuring you get true blacks at all times. As ever with Panasonic, the colour production is tuned in Hollywood by renowned colourist Mike Sowa.
The EZ1000 also sees the introduction of a new processing chip, the Studio Colour HCX2. Panasonic says it tackles one of OLED TV's biggest problems, lost detail in near-black picture areas. As Panasonic explains:
"One of OLED’s greatest strengths is its ability to create a wonderfully rich, deep black colour. However, to deliver such black colours OLED pixels are essentially switched off -- and switching them back on again requires quite a large physical ‘jump’ in TV technology terms. Panasonic, though, is able to use know-how learned from its experience with plasma TVs to compensate for this characteristic of OLED panel technology, resulting in unprecedented amounts of detail in even the darkest scenes."
All this means that the Panasonic EZ1002 will in all likelihood be Ultra HD Premium certified, meaning it has the UHD Alliance's seal of approval.
Completing the package is an soundbar audio system designed and tuned by Panasonic's Technics audio division. The sound system with eight woofers, four squawkers and two tweeters, along with a quad passive radiator for extra bass.
The 65-inch EZ1002 will be available in Europe from June 2017.
Related: OLED vs LED
As for the new 4K Blu-ray players, Panasonic has unveiled three models: the DMP-UB400, DMP-UB310 and DMP-UB300. These are step down models following the top-end DMP-UB900 and the mid-level DMP-UB700.
All three models share the video processing of the step-up models. Features include Panasonic’s HCX processor, 4K direct chroma upscaling and 4K 60p/50p output. All three models are compatible with 3D Blu-ray discs too.
The DMP-UB400 is the only model of the three to have a twin HDMI set up, which lets you separate video and audio feeds. It also has better sound processing, and is compatible with hi-res audio, including 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz DSD. As step-down models, the DMP-UB310 and DMP-UB300 don’t have these.