Panasonic has a bunch of new TVs for 2018. We’ve already seen the lovely flagship OLED models at CES 2018, but now it’s time to look at the more wallet-friendly LED LCD models, which promise a great 4K HDR experience at a more affordable price point.
First up is the Panasonic FX750 (FX780 in Europe), which is pictured above. It sits directly below the Panasonic FZ950 and FZ800 OLEDs, and aims to be the pinnacle of 4K and HDR on an LED screen. It shares the premium OLED models’ Hollywood Cinema Experience (HCX) processor, which has been tuned with the approval of professional studio colourists.
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4K and HDR is to be expected at this level, but Panasonic is supporting the HDR10+ flavour of dynamic metadata. That can optimise the high dynamic range performance scene by scene, which isn’t possible with the standard HDR10 format. Amazon Prime Video is a supporter of HDR10+, along with 20th Century Fox.
The new ‘super bright panel’ promises to be more efficient than ever and 20% brighter than last year’s models. Motion should be good, too – the FX750 boasts a processing rate of 2200Hz, and there’s a 4K Game Mode for fast response times even in HDR.
Being a premium model, the FX750 also benefits from Panasonic’s ‘Art & Interior’ school of design quirks. This year that means this LED LCD tries to emulate the OLED look: a one-sheet glass exterior with a minimalist central plinth. This model will be available in 49, 55, 65 and 75 inches.
One step down is the Panasonic FX740 (above), exclusive to Currys in the UK. It is available at 49, 55 and 65 inches. This looks to be almost identical to the FX750, albeit with darker metal elements. It has the same wide colour gamut and HDR support, as well as the same glass exterior. The key difference is the processing rate has dropped from 2200Hz to 1600Hz, and it doesn’t have the HCX processor.
The Panasonic FX700 (above) sits below that. This is the line between premium and midrange – we keep the 1600Hz processing rate but lose the fancy aesthetics. There’s less glass, more metal. The central plinth has been replaced with separate feet. They’re ‘switchable’, which means you can move them from the corners of the TV to the centre, in case you have a smaller AV rack. This model is available at 49, 55 and 65 inches.
The ‘entry-level’ model model is the Panasonic FX600 (above). This has the same switchable design as the FX700, but the processing rate drops to 1300Hz. Unusually for a lower-end model, the FX600 is armed with adaptive backlight dimming. This model is available at 43, 49, 55 and 65 inches.
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Panasonic has not announced prices and release dates yet, but April-May 2018 is a safe bet based on our experience.
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