Panasonic’s 2018 4K HDR and HD TV lineup explained

Panasonic TVs 2018: every Panasonic model and series number explained. If you’re looking at a Panasonic TV and you don’t know what all the numbers mean, we’ve got you covered. Here’s all you need to know before you buy one.

What follows is a comprehensive breakdown of the entire 2018 Panasonic TV lineup. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek in January at CES 2018, where the Panasonic FZ950 and FZ800 series 4K OLED models were unveiled. Here is everything else, but first here are some things you ought to know.

Five things you should know about Panasonic TVs in 2018

  1. Hollywood uses Panasonic’s OLED TVs. The Panasonic EZ1000 OLED was not only tuned by professional studio colourists, it is used at many Hollywood post-production facilities to colour-grade films. That means you can buy the very model of TV that was used to work on some of the biggest recent releases, such as Wonder Woman.
  2. Every model released in 2018 will be compatible with high dynamic range – even the lower-end HD ones. Last year, Sony was the only company to do this, and I’m glad to see Panasonic is doing it too. It makes sense: HDR is a more impactful upgrade than 4K resolution in many ways, and we’re now seeing more non-4K HDR content. Star Trek Discovery is a recent example.
  3. The 4K models not only support HDR, they support HDR10+, which uses dynamic metadata to optimise the HDR performance scene by scene. Amazon Prime Video is a supporter of HDR10+, along with 20th Century Fox.
  4. All of the LED LCD models are edge-lit designs, and most of those (in 43, 49 and 55 inches) use IPS panels.
  5. The company is 100 years old in 2018. Happy birthday, Panasonic.

Related: Best 4K TVs

 

Now let’s look at some 2018 TVs. Prices haven’t been confirmed, but I expect to find out that info nearer the release window in April. I’ll leave my 2017 coverage at the bottom of this article, as many of those models are still in shops.

A quick way to decipher these numbers is as follows: Panasonic is using ‘FZ’ to label this year’s top TVs, the 4K OLED models. ‘FX’ is for the 2018 4K LED LCD models, a step down in the range. ‘FS’ is for the lower tier models going up to 1080p. All of the 2018 models can be identified by the ‘F’ in the model number, so it follows that ‘E’ is for 2017 and anything labelled ‘D’ is from 2016.

Panasonic 2018: 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs

Panasonic OLED 2018

Panasonic EZ1000 series – 77 inches

  • Panasonic TX-77EZ1002

The EZ1000 series was Panasonic’s top model of 2017, and it’s still so good it will continue to be sold into 2018 – albeit only at the largest size of 77 inches. The EZ1000 isn’t only tuned by Hollywood, it is used by Hollywood professionals. So if colour accuracy is your thing, this model is hard to beat. It’s also armed with a Technics-tuned soundbar, so it’s not just the picture that’s worth shouting about. Read our review of the 65-inch version below.

Review: Panasonic TX-65EZ1002

Panasonic FZ950

Panasonic FZ950 series – 55 and 65 inches

  • Panasonic TX-55FZ952
  • Panasonic TX-65FZ952

The Panasonic FZ950 series is the successor to the EZ1000. Aesthetically it’s a very similar offering: you get a Technics-tuned soundbar and the Absolute Black filter for minimising reflections and unwanted ambient light.

Under the hood, the improvements are more subtle. The new panel is similar, but processing is better optimised, resulting in a brighter picture. Dark performance has been improved too, with more precise control over shadow detail than before, even at extremely low black levels. The soundbar isn’t more powerful than on the EZ1000, but it sounds richer.

Panasonic OLED TV FZ800

Panasonic FZ800 series – 55 and 65 inches

  • Panasonic TX-55FZ802
  • Panasonic TX-65FZ802

This is literally what happens when you take the FZ950 series and replace the soundbar stand with a regular plinth stand. Other than that, the specs and performance are identical. A good way to save some cash if you have an existing sound system and don’t need audio reinforcement.

Related: Panasonic’s new FZ950 and FZ800 4K OLED TVs are the closest thing to Hollywood in your home

 

Panasonic 2018: 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs

Panasonic LED TV FX750 FX780

Panasonic FX750 series (FX780 in Europe) – 49, 55, 65 and 75 inches

  • Panasonic TX-49FX750
  • Panasonic TX-55FX750
  • Panasonic TX-65FX750
  • Panasonic TX-75FX750

This is the premium LED LCD model in the range. Why is it premium? Firstly there is the fancy ‘Art & Interior’ design, which translates to a one-sheet glass body and a minimalist central plinth. (The 75-inch one doesn’t get that– it’s too big for glass and uses a lot of metal instead.)

Then there’s the fact that it shares the same HCX processor found in the flagship OLED models – that means some gorgeous colours and good contrast management.

Finally, it has the best dimming tech out of the LED LCD models. These are all edge-lit models, which use a combination of physical zonal dimming and software-based digital dimming. The FX750 gets better digital dimming than the models below it. Oh, and this is the only LED LCD model with a native 100Hz panel.
Panasonic LED FX740

Panasonic FX740 series – 49, 55 and 65 inches

  • Panasonic TX-49FX740
  • Panasonic TX-55FX740
  • Panasonic TX-65FX740

The FX740 series looks nearly identical to the FX750, but it loses out on the advanced digital dimming and the HCX processor. That means its contrast and colours won’t be quite as good, although it supports the same wide colour spectrum as all the models above it. This model and those below it use a native 50Hz panel.

In the UK, the Panasonic FX740 series is exclusive to Currys.

Related: Best TVs

Panasonic LED TV FX700

Panasonic FX700 series – 49, 55, and 65 inches

  • Panasonic TX-49FX700
  • Panasonic TX-55FX700
  • Panasonic TX-65FX700

We’re now far enough down the range that the ‘Art & Interior’ fancy design quirks no longer apply. The glass body has been swapped for a more conventional one that uses metal. The central pedestal is no more, and instead you get separate feet. Thankfully those feet can be repositioned: set them far apart if you have a wide bench, or put them at the centre if you don’t.

Panasonic FX600 series

Panasonic FX650 series – 43, 49, 55 and 65 inches

  • Panasonic TX-43FX600
  • Panasonic TX-49FX650
  • Panasonic TX-55FX650
  • Panasonic TX-65FX650

Now we enter ‘entry-level’ territory for the 4K Ultra HD models. You still get the switchable feet, but you lose the local dimming. Instead, this set will use an ‘adaptive backlight dimming’, which essentially adjusts the brightness and contrast depending on the content.

 

Panasonic 2018: Full HD and HD-ready LED LCD TVs

Panasonic HD TV 2018

Panasonic FS500 series – 24, 32, 40 and 49 inches

  • Panasonic TX-24FS500
  • Panasonic TX-32FS503
  • Panasonic TX-40FS503
  • Panasonic TX-49FS503

As much as I love talking about massive 4K TVs, the smaller HD TV market is still going strong. This is a good option if you’re not fussed about chasing the latest specs or if you want a second TV in the home. This model is pretty basic, but it does at least offer smart TV, with Netflix supposed to boot up in 10 seconds.

Only the 40- and 49-inch versions are Full HD (1080p). The 24- and 32-inch ones are HD-ready (720p).

Related: Best cheap TVs

Panasonic FS400 series – 32 and 40 inches

  • Panasonic TX-32FS400
  • Panasonic TX-40FS400

Here we have the bottom of the entire range. This looks similar to the FS500 series, but there is no online functionality.

And that’s it for the Panasonic TVs to be released in 2018. Read on for the 2017 models, some of which are still available in shops.

 

Panasonic 2017 TV Model Number Guide

  • EZ1002 (EZ1000 outside the UK) – 77 and 65 inches
  • EZ952 (EZ950 outside the UK) – 65 and 55 inches
  • DX902 (2016 model, continues in 2017) – 65 and 58 inches
  • DX802 (2016 model, continues in 2017 – 58 and 50 inches
  • EX750 (EX780 in Europe) – 75, 65, 58 and 50 inches
  • EX700 – 65, 58, 50 and 40 inches
  • EX600 – 65, 55, 49 and 40 inches
  • ES500 – 49, 40, 32 and 24 inches
  • ES400 – 49, 40 and 32 inches

 

Panasonic TX-77EZ1002 / TX-65EZ1002

This was the first of Panasonic’s 2017 TVs to be announced. It’s the company’s second OLED, the follow-up to the hugely successful CZ952 from 2015. It has double the peak brightness, going up to 1000 nits. It uses Panasonic’s top-tier Studio Colour HCX2 processor, which is accurate enough to be used in a Hollywood colour grading environment. Its Absolute Black filter absorbs stray ambient light and minimises reflections, and it also has a speaker bar tuned by Panasonic’s Technics division.

Read our verdict: Panasonic TX-65EZ1002 review

Panasonic EZ952Panasonic EZ952

 

Panasonic TX-65EZ952 / TX-55EZ952

In a surprise move, Panasonic announced it has a second OLED up its sleeve. The EZ952 is very similar to the EZ1002: it uses the same panel and the same Studio Colour HCX2 processor. It doesn’t have the Absolute Black filter and soundbar base, though. Perhaps most importantly, this range sees Panasonic offer OLED in a more accessible 55-inch variant.

Read our verdict: Panasonic TX-65EZ952 review

 

Panasonic TX-65DX902 / TX58DX902 / TX-58DX802 / TX-50DX802

The DX902 and DX802 series were the top two performers in Panasonic’s 2016 lineup. They will continue to be sold in 2017.

We’ve tested both and you can read our findings here:

 

Panasonic EX750Panasonic EX750

Panasonic TX-75EX750 / TX-65EX750 / TX-58EX750 / TX-50EX750

As the top-tier LCDs from 2016 continue to be sold this year, Panasonic’s 2017 LED LCD range begins in the middle tier. The EX750 is the top model of this middle tier. It has a peak brightness of around 550 nits, but it also uses the same Studio Colour HCX2 processor found in the premium OLED models.

It is an edge-lit LCD – none of Panasonic’s 2017 4K TVs are direct lit. It uses a new local dimming approach: local dimming tends to involve splitting the lighting into zones to separate the light and dark areas, but Panasonic says it has found a way to manipulate the LCD panel itself and limit light bleeds. The idea is to maximise the level of contrast you’d typically get from an LCD TV.

The EX750 has a curious ‘Swivel and Lift’ design, which does exactly as it suggests. You’ll be able to adjust the TV’s height and the direction it faces. Well, the 58-inch and 50-inch versions, anyway. The 65-inch version only has the swivel element and the 75-inch version doesn’t move at all.

Last and least: the EX750 is the only model in the entire range to support 3D. It uses the active shutter system. Demand for 3D has dwindled to the point where most manufacturers just don’t bother any more, but you may want to look at this model if you’ve invested heavily in 3D Blu-rays.

Check out our verdict: Panasonic EX750 review

 

Panasonic EX700Panasonic EX700

Panasonic TX-65EX700 / TX-58EX700 / TX-50EX700 / TX-40EX700

The EX700 is a step down from the EX750 and doesn’t get quite as bright – around 350 nits, I’m told. It loses out on its big brothers’ Studio Colour HCX2 processor but keeps the same local dimming tech as the EX750. It’s still capable of a wide colour spectrum, however, and promises 90% of the DCI colour spectrum.

It doesn’t have the fancy lift and swivel stand, instead settling on flexibly positioned metal feet. You have them face forwards or backwards, depending on your brand of interior design. More importantly, you can position them near the centre or near the corners of the TVs, which is good for people without massive bench-style AV racks.

 

Panasonic EX600Panasonic EX600

Panasonic TX-65EX600 / TX-55EX600 / TX-49EX600 / TX-40EX600

This is the entry level for 4K. The EX600 has the same brightness as the EX700 – about 350 nits – but loses out on on the advanced local dimming tech. You also lose out on the wide colour spectrum.

So why would you consider this series? Well this is the first time Panasonic has brought the larger screen sizes lower down in the range, and that means you can have more pixels for less.

As with the EX700, the EX600 offers flexible stand positioning.

 

Panasonic ES500Panasonic ES500

Panasonic TX-49ES500 / TX-40ES500 / TX-32ES500 / TX-24ES500

That’s it for 4K and HDR. These models offer standard dynamic range and only go up to 1080p. But this end of the market is still healthy and these models make for great second TVs, especially if you want a more affordable one for the bedroom.

These are LED LCD panels, and they are all Full HD 1080p – except for the 32-inch models and smaller which are HD-ready at 768p.

 

Panasonic ES400Panasonic ES400

Panasonic TX-49ES400 / TX-40ES400 / TX-32ES400

The ES400 is very similar to the ES500, but the key difference is panel speed. Panasonic says the ES500 has a backlight motion rate of 600Hz – but 400Hz for the ES400.

Both of them offer internet connectivity and smart TV, which is nice because the bottom models often get passed over for this sort of thing.

 


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