Panasonic’s new flagship Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV range is not compatible with one of the biggest sources of 4K content, it’s been revealed.
The Panasonic AX800 range has begun to appear in UK shops and on online retailers, with the Panasonic Viera AX802 offering the ability to watch all the latest 4K content from around the £2,000 mark.
Did we say ALL the latest 4K content? Our mistake. There’s one glaring exception.
Panasonic has sheepishly admitted to TechRadar that its current 4K sets are unable to play Netflix’s 4K content. So if you’ve just bought one of the aforementioned AX800 TV sets expecting to be able to play House of Cards and Breaking Bad in 4 x Full HD-o-vision, well, you’re bang out of luck.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Panasonic marketing director Simon Parkinson, “but we won’t be able to offer Netflix 4K on this particular model.”
In a fledgling 4K market where actual 4K content is still a rare and precious thing, we’d suggest hat “unfortunate” is perhaps not quite the word to use here. “Calamitous,” perhaps?
Apparently, there’s something about the AX800 range’s HEVC decoder chip configuration that means it doesn’t play nicely with Netflix 4K content. This isn’t fixable by a simple software update, either.
Of course, Panasonic has an opportunity to rectify this situation in Q3 when it launches its new AX900 range, which we’d hope and expect would feature full Netflix 4K support.
With rival 2014 efforts from LG, Sony, and Samsung all capable of doing Netflix 4K, Panasonic will be hoping that this isn’t too late.
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