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Panasonic MZ2000 review: The perfect TV for discerning cinephiles

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 1,999
inc VAT

The Panasonic MZ2000 delivers unparalleled image accuracy, immersive sound and a great set of gaming features

Pros

  • Superb SDR and HDR images
  • Excellent immersive sound system
  • Impressive set of gaming features

Cons

  • Only two HDMI 2.1 inputs

The Panasonic MZ2000 is the brand’s flagship 4K HDR OLED TV and combines advanced imaging processing with cutting-edge MLA (Micro Lens Array) technology. The result is claimed to be the best and brightest OLED picture you’re likely to see, with unparalleled levels of image accuracy.

As a range-topping model, there are plenty of features, including support for every version of HDR, Dolby Atmos delivered using an immersive sound system, and a host of gaming technologies. All of which should make the MZ2000 an ideal pick for film fans and gamers who want the best picture quality.

Panasonic MZ2000: Key specifications

Screen sizes available:55in TX-55MZ2000B
65in TX-65MZ2000B
77in TX-77MZ2000B
Panel type:OLED
Resolution:4K/UHD (3,940 x 2,160)
Refresh rate: 120Hz
HDR formats:Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Audio enhancements:Dolby Atmos, 360˚ Soundscape Pro
HDMI inputs: HDMI 2.0b x 2, HDMI 2.1 x 2
Tuners: Terrestrial and satellite
Gaming features:Game Control Board, NVIDIA G-Sync, AMD Freesync Premium, ALLM, VRR, 4K/120Hz
Wireless connectivity:Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
Smart platform:my Home Screen (8.0)
Freeview Play compatibility: Yes
Smart assistants: Built-in Amazon Alexa, works with Google Assistant

Panasonic MZ2000 review: What you need to know

The Panasonic MZ2000 is a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR smart TV that uses the latest MLA (Micro Lens Array) OLED technology. The range offers models with 55in, 65in and 77in screen sizes, and for this review, Panasonic has provided the 55in TX-55MZ2000B for testing.

The MLA panel uses a layer of micrometre-sized convex lenses fixed to the pixels that capture and redirect light emission usually lost within a traditional OLED panel. This light is directed towards the viewer, allowing an MLA panel to boost brightness and viewing angle stability.

The MZ2000’s imaging is the result of the latest AI-enhanced HCX processor, while the smart platform is Panasonic’s simple but effective my Home Screen operating system. There’s also a Filmmaker mode, and support for every version of HDR, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

Build quality is fantastic and the MZ2000 includes an immersive 360˚ Soundscape Pro audio system combined with onboard Dolby Atmos decoding. All the major content streaming platforms are also present and correct, along with a host of features for next-gen gaming consoles.

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Panasonic MZ2000 review: Price and competition

The Panasonic MZ2000 is the brand’s flagship OLED TV for 2023, with corresponding features and pricing to match. As a result, the 55in TX-55MZ2000B reviewed here retails for £1,999, the 65in TX-65MZ2000B costs £2,999, while the 77in TX-77MZ2000B will set you back £3,999.

The obvious alternative is LG’s G3 OLED TV, which uses the same Micro Lens Array (MLA), along with a sleek design that’s primarily aimed at wall mounting, Dolby Vision support, and the webOS smart system. The G3 is slightly cheaper, with the 55in model retailing for £1,899, the 65in costing £2,499, the 77in priced at £3,999, and the massive 83in unit setting you back £5,999.

There’s also the Samsung S95C and Sony A95L, both of which use a Quantum Dot OLED panel to deliver luminance levels that match the MLA panel, and also come in three screen sizes of 55, 65 and 77 inches. The Samsung is the cheapest overall option at £1,549 for the 55in model, while the Sony is significantly more expensive at £2,699 for the same screen size.

Panasonic MZ2000 review: Design, connections and control

The Panasonic MZ2000 goes for elegant simplicity with its design, although due to its beefy in-built sound system, it’s bigger and deeper than many other competing OLEDs. The TV is finished in black and sports an excellent level of build quality that befits its status as Panasonic’s flagship.

The circular all-metal stand provides solid support and swivels, which is something of a rarity these days, while its smaller footprint makes positioning on narrower surfaces easier. If you prefer you can also wall mount the MZ2000 using a standard 300 x 300mm VESA bracket.

The connections are located on the left-hand side as you face the screen, with most pointing downwards. The four HDMI inputs all support ALLM, HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision, plus eARC in the case of the second HDMI port. This input, along with HDMI 1, also supports 4K/120 and VRR for PC gamers and the latest console players. Finally, HDMI 4 points sideways.

The other physical connections include three USB ports (two point sideways), an Ethernet port, dual satellite and terrestrial tuners, an optical digital output, and a 3.5mm AV input. Along with HDMI 4 and two USB ports, you also find a CI (common interface) and 3.5mm headphone jack facing sideways. In terms of wireless connectivity, there’s dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The included remote is equally elegant, with its solid construction and silver finish. All the controls you need to set up and operate the MZ2000 are present and correct, with the buttons laid out sensibly and intuitively. The zapper is comfortable to hold and easy to use with one hand, and there are direct access keys for Netflix, Prime, Disney+, YouTube, and Freeview Play.

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Panasonic MZ2000 review: Smart TV platform

The Panasonic MZ2000 uses the 8.0 iteration of the brand’s ‘my Home Screen’ operating system, which has Alexa built-in, and also works with Google Assistant for smart interaction and voice control. While not as sophisticated as some of the competition, its simplicity is appealing.

For one thing, it appears as a launcher bar along the bottom third of the screen rather than filling the whole screen with layers of tiles and advertising. This means you can still look at what you’re watching while choosing the app you want. You can also customise the layout and order of apps.

The my Home Screen system already includes the main streaming apps and catch-up services in the launcher bar, making it easy to find and select what you want. Best of all, it doesn’t require excessive processing power to run, making this operating system pleasingly responsive to use.

When it comes to video streamers, the MZ2000 has you covered with Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Now, Rakuten, YouTube, and all the UK catch-up services via Freeview Play. All these apps offer 4K, HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos where appropriate.

Panasonic MZ2000 review: Image quality

The Panasonic MZ2000 delivers the kind of exceptional image accuracy we’ve come to expect from the brand, although to enjoy this excellence you’ll need to choose the most appropriate picture mode. The TV ships in Normal, and even Panasonic falls victim to delivering an out-of-the-box mode with a manipulated gamma, excessive blue in the greyscale and oversaturated colours.

Thankfully, selecting the Filmmaker mode immediately addresses all of these issues. The resulting images are remarkably accurate, with a greyscale that has an average DeltaE (error) of only 0.7, colours that also have an average error of 0.7 and a gamma that tracks the target of 2.4. These measurements are exceptional, and can’t be noticeably improved through calibration.

The resulting SDR images are awesome, with inky blacks, beautifully defined shadow delineation, precisely rendered details, and deeply saturated but natural-looking colours. Panasonic’s imaging prowess and incredible accuracy aside, all the usual self-emissive benefits of OLED also apply with pixel-precise highlights, exceptional contrast, and incredibly wide viewing angles.

In terms of Panasonic’s picture processing, the MZ2000 uses the brand’s HCX Pro AI-enhanced processor.  As a result, the upscaling and imaging are superb, ensuring that even lower-resolution content looks fantastic, while better quality material is simply astonishing. The processing can eliminate noise without scrubbing fine details, producing images that are superbly rendered.

The motion handling is equally capable, producing moving images free of judder or other motion artefacts, even with IFC turned off. This is the best option if you want films to still look like film, but if you prefer smoother motion with sport then IFC can be effective. The Black Frame Insertion option is best avoided because while it improves motion it also adds flicker and dims the image.

Watching the Blu-ray of Oppenheimer reveals all the strengths of this TV, with the black and white sequences looking wonderfully clean and free of any discolouration. The processing brings out all the detail in the original 65mm/IMAX photography, and the colour sequences enjoy fantastically rich colours which are also very accurate, as evidenced by appropriately natural flesh tones.

Panasonic MZ2000 review: HDR performance

The Panasonic MZ2000 doesn’t just impress with SDR content, it’s equally amazing with HDR material thanks to the MLA OLED panel. We measured a massive 1,500cd/m2 on a 10% window and 225cd/m2 on a full-field pattern. This is incredible for an OLED, and not only makes an obvious difference but means HDR content at 1,000 nits requires the minimum of tone-mapping.

The DCI-P3 coverage measures 100%, but more importantly, the saturation sweeps of DCI-P3 within BT.2020 are also extremely accurate, resulting in expertly rendered colours with HDR content. The same goes for the HDR greyscale measurements, which are equally impressive in Filmmaker mode, tracking red, green, and blue exactly, and delivering errors that are below one.

When it comes to HDR, tone-mapping is vital to ensure that all content, especially when graded at 4,000 and 10,000 nits, is reproduced correctly. The MZ2000’s EOTF maps the PQ target precisely, ensuring the original artistic intent is retained regardless of how the HDR content is created. This TV aced all our HDR tests and is one of the few to achieve this level of accuracy.

Panasonic supports every version of high dynamic range, with HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ Adaptive, and Dolby Vision IQ. The latter two formats use an advanced ambient light sensor built into the TV to dynamically adjust the tone mapping depending on whether your living room is completely dark or brightly lit. This avoids the problem of HDR appearing too dark when watching in daylight.

Popping on the 4K disc of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One brings this TV’s HDR prowess into sharp relief, from the icy arctic waters at the start to the sun-bleached deserts of Arabia, and the greens and browns of the Austrian Alps during the climax. All are rendered with precision, ensuring deep blacks, clean highlights and richly nuanced but accurate colours.

To test the Panasonic MZ2000 we used Portrait Display’s Calman colour calibration software.

Panasonic MZ2000 review: Gaming

The Panasonic MZ2000 might be aimed at the serious film fan, but it’s equally appealing if you’re a hardcore gamer. It supports all the available cutting-edge tech, with PC gamers benefitting from AMD FreeSync Premium and compatibility with NVIDIA G-Sync, while all the HDMI inputs support ALLM, and the two HDMI 2.1 inputs also support the latest console features like 4K/120Hz and VRR.

The dedicated Game Mode Extreme delivers a very low input lag of 9.3ms with 60Hz and a lightning-fast 5.7ms with 120Hz, ensuring gameplay is smooth and highly responsive, with excellent motion handling free of tearing or other artefacts, even at the highest frame rates.

The Game Control Board enables quick access to all the main gaming settings and information, as well as key game-related menus that users can adjust to personalise their gaming experience. So regardless of how you play, the MZ2000 has you covered and can be optimised to your needs.

As with any OLED display technology, there is always a danger of image retention or screen burn. While we haven’t experienced these issues while testing the MZ2000, it’s something to be aware of, especially if you tend to game with heads-up displays for long periods.

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Panasonic MZ2000 review: Sound quality

The MZ2000 sounds fantastic for a modern TV, and this is in no small part thanks to a well-designed and high-quality sound system courtesy of Panasonic brand Technics. This OLED TV’s 360˚ Soundscape Pro audio system integrates forward-, side-, and upward-firing speakers with a pair of woofers and passive radiators. All this is driven by 150W of power, and tuned by Technics.

The result is an impressive audio system with width, height, and bass depth that’s equal to many comparable soundbars. The forward-firing speakers ensure clear dialogue, while the side-firers help spread the audio across the front of the room. The up-firing speakers also bounce sounds off the ceiling to create the illusion of overhead channels directly above the screen itself.

The built-in woofers and passive radiators can’t match a dedicated sub for sheer low-frequency depth, but they certainly don’t disgrace themselves with bass-heavy movies like Godzilla vs Kong. The same is true of the amplification, which has sufficient juice to drive all the speakers without distorting, and enough headroom to ensure audio never sounds strained, even at high volumes.

The high-quality speakers and Technics tuning produce a clean and uncluttered midrange, while the treble is free of any sharpness or sibilance. The MZ2000 sounds great with any audio, but when decoding Dolby Atmos it gets a chance to shine. A film like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse sends its multiple web-slingers swinging around the front of the room with ease.

Panasonic MZ2000 review: Verdict

The Panasonic MZ2000 is the perfect OLED 4K TV for cinephiles who demand the best picture quality, with unrivalled image accuracy and exceptional SDR and HDR performance. Support for every version of HDR means you’ll never have to compromise, while the inclusion of an immersive Dolby Atmos sound system, extensive gaming features, and a capable smart platform complete this highly accomplished range-topper.

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