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Panasonic Netflix 4K update for UHD TVs coming November 11th

Panasonic will patch the AX802's 4K UHD Netflix support in just over two weeks time

Panasonic has confirmed that it will be updating its 2014 range of UHD TVs with 4K Netflix support on the 11th November 2014. The update will arrive via an online firmware update.

“Our AX800 customers who already bought the TV will get the benefit from around next month,” Toshihiro Takagi, Panasonic’s Senior Coordinator for Product Planning told Expert Reviews. “International scheduling is currently [set for] the 11th November. Scheduling sometimes changes, but what I want to say is that our AX800 is already certified and will be [available] to AX800 customers soon.”

This was one of the main issues we had with Panasonic’s TX-50AX802B when we first reviewed it in July. While we were impressed with the picture quality, we were a little disappointed that it didn’t support 4K Netflix. Given that this is pretty much the only way to get hold of 4K content in the UK, its omission was a little surprising.

Even though there’s not a huge amount of content available (Breaking Bad and House of Cards are the only two programmes which currently support 4K streaming), having a 4K TV and not being able to see some content natively is a bit of an issue.

At the time it looked as though it was a problem with the HEVC decoder chip, but it’s now been confirmed that this processor is capable of decoding UHD Netflix. The issue was in software and how the Netflix app worked with the TV, which is good news, as Panasonic is poised to roll out an update for 2014 4K TVs.

Available in just over two weeks, the update will fully fix the current issues and make the TVs capable of accessing and displaying the 4K stream. In terms of the AX802B range, this will make a big difference, putting Panasonic back on a level footing with its main competitors Sony and Samsung. However, with near-perfect colour reproduction, excellent contrast and a sharp picture, it should be one of this year’s best TVs.

We’ll be taking another look at the model we reviewed when the Netflix update rolls out, with an aim to update the review. Existing owners should get an OTA update, but we’ll bring you more information on when to expect this once it’s finally available.

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News | IFA