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Panasonic’s prototype OLED TV sets precedent for its future products

Katharine Byrne
2 Sep 2016
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Panasonic shows off its latest OLED prototype at this year's IFA, as well as its new UHD Blu-ray player

Panasonic has unveiled its new OLED TV prototype at this year's IFA, showing the world its "next major advancement in TV technology" as it strives to bring plasma-like picture quality to OLED. 

Admittedly, this isn’t the first OLED TV Panasonic's made - that accolade goes to the catchily-named 4K Pro CZ950 series which was unveiled at Panasonic's 2015 IFA showing. This new “reference” panel, however, sets the precedent for what will come next.

The prototype on show at IFA was only a single wall-mounted panel, but even this rather plain-looking display still looked pretty stunning up close. Of course, much like other OLED panels we've seen in the past, the TV's tiny bezels and super slim chassis are what draw you in initially, but its bright, vibrant colour reproduction is what keeps you planted in front of it. 

It's certainly a lot brighter than other OLED TVs I've seen, as Panasonic was keen to show in its special dark room demo. With both OLEDs competing against a Hollywood reference monitor, it was Panasonic's panel that bore the closest resemblance. 

It's certainly a tempting prospect for anyone still clinging to their old, bulky plasma TV, and if Panasonic can pull it off, then its future OLED panels could really be something special - especially since rival manufacturer LG is currently the only other TV maker producing consumer OLED panels. 

If that wasn't enough, Panasonic also unveiled a brand new Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the DMP-UB700, as a cheaper alternative to its flagship £600 DMP-UB900. There's no word on just how much the DMP-UB700 will cost yet, but I'm hoping it will be more in line with Samsung's £350 UBD-K8500.

That's mainly because the DMP-UB700 has ditched all the high-end audio ports you'll find on its big brother, offering just two HDMI 2.0 ports, an optical S/PDIF and an Ethernet port round the back. After all, not everyone wants or needs the DMP-UB900's 7.1 audio outputs, nor do they want to pay almost twice the price of Samsung's player for the privilege. 

The good news is that you shouldn't see any difference in overall picture quality between the UB700 and UB900, as Panasonic assured me that they'd both produce a nigh-on identical picture if you were to put them side by side. You also get all the same built-in services, such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube, giving you plenty of options when it comes to watching 4K content.

I'll be putting those picture quality claims to the test once review samples are available, but in the mean time, the DMP-UB700 is definitely one to watch when it launches later this year.