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Technology.

Updated: 27 Apr 2022

How to buy the best Panasonic TV

With the promise of the world's most cinematic TV and better surround effects, it could be a good year for Panasonic Viera. We explain what's new with its OLED and LCD sets, and how each series differs
Martin Pratt
Panasonic LZ2000 OLED 4K TV on plinth facing into living room displaying space

Panasonic has the smallest range of the four main manufacturers (LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony), but every year it brings out exciting new technology in its Viera OLED and LCD sets.

In this guide we'll highlight the differences between Panasonic's ranges and explain the technology that makes them tick, to give a better idea of which Panasonic TV is right for you.

Only the very best TVs can be Best Buys. Find out which Panasonic TVs make the grade in our tough lab tests - see our expert Panasonic TV reviews.

Panasonic 2022 TV overview

So far, we only know about Panasonic's top-tier OLED for 2022, but we'll add more information on the other ranges as soon as we get it.

If you're looking at shops that still stock Panasonic's 2021 range, or are wondering if you should buy a 2021 model second-hand, go to our Panasonic 2021 TV ranges overview.

Panasonic LZ2000 OLED TV range

Panasonic’s top-of-the-range OLED for 2022 has plenty of tantalising selling points, including a tweaked display, more speakers and better software for gamers. 

It’s also bigger than ever. Generally, Panasonic TVs stop at 65 inches. But the LZ2000 will have a 77-inch option for anyone with plenty of space (and who isn't put off by the correspondingly big price).

‘Tuned in Hollywood’ is Panasonic’s shorthand for a number of features and complicated TV terms designed to make the picture look true to the way the filmmaker intended. Hollywood colourist Stefan Sonnenfeld works in post-production on films to help the picture sing. Panasonic employs him to work his magic on the LZ2000 and help to make the colours feel natural and vibrant. 

The LZ2000 has a light sensor to measure the brightness of the room and adjust the picture accordingly. This works with the Auto AI mode, which changes the picture settings based on the content you’re watching.

The LZ2000 has a better chance of pulling off a surround sound effect than most. It has speakers dotted all over the place to send sound in different directions. Some point upwards to create an overhead sound that works well with Dolby Atmos sound processing. 

It also has front-firing speakers (which aren’t as common as you might think, as most TV speakers point down) and some pointing to the side, designed to wrap the audio around you. A great way of solving the simulated surround sound issue (basically, manufacturers claim their TVs can do it, but none can) is not to simulate it at all, and Panasonic has done just about everything it can beyond putting speakers behind you.


Want to know which TVs excel in our tough lab tests? See our expert pick of the best TVs.


Panasonic TV technology explained

New HDR formats and processors are just some of the features you'll find in Panasonic's TVs. 

Auto AI

Getting the perfect picture settings takes time, and means different things to different people. We provide recommended picture settings for the TVs we test, and you can read our guide on getting the best TV picture to see them, but Panasonic has its own ideas.

Auto AI uses a light sensor to get a measure of your room and shift the picture settings accordingly. It will also make changes based on the sort of content you're watching, so it might increase motion smoothing if you're watching sport, for example, and turn it down again if you stick a film on.

Dolby Atmos and upward-firing speakers

Dolby Atmos is software designed to send sound overhead rather than just in front of or behind you. It's built in to many TVs, but they can only simulate the effect because they don't have speakers pointing upwards – typically they point forwards or down. 

Panasonic's top-of-the-line OLED for 2022, the LZ2000, has upward-firing speakers to better take advantage of Dolby Atmos and create a more realistic surround sound feel.

Dolby Vision IQ

HDR is designed to improve the contrast of whatever you're watching, but sometimes we think it makes things worse. Our most common complaint is how the deeper blacks and brighter whites can obscure detail. As HDR normally goes hand-in-hand with 4K, it's a crime to cover up the extra detail the higher resolution affords.

Dolby Vision IQ offers a solution by using the light sensors in the TV to adjust contrast based on your room's ambient light.

Filmmaker mode

It's strange to think that when you watch a film on your TV, it might not look the way the people who made it intended. That's why the likes of Martin Scorsese, Ava DuVernay and Rian Johnson put their weight behind Filmmaker mode, which disables TV-added effects that can compromise their original vision.

It should make for a more cinematic experience, as motion-smoothing effects are blocked. In our tests we tinker with picture settings to get the best picture from each TV, and motion-smoothing is something we often turn off ourselves. For anyone who doesn't want to delve into the deep recesses of TV picture settings, Filmmaker mode should be a welcome addition to Panasonic's high-end TVs.  

HCX Pro AI and Intelligent Processor

Panasonic's processor, the HCX Pro AI, will power the flagship OLED from its 2022 range, the LZ2000.

The Intelligent processor is also found in the HZ2000 from 2020. Panasonic drew on its experience making reference panels for movie studios when designing it. As a result, the HCX has been approved by Hollywood, according to Panasonic.

The HCX's principal job is to create more accurate, natural colours. This makes the image quality on Panasonic's TVs closer to the filmmaker's vision. We'll see whether those claims are true when we test the HCX Pro sets soon.

HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG

Panasonic's TVs support more HDR formats than most. All the 4K models support the basic HDR10 and HLG formats as well as HDR10+, which adjusts the contrast to suit each scene. These are in addition to the even fancier format, Dolby Vision IQ, which we talked about earlier.

HLG is the type of HDR that broadcasters will use when they launch HDR channels. It's not so useful now, but given that most of us keep the same TV for years, it's good to know that it will work with new channels.

You can read more about the competing HDR formats and how they differ in our guide What is HDR TV?.

Local dimming

All LCD TVs have a backlight consisting of multiple LEDs that illuminate to create the picture on screen. Local dimming refers to the areas of the backlight turning on and off. The more specific areas of local dimming the TV has, the more control it has over what parts of the screen are lit.

This minimises lighter colours bleeding into darker areas of the screen. 

The reason you won't find any of this dimming technology on OLED TVs is because they don't need a backlight; instead, OLEDs have individual organic cells behind the screen, which produce their own light source. 

You can find out more about how OLED TVs work and how they differ from LCD models in our guide to OLED displays.

My Home Screen 7.0

LG has webOS, Samsung has Tizen and Panasonic has My Home Screen. It's the interface for the TV where you'll find your apps, menus and features. 

Version 7.0 has added a series of a calming images and videos from the Joy Foundation that can be displayed while you're not watching. Accessibility features will also be easier to access. 

VRR (variable refresh rate)

With TVs now capable of supporting frame rates up to 120Hz (meaning the screen can display 120 images per second) and games consoles capable of playing 120Hz games, there's more chance of dropped frames. 

This can cause a jarring stutter that looks like a momentary freeze in the action, or a slowing of the movement, as the frame rate drops to less than the optimal 120Hz. VRR adjusts the frame rate dynamically to account for these stutters and dropped frames, and makes it much harder to spot them happening. 

Panasonic's 2021 TV ranges

Panasonic tends to release its TVs later in the year, so its 2021 range will stick around well into 2022 before starting to go off sale. What's more, the prices will keep dropping into 2022 as retailers turn their focus to newer models. 

Panasonic JZ2000 OLED TV range

The JZ2000 keeps pace with rival high-end sets thanks to the HCX Pro AI processor, which does what all good processors do by optimising whatever you're watching to look its best. All processors are claimed to do much the same thing, and we're always keen to see which manufacturer's chip does it best.

A game mode has been added and the JZ2000 has VRR (variable refresh rate) and HFR (high frame rate). These two technologies combine to make a smoother picture at higher frame rates (frame rate refers to the number of frames the TV can display per second), particularly when gaming.

The speaker array has both side and upward-firing speakers to make the most of Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. Audio should feel more expansive and come from all angles rather than directly from the TV.

Both the picture and sound have been tuned by Hollywood experts – one of Panasonic's main selling points with its recent high-end TVs. The company works with people who know their stuff to create a picture that's ideal for films. 

Panasonic JZ1500B OLED TV range

One of the main selling points of the 1500B range is the fact that you can get a 48-inch version. 

It has the same processor as the more expensive JZ2000, but misses out on the upward-firing speakers to take full advantage of the Dolby Atmos software.

With plenty of advanced gaming features and built-in voice control, it's a good all-rounder.

Panasonic JZ1000B OLED TV range

Features across Panasonic's 2021 OLED line are impressively consistent. The JZ1000B range still has that Hollywood-approved HCX processor, and it's packed with HDR formats.

Audio is where you're going to find the biggest difference across these OLED ranges. There are no upward-firing speakers on the JZ1000B, but you still have Dolby Atmos.

Panasonic's better-value 2021 TV ranges

Panasonic JX870B, JX850B and JX800B LCD TV ranges


Panasonic has fewer LCD TVs than rival brands, partly because there are fewer ranges overall and partly because it doesn't usually make TVs bigger than 65 inches.

The JX870B range gets the top-tier HCX processor, which is impressive given that other manufacturers tend to save their best processors for high-end sets only. In fact, the only obvious difference between the 870B range and the OLEDs is the display itself. 

The JX850 and JX800B don't get the HCX AI Pro, but Dolby Atmos is still built in and it supports the same HDR formats as Panasonic's top-end TVs.

We've tested many of Panasonic's 2021 TVs. Take a look at our Panasonic TV reviews to see how they fared.