The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 (€3190) television features a 4K Ultra HD OLED screen (3840 x 2160 pixels) measuring 139cm (55”). Crowning the Japanese manufacturer’s TV range, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 is certified THX 4K Display and benefits from professional color calibration. HDR10+ and Dolby Vision compatible to enjoy wide dynamic range images, it features HCX Pro Intelligent Processor image processing with artificial intelligence. The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s audio system is designed by Technics. It consists of a Dolby Atmos compatible soundbar with additional drivers on top of the screen for vertical sound effects.
Calibrated and used by Hollywood studio professionals and equipped with a powerful video processor boosted by artificial intelligence, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 is capable, according to the manufacturer, of accurately reproducing the director’s vision by providing incredibly precise colors, deep blacks and the micro details of HD and UHD 4K movies.
We were quick to set it up in our test room to see if it kept all of these promises.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: the brand
Founded in 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita, whose name the brand used until 2008, Panasonic Corporation is specialized in consumer electronics. This Japanese multinational owns other brands such as Sanyo, JVC and Technics. Panasonic has significant expertise and an international reputation in manufacturing a whole range of electronic components.
Present in both the hi-fi and home theater markets, Panasonic offers soundbars, Bluetooth headphones, compact hi-fi systems, DVD recorders, Blu-ray players and 4K Ultra HD players. The Japanese brand also excels in the production of 4K Ultra HD televisions and OLED TVs in particular, which are represented by the renowned Panasonic TX-55GZ2000.
During the heyday of plasma TVs, Panasonic models were in direct competition with Pioneer plasma TVs, which were praised by the specialized press and home theater enthusiasts around the world for their excellent performance.
In 2009, Panasonic bought Pioneer’s Kuro plasma technology, which had the advantage of providing deep blacks and natural colors. A few years later, televisions from the Panasonic GT and VT series were among the best on the market. Their outstanding image quality was particularly suited to Blu-ray movies, where they were able to harness all the finesse and richness of the colors. The combination of Panasonic NeoPDP displays and Infinite Black Pro technology impressed many movie enthusiasts.
The manufacturer’s ultimate display of technological expertise was with the Panasonic TH-152UX1’s plasma screen, which measured 152” (3.8 meters) across. It was the first model to feature 4K resolution (4096 x 2160 pixels).
Alongside its plasma TVs ranges, Panasonic has provided many series of high-performance LCD TVs. Since 2012, the Japanese manufacturer has almost exclusively used IPS LCD display technology, which can be found in high-end screens as well as Apple computers and tablets for example. The end of plasma TV production in 2014 pushed Panasonic to concentrate its efforts on LCD LED models.
However, the progress made by its Korean rival LG regarding OLED wide screens changed things completely. Able to provide infinitely deep blacks that were even more intense than those offered by the very best plasma TVs, OLED technology rapidly became Panasonic’s engineers’ preferred solution for producing high-end TVs. Consequently, Panasonic has sourced OLED displays from the Korean manufacturer since 2017, producing extremely successful connected OLED TVs.
Panasonic’s 2019 OLED TV catalog currently includes three ranges:
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: packaging & accessories
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television comes in a large cardboard box that is over 1.5 meters long, 86.6cm high, 25cm thick and weighs a total of 42kg. Inside, the screen, base and various accessories are held in place by several polystyrene blocks.
Two people are required to take the screen out of the box and slide it onto the aluminum pedestal before securing it with the four included screws. The base, which is considerably wide and deep, provides excellent stability when the TV is placed on a TV stand.
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television is also compatible with the 300 x 300 VESA standard. It is therefore possible to fix it to a wall using a TV wall mount if you wish.
Contents of the box:
- Assembly screws for the pedestal
- Rear cover for the pedestal
- Cover for the connections
- Remote control
- User manual
- Cable ties
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: presentation
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 is a 139cm model with 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels). It features a state-of-the-art OLED panel calibrated by a professional colorist to provide an image that is completely faithful to the masters as they come out of the studios.
This Panasonic OLED television also supports all HDR formats, ensuring the user always benefits from the best image quality, no matter the source.
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 TV incorporates the new Panasonic HCX Pro Intelligent Processor video processor, which uses artificial intelligence to enhance different aspects of the image, if the viewer chooses. In addition to upscaling HD sources to Ultra High Definition, it performs HDR upscaling of content that wasn’t shot in high dynamic range, resulting in brighter, higher-contrast images.
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television’s audio system is particularly well-designed. The integrated soundbar developed by Technics is accompanied by two upward-firing drivers tasked with restituting Dolby Atmos surround effects by reflecting sound off the ceiling. Moreover, the TV’s headphone output can be switched to a subwoofer output and it is possible to connect a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: key specifications
- Screen size: 139cm / 55 inches
- Technology: high-luminosity OLED Professional Edition display (30% brighter than the GZ1000 and GZ1500 ranges)
- Screen resolution: 3840 pixels (W) x 2160 pixels (H)
- Video processor: HCX Pro Intelligent Processor developed in partnership with Hollywood colorists.
- Extended professional LUT (Lookup Table) dynamic color processing
- Optimization of contrast and brightness for different areas of the image after analysis by the processor
- Motion smoothing (Intelligent Frame Creation)
- Resolution upscaling (SD/HD to 4K) and dynamic range upscaling (SDR/HDR to dynamic HDR)
- Certified THX 4K Display
- ISF mode
- Auto Low Latency Mode (< 20ms)
- Dolby Vision
- HLG Photo
- HDR Upscaling (brightness enhancement of non-HDR images)
- Integrated soundbar, developed in collaboration with Technics
- Dolby Atmos: dedicated drivers, situated on top of the television and directed towards the ceiling
- Surround: Sound Field Creation
- Total output power: 140W
- Smart TV interface: my Home Screen 4.0
- App catalog
- Access to Netflix (direct access button), Prime Video, Youtube, Molotov, Arte…
- Google Assistant and Alexa compatible
- HDMI inputs: 2 (side), 2 (rear), 4K 60/50p compatible, with HDCP 2.2
- ARC (Audio Return Channel) function with the HDMI 2 input
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): latency < 20ms
- DTT and cable antenna input: 1 (shared)
- USB ports: 3 (1 side, 2 rear, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0)
- CI (Common Interface): 2 (CI Plus, version 1.4, ECP)
- Shared composite/component video input: RCA phono x 1 (rear)
- Optical digital audio output: 1 (rear)
- Headphone output: 1 (side, switchable to Subwoofer)
- Ethernet: 1
- WiFi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz)
- Video: AVI/HEVC/MKV/WMV/MP4/M4v/FLV/3GPP/VRO/VOB/TS/PS
- Audio: MP3/AAC/WMA Pro/FLAC/Apple Lossless/WAV
- Photo: JPEG/HLG Photo
- Compatibility HEVC and VP9: 10-bit VP9
- Dimensions (W x H x D) (with stand): 1225 x 783 x 310mm
- Dimensions (W x H x D) (w/o stand): 1225 x 761 x 78mm
- Weight (w/o stand): 26.5kg
- Weight (with stand): 33kg
- Packaging dimensions (W x H x D): 1586 x 866 x 251mm
- Total boxed weight: 42kg
- VESA 300 x 300 compatible
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: our impressions
For this review, we installed the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 on a NorStone TV stand. We connected it to the Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player with a NorStone Jura HDMI cable, connected to the television’s HDMI 1 input. We also connected a Playstation 4 Pro to the HDMI 2 input using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable to test the qualities of this television with video games (input lag: 20ms). The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 TV was connected to the local network and to the internet via WiFi using the satellite of our Netgear Orbi RBK50 pack. Lastly, we used the Rel Acoustics T9i subwoofer to accompany the television’s audio system.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: design
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television looked great when placed on top of our NorStone TV stand. The OLED panel is framed by a thin metal border that is almost invisible in order to leave the most space possible for the image. The proportions are ideal and the appeal of this Panasonic TV was evident each time one of our colleagues came to take a look.
Underneath the screen, the soundbar is particularly well-integrated. Invisible except under our camera’s powerful flash, the drivers are placed behind a very minimalist metallic grille. At the bottom right-hand side of the screen, a very discreet logo reminds the user that the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s audio system was developed together with Technics.
The stand, which seemed a little big to us when we took it out of the box, actually worked well as a whole and didn’t look out of place, probably due to its exemplary finish.
When looking at this television from the side, we could see that despite the presence of a large audio system, with speakers on top, the overall thickness was reasonable (just 8 centimetres).
Even though it isn’t usually visible in most setups, the rear panel of this Panasonic OLED TV is neat. When the covers are in place, the appearance is seamless.
Only the antenna and connection cables to the different sources are visible if the two HDMI ports and the USB input on the side are enough for you. The cable cover can’t be installed if the two other HDMI ports, two extra USB ports and the optical audio output are used.
Lastly, the remote control that comes with the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 this television is very similar to the manufacturer’s other models when it comes to how the buttons are organized. However, its brushed aluminum chassis makes it much more pleasant to look at, as well as making it more robust.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: image quality
Just as when we reviewed the LG OLED65E9, we were impressed by the depth and density of the blacks displayed by the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s OLED panel. This is one of the greatest strengths of OLED technology, which remains unrivaled in this regard and against which the best LCD LED and QLED TVs cannot compete. Even the excellent Samsung QLED QE55Q90R, which provides remarkable levels of black, especially in brightly lit rooms, can’t match OLED technology when the ambient lighting is dimmed to make the room dark.
For many years now, Panasonic has worked closely with film industry professionals, notably through the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory. The latter handles the color calibration of many movies during the pre-mastering stage before their video release. Thanks to their color accuracy, Panasonic OLED TVs are used alongside professional monitors, for both the calibration and the final screening before the master is validated by the director.
In order to enjoy the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s cinema-standard colorimetry at home, it is important to choose the right picture mode for the content you are viewing. The Standard mode should therefore only be used for watching TV shows during the day in a bright room, as the color saturation and brightness are more accentuated in this mode in order to achieve a “vibrant” image.
To enjoy a movie during the evening or in a dark room, it is best to choose the True Cinema mode, which is already perfectly calibrated. We were able to verify this by playing the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark calibration disc in the Pioneer UDP-LX500 Blu-ray: we didn’t need to modify the original settings to achieve a perfect image.
The THX Cinema mode was also impressive. However, the THX Bright Room mode seemed rather dull. This was probably due to the fact that our test room is very bright when the many ceiling spotlights are turned on.
A spectacular HDR image
Working with film industry professionals definitely paid off for Panasonic, as the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television displayed images with stunning contrast and handled HDR content brilliantly. The combination of OLED technology’s infinitely deep blacks, the optimized brightness and the extended color space allows this TV to display flawless images.
We pointed out the importance of precise and accurate tone mapping in our review of the LG OLED65E9 television. Clearly, the lookup table used for this Panasonic TV along with the input of image mastering professionals and the dynamic color processing are a success. Not only did the HDR images feature a plethora of detail and stunning contrast, they also provided extremely precise colors that contributed to the realism of the displayed content. As a result, we relished Bohemian Rhapsody’s deliciously 70s color palette.
HDR upscaling of standard dynamic range content was carried out very smoothly and accurately. It revealed a little more detail in the darkest areas of the image, and brought nuance to the brightest areas without affecting the overall coherence of the image. We could see a little more without it feeling excessive.
Wide viewing angles
This is one of the many advantages of OLED technology: the colors and brightness don’t fade as you move to the side of the screen. This may seem inconsequential, but it is very convenient when you can’t sit entirely facing the screen. With the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000, the image won’t seem washed out or paler if you sit to the side of the TV.
For several years now, Panasonic has included a motion smoothing mode called Intelligent Frame Creation in its televisions. The goal of this mode is to eliminate blurring and judder in moving images. This video processing is carried out by the HCX Pro Intelligent Processor and can be set to different levels or completely disabled. Extremely effective, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s Intelligent Frame Creation process worked wonders on sports coverage, preserving the sharpness and details during fast-moving action.
That said, we recommend that you don’t use the Intelligent Frame Creation mode on movies. The smoothing is so prominent that the image seems completely unnatural. This is probably only because we are used to movies containing 24 frames per second, because if they had been shot in 60 or 100 frames per second since the very beginning of cinema, this result would probably seem perfectly “natural” to us. All the same, we recommend turning it off completely when watching movies. Note that by default, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s Cinema and THX picture modes disable this feature, as well as most of the image enhancement features, so as not to distort the director’s intentions.
HD to 4K upscaling
To test the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s upscaling qualities, we proceeded in the same way as we did with the LG OLED65E9 television. We watched Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague (Blu-ray 1080p), making sure to deactivate the Pioneer UDP-LX500 player’s upscaling and picture enhancement features.
The result provided by the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 TV was very satisfying, with enhanced definition that didn’t distort the image. More details were visible without generating any artifacts in the outlines.
The results were also remarkable with TV programs via the Molotov app (no subscription, and therefore a maximum definition of 720p) and the Arte app downloaded from the Panasonic app store.
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 has a very low input lag (under 20ms) and is compatible with ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) technology. The latter allows a latest-generation game console or a PC with a compatible graphics card to send a signal to the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 via the HDMI connection to automatically switch to Game mode. In this mode, all video processing that could generate an input lag is disabled.
Shiny screen = reflections
Just like the LG OLED65E9 television and more generally, the vast majority of OLED televisions, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s bright screen creates a mirror-like effect that can be distracting in certain situations. It reflects the ambient light as well as any objects in the room that are in the reflection axis in relation to the viewers.
This phenomenon is particularly visible in brightly lit rooms and with dark images or any evenly colored zones. In the dark, this flaw almost completely disappears. However, it is best to avoid ambient lighting to reduce this mirror effect. Therefore, when placing the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 TV in a living room, care should be taken to avoid positioning it opposite a window that could be reflected on the screen.
We can only reiterate our regret concerning the absence of an anti-reflective filter. This decision was probably motivated by the likelihood that such a filter would drastically reduce the peak brightness and the viewing angles of the display, which are both excellent here.
We applauded the exceptional quality of the anti-reflective filter during our review of the Samsung QE55Q90R QLED television. There is no hiding the fact that it performs a lot better than the Panasonic TV in this regard.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: audio performance
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television features a powerful audio system developed in collaboration with engineers from Technics. It is comprised of a front-firing 3-way soundbar integrated underneath the television and a pair of drivers placed above the screen, behind the display panel. Directed towards the ceiling, they restitute vertical sound effects by reflecting sound off the ceiling. Together, the entire system benefits from a total output power of 140 watts.
In order to enjoy effective surround sound, a special settings menu called Space Tune is provided during the configuration of the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television. It can be opened via the audio settings menu if you skipped it during setup.
The Space Time function lets you adjust the sound to suit the environment in which the TV is placed and, more precisely, the TV’s position. When following the instructions on the screen, you are prompted to indicate whether the television is mounted on the wall or placed on a TV stand, and in the latter situation, whether it is placed in a corner of the room. We confirmed that the television was placed on a TV stand against the wall and the app asked us to enter the distance between the TV and wall, then the distance between the top of the screen and the ceiling. Lastly, we entered our eye level in relation to the screen before confirming the Space Tune automatic adjustment.
Very impressive audio processing
Thanks to its high-end audio equipment, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 is compatible with Dolby Atmos soundtracks that provide three-dimensional surround sound. A little skeptical at first as to the supposed effectiveness of the audio system, we were very pleasantly surprised when we listened to it.
On the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack, which was beautifully dynamic and spatialized, the audio qualities of this television were rapidly apparent. Right from the opening scene, when the hero gets into his vehicle to escape his pursuers, we were impressed by the spaciousness of the soundstage and plunged into the heart of the action.
This was even more evident when we switched from the rather frontal Standard mode to the Cinema mode, which increased the width and height of the sound field all whilst expertly restituting the sound effects. We didn’t achieve the precision and richness of a true Dolby Atmos system, but still enjoyed the movie without feeling frustrated.
With the Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague Blu-ray, in Music mode this time, the sound field seemed more spacious and helped immerse us in the musical atmosphere. We were blown away by the sharpness and precision of the soundbar, especially in the mids and highs. The violins were detailed, the brass instruments were compelling without ever making it seem like the system was straining or on the verge of saturation. Other TVs sometimes produce an aggressive sound with shrill highs when the volume is over 50%, but the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 remained balanced, without any saturation.
In the lows, the four woofers and two passive radiators behind the screen managed to add substance to the low-mids. But they weren’t able to reproduce all of the impact and depth of the lows in movies and music. There are no quick fixes, a lot of air needs to be moved to generate bass, which requires large drivers.
Thankfully, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s headphone output can be used to connect a subwoofer. To do this, you need to use a mini-jack to RCA cable connected to either the LFE or stereo Line input of the subwoofer. It is also possible to use a mini-jack to female stereo RCA adapter combined with a subwoofer cable, which is the solution we chose. We quickly connected the Rel Acoustics T9i subwoofer and modified the headphone output’s settings in the TV’s settings menu.
The sound produced by the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 took on a whole new dimension and seemed to spread out more across the room. This was striking in movies and video games, with more realistic sound effects, and physical impacts and male voices that had more substance. It was also very appreciated with music, which had better balance and greater richness. By contrast, the presence of the lows enhanced the precision of the highs.
This is the ideal setup for anyone who wants to enjoy a satisfying spatialized sound without the clutter of an A/V receiver and multiple speakers. With the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 and a subwoofer, we were immersed in a very convincing sonic atmosphere brimming with details and sound effects that went far beyond the physical limits of the image.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: Smart TV
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s Ethernet and WiFi network connectivity allows the user to access several online video streaming services. Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Youtube are directly available in home menu. It is possible to add other services, such as Arte, Molotov or Rakuten TV. Dozens more apps can be downloaded via a dedicated portal that is accessible in the television’s home menu.
The proprietary My Home Screen 4.0 interface developed by Panasonic proved to be easy and intuitive to use regularly. Android TV could do better in terms of usability and content variety, but Panasonic has nothing to be ashamed of regarding the progress made with the latest version of its OS, which is more complete and more pleasant to use than the previous versions. All that is left to do is develop the app catalog.
In addition to providing access to apps and online streaming services, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television can play content shared over the local network, including photos, music and movies. To do this, it uses the DLNA protocol which allows it to display the path to the files shared by a computer or NAS connected to the same network.
Consequently, we had easy access to various media files stored on a computer that was a few meters away in a different room. The interface was basic, but navigation was smooth.
Note: the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 TV’s integrated media player can decode most video codecs, including HEVC, WMV and MP4 that are encapsulated in various types of containers, notably MKV. But it doesn’t support all audio codecs, as is unfortunately often the case with many TVs. Consequently, movies with DTS encoded soundtracks remain silent.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: compared to…
LG OLED65E9: theoretically, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s display is the same as that of this latest-generation LG TV. However, the image quality provided by the Panasonic display is a cut above. The work carried out with the specialists of the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory is largely responsible for this. Colorimetric precision, HDR picture management in both high and low light, HD to 4K and HDR upscaling: the Panasonic model is better in all of these areas.
The sound system developed by Technics is very effective in immersing the listener in the atmosphere of movies and concerts. In particular, it excels in the creation of a “vertical” sound field, whereas that of the LG model provided a better lateral spatialization. The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000’s drivers are also more precise and detailed in the highs. In both cases, adding a subwoofer intensifies the sound.
Samsung QE55Q90R: we were very impressed by this Samsung QLED TV, which was particularly effective at displaying vibrant HDR images in full daylight, helped by its very high brightness peaks and excellent anti-reflective filter. Although the Panasonic’s display suffers from some glare, it is also comfortable with displaying excellent HDR images in a well-lit room. In the dark, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 definitely takes the lead in terms of the depth and density of blacks, as well as color intensity and image contrast. Concerning audio, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 provides better vertical spatialization than the Samsung QE55Q90R, which, for its part, provides wider stereo. But overall, the sound provided by the Panasonic is richer and more detailed.
Panasonic TX-55GZ2000: conclusion
With the GZ2000 OLED TV range, the Japanese manufacturer provides the best televisions currently available to enjoy a “cinematic” image. The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 television utilizes all the possibilities offered by its state-of-the-art OLED panel to display superb HDR images. Blacks are deep and detailed, the light areas are bright and nuanced, the colors are rich and extremely precise.
The audio system is at the same level as the image quality. The surround spatialization is effective, especially vertically, and the Technics soundbar provides a rich and highly detailed sound. Add a subwoofer to the mix and you’ll achieve a very impressive sound.
Lastly, concerning the design, although it isn’t particularly innovative, the Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 is attractive with its slim border, its clean lines that match any interior, and its cleverly integrated soundbar.
What we liked
- The precise colors in True Cinema mode
- The exceptional quality of HDR content
- The contrast and deep blacks
- The very wide viewing angles
- The effective upscaling (resolution and HDR) that didn’t alter the image quality
- The Dolby Atmos audio system developed by Technics
What we would have liked
- An anti-reflective filter
- A more comprehensive app catalog
- A more original design…