It’s January, which means the Consumer Electronic show (CES 2013) is in full swing, bringing with it new TVs galore. Panasonic is one of the key players in this space and like most of its rivals, it’s taken to the Las Vegas tech show to unveil its new range of TVs for 2023.
The brand’s offerings were among our favorite TVs from last year, with one model on our list of the best OLED TVs. So we’re excited to see what it has in store for 2023.
At the time of writing, the company has only officially confirmed one new TV: the top of the range MZ2000. But it will certainly announce all the details of the rest of its range soon (although this was only May last year, so we can wait). Until then, we’ve filled in the blanks with what we expect from the new models, based on last year’s range.
Panasonic’s best HDR image to date
Panasonic’s flagship MZ2000 OLED TV succeeds the five-star LZ2000, so hopes are high that it’ll be another great effort. And on paper it certainly seems that way. It promises Panasonic’s “best and brightest picture yet”, thanks to the new custom OLED panel that the brand has dubbed Master OLED Ultimate. Powered by Panasonic’s HCX Pro AI processor, it features a new multi-layer thermal management system and uses Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology to better focus light from the panel’s OLEDs and boost brightness.
The result? Peak brightness that’s a whopping 150 per cent higher than Panasonic’s 2022 OLED TVs. That should make it perfect for HDR content, based on how great movies looked when we watched them on Panasonic’s OLEDs last year.
Better read the room
Like Panasonic’s previous OLEDs, the MZ2000 supports Filmmaker mode, which aims to render the image exactly as the director intended. But the new set goes one step further: it features an improved ambient color temperature sensor that can better detect the lighting conditions in your room. While we haven’t tested it yet, so can’t confirm how it works, according to Panasonic, this allows the set to adjust color and contrast more precisely to give you the optimal viewing experience. And as with previous OLEDs, Panasonic has once again enlisted the help of long-time collaborator Stefan Sonnenfeld and famed Hollywood colorist to make sure it’s as accurate as possible. Again, we haven’t reviewed the new set yet, but given the miraculous, as the director intended, results from Panasonic TVs we’ve tested, we have high hopes for the new model.
Sound by Technics
The LZ2000 was very impressive on the audio front during our checks last year, and we’re pleased to see Panasonic continuing that focus with the MZ2000. The new TV is equipped with a Dolby Atmos sound system tuned by Panasonic hi-fi brand Technics.
It features multiple built-in upward-firing, side-firing and front-firing speakers. The front speaker array runs the full width of the TV behind a speaker grille and now has a wider soundstage. It also features three modes that give you more control over where you want to place the sound: at a single point (Pinpoint Mode), a particular place or group of people (Area Mode), or amplified at a particular spot (Spot Mode).
The bass boost algorithm has also been upgraded and should give the low end more impact when a soundtrack demands it.
The pleasure of gamers
Of course, the increased brightness of the MZ2000 benefits everyone whether they’re watching video games or playing on the TV, but gamers also get a new True Game Mode. This promises to be calibrated as carefully as the TV’s movie presets. Panasonic says the MZ2000 will have improved tone mapping for more accurate HDR, as well as dedicated audio modes for gaming. ALLM and VRR (including G-Sync and Freesync) are also supported again. ALLM and VRR are key features we expect from any modern gaming TV that allow the set to adjust the frame rate. This means they can boost it above the traditional 60fps, offering more responsive gameplay when a compatible console, such as the PS5, is connected to an HDMI 2.1 port.
However, like its predecessor, it still only has two HDMI 2.1 connections that support 4K/120Hz. That’s a bit disappointing considering its high-end rivals have four such ports. The Dolby Vision game mode also has a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz instead of 120 Hz, which could turn off some Xbox Series X gamers.
Panasonic 2023 TV range breakdown
These are some of the highlights of the new range. But what exact models can we expect?
As mentioned, Panasonic has only announced the MZ2000 so far. But we’d be surprised if it didn’t also reveal the following TVs…
Panasonic MZ2000 OLED TV
This is Panasonic’s top performer for 2023, a singing, dancing successor to the excellent LZ2000. The 77-inch model has a slightly uprated screen on the smaller models – Panasonic calls this Master OLED Pro Cinema Size.
Specifications Panasonic MZ2000:
- Sizes: 55 inches, 65 inches, 77 inches
- Display type: Master OLED Pro Cinema format (TX-77MZ2000B), Master OLED Ultimate (TX-65MZ2000B and TX-55MZ2000B)
- Solution: 4K
- Processor: HCX Pro AI processor
- HDMI 2.1: Yes x2 (4x HDMI total)
- Gaming Features: Game Mode, VRR, ALLM, AMD Freesync Premium, G-Sync Compatible
- Sound: 360° Soundscape Pro
Panasonic MZ2000 prices:
- Panasonic TX-77MZ2000B: To be determined
- Panasonic TX-65MZ2000B: To be determined
- Panasonic TX-55MZ2000B: To be determined
Panasonic TVs we’re still waiting for
While the TV looks great, it’s the only one Panasonic has shown so far. Below is an overview of other sets we hope to see later this year.
Speculation time. Panasonic has not yet announced a TV with the model number MZ1500. But given a past, we’re willing to bet that it will. It will likely occupy the same space as last year’s LZ1500 (pictured), namely as a similar offering to the MZ2000, but with a simplified sound system.
It’s also likely to come in a wider range of sizes – the LZ1500 came in 42- and 48-inch models, matching the same 55- and 65-inchers of its pricier sibling.
Like the LZ1000 (pictured) before it, the MZ1000 will likely be another step down from the flagship MZ2000. The LZ1000 featured a Master OLED panel, rather than the Master OLED Pro of its more premium siblings. We have no reason to believe the MZ1000 won’t have a similarly downgraded screen.
Like last year’s LZ980 (pictured), the MZ980 is likely essentially identical to the MZ1000, save for a smaller screen (the LZ980 had a non-Master OLED screen). It’s also likely to be exclusive to a particular retailer, just like its predecessor.
Now on to Panasonic’s LCD TVs. Last year it launched the LX940 (pictured), which featured a 120Hz LED-backlit LCD display. However, this model was only for the EU and didn’t launch in the UK, so we hope a possible MX940 sees the light of day on these shores.
However, the UK did get a non-OLED model from Panasonic last year. This was the LX800, which, unlike the rest of the Panasonic range, ran Google’s Android TV operating system. It came in 43, 50, 55, 65 and 75-inch sizes – the two smaller models had HDR Bright Panel+ displays, while the larger sets were referred to as HDR Cinema Display. Fingers crossed we see an MX800 with some minor upgrades this year.
Read our five stars Test test Panasonic TX-65LZ2000B OLED TV
The best tvs you can buy in 2023
QD OLED TVs set at 77 inches and over 2000 nits of brightness