It feels like we reviewed Panasonic’s LZ2000 flagship 2022 OLED TV just last week, and that’s probably because it was. However, at CES 2023, Panasonic unveiled its 2023 flagship OLED – the MZ2000, which will serve as the company’s top-of-the-line OLED in 2023 and replace the LZ2000.
While the MZ2000 has yet to be released into the mainstream market, we did manage to spend some quality time with the new OLED TV during its unveiling at CES, meaning we can start comparing it to its predecessor. We also have the LZ2000 fresh in our minds after our recent review, in which we awarded it five stars for its excellent picture and sound performance – so can Panasonic up its game again?
While some aspects here are subject to change and we will update this page as new information becomes available, you can use this as an early comparison between the two models.
Panasonic MZ2000 vs LZ2000: price
Panasonic has yet to reveal exactly how much the MZ2000 will cost, so it’s difficult to compare prices between the upcoming and current models. We can begin to get an idea of how much the MZ2000 could cost by looking at the price of the LZ2000, but it’s worth considering how current industry price trends, as well as inflation in general, could result in raise a price this year.
The LZ2000 starts at £2,230 (about $2710 / AU$3920) for the 55-inch model, the 65-inch model costs £2899 (about $3525 / AU$5090) and the 77-inch costs £4300 (about $ 5230 / € 7550).
Panasonic MZ2000 vs LZ2000: build
Looking at the design of the MZ2000 gives us a serious case of déjà vu as it looks almost identical to last year’s model. We described the LZ2000’s design as “function over form”, as its sensible design includes the ability to pivot the TV on its stand. It won’t win any beauty contests, especially against the LG G3 and C3, which also debuted at CES 2023, but it could be argued that the design is just a vessel for the viewing experience.
The MZ2000 has the same chunky bottom bezel that houses part of the TV’s speaker system, with thin black bezels around the other three sides of the screen. Other TV manufacturers such as LG and Sony have opted for hidden speakers and floating designs via wall mount or rear-facing stands, but not Panasonic, which keeps it traditional with a center-mounted pedestal and round base that comfortably hold the TV. hangs up. look angle.
The same remote seems to be present in both models too; it’s tall, slim and silver with plenty of shortcuts to streaming apps like Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video. It also includes a microphone for voice commands, meaning you can quickly switch between different apps, channels and inputs.
If these two TVs were placed side by side without specifying which is which, then it would be difficult to tell the newer generation from the current one. The picture and sound are what matters most here though, so how do the two models compare in those departments?
Panasonic MZ2000 vs LZ2000: image
The biggest difference between the MZ2000 and the LZ2000 is screen technology with a key factor that differentiates the two OLED panels. The MZ2000 includes Micro Lens Array technology, the same as that found in the LG G3, which also debuted at CES. Also known as MLA for short, this new technology involves adding a layer of microscopic lenses to direct light towards the user, resulting in improved clarity. This means you get a brighter image without putting too much strain on the OLED screen, reducing the risk of burn-in.
LG claims the upcoming OLED G3 will be 25%-50% brighter than its predecessor, so could we see the same on the latest Panasonic set? It’s entirely possible, as Panasonic appears to be using the same panels from LG Display. In a test conducted by Panasonic between the two models, the LZ2000’s peak brightness was measured at 1000 nits, and the MZ2000’s peak brightness came in at 1456 nits – an impressive jump in brightness to say the least.
However, one of our concerns in our LG OLED G3 vs G2 comparison comes back here too, and it has to do with color saturation. QD OLEDs use a Quantum Dot filter to ensure saturation is maintained even at higher brightness levels; MLA gets around this to instead improve white light performance, meaning color volume integrity can be sacrificed. We hope this isn’t the case, but it’s something we’ll be paying attention to in our full review.
Naturally, with this increase in brightness, we can expect HDR to look better than last year, with Panasonic claiming it’s created its best HDR image to date. The MZ2000 includes HDR support in three formats: HDR10+, Dolby Vision IQ and HLG. Panasonic also emphasizes the ongoing collaboration with Hollywood colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld when it comes to its super-accurate Filmmaker picture mode: intended to reproduce the image in a way “as the director intended”. It’s available on the LZ2000 and will also be included in the MZ2000, although this time with an improved ambient color temperature sensor so it can better detect the lighting conditions of the environment it’s in and adjust color and contrast accordingly.
All of these additions seem to build on an already excellent picture, as we deemed the LZ2000’s image to be “beautifully balanced” and “authentic”, so we expect the MZ2000 to be tested to see if it can improve on its five-star rating. predecessor.
Panasonic MZ2000 vs LZ2000: sound
The LZ2000 really impressed us with its spacious and room-filling sound. It offered the most spacious soundstage we’ve ever experienced from a TV, and it goes louder than many of its rivals. Combined with excellent dynamics, we instantly fell in love with the LZ2000’s audio performance, claiming it creates a “cinematic experience that the vast majority of TVs can only dream of”.
So how could Panasonic improve on this? Well, from the looks of it, the MZ2000’s speaker bar is another Technics-tuned, Dolby Atmos-equipped beast, with multiple built-in upward-firing, side-firing and front-firing speakers. The arrangement of the speakers in the aforementioned thick bottom bar on the TV has been revised to create an even wider soundstage, and the TV includes three modes that change where the sound output is routed. This includes Pinpoint mode, which sends the sound to a specific point, Area mode, which spreads it over a specific area or group, and Sport mode, which boosts the volume to a specific spot. This is all topped off with a bass boost algorithm upgrade that adds a greater sense of depth and punch when needed.
While this all sounds excellent, and we’re very much looking forward to listening to this TV, we hope the distortion issue on the LZ2000’s subwoofer has been resolved in this new mode; meaning the LZ2000 is an instant no-go if the buzzing bass is an immediate disqualifying factor for you.
Panasonic MZ2000 vs LZ2000: gaming
The MZ2000 has a 4K/120Hz panel, just like its predecessor, making this TV an ideal choice for gamers. It also includes ALLM and VRR, as well as more accurate HDR tonemapping for gaming, meaning your PS5 and Xbox Series X games can look even better compared to last year’s model.
The only place where the MZ2000 falls short of other TVs at this price point is in the HDMI connections. Again, like its predecessor, it only includes two HDMI 2.1 ports – we’d much rather see HDMI 2.1 standardized across all connections, like the LG G3 and C3. However, if you’re a gamer and want to compare these two sets then the MZ2000 looks like the better of the two, with subtle but meaningful picture upgrades, as well as dedicated audio modes for gaming.
Panasonic MZ2000 vs LZ2000: early verdict
Panasonic’s 2022 and 2023 flagship 4K OLEDs seem to share a lot of similarities, so much so that we’d call this an annual spec bump if it weren’t for the vastly improved claimed brightness. The sound also seems to get a modest boost, while the design and gaming chops of these TVs are eerily similar.
It’s still a little early to say which one to go for, but with the 55-inch LZ2000 now available for under £2000 from Panasonic’s online store (opens in new tab)you might be able to snag a good deal on a five-star TV right now – a tempting offer if the brighter 2023 model doesn’t force you to wait and inevitably spend more.
Read our full Panasonic LZ2000 review
And our first hands-on review of the Panasonic MZ2000
Panasonic’s TV line-up for 2023: everything you need to know
Stars of CES 2023: The 10 best TV and audio products from CES
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