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Panasonic’s flagship OLED TV is covered in speakers, but it’s not coming to U.S.

Panasonic JZ2000 OLED TV

With a little more than 48 hours to go until CES 2021, Panasonic has unveiled its flagship OLED TV for 2021, the JZ2000 — a stunning technological tour de force festooned with speakers. And, as has been the case for several years now, Panasonic has not committed to U.S. availability or pricing for the new model, which may be sold only in Europe.

The JZ2000 will be sold in Europe later his year in two sizes: 55- and 65-inches. Running down the JZ2000’s list of features is like doing a deep dive into every TV technology that’s emerged over the last year or so — and then some. It all starts with the Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, which Panasonic claims “has been exclusively customized by Panasonic R&D engineers to achieve even greater control of the parameters that affect picture quality.” Not only does Panasonic promise better picture quality, but it also boasts that the JZ2000 will be so bright that “other OLED TVs look dim by comparison.”

Panasonic JZ2000 OLED TV

The features continue with the JZ2000’s support for HDR formats, which now include Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, and the new HDR10+ Adaptive format, which is similar in execution to Dolby Vision IQ and is something else this TV supports. Using onboard light sensors, HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ automatically adjust parameters like brightness and contrast in response to your room’s lighting conditions so that you always get an optimal picture.

All of the visual goodness is handled by Panasonic’s latest picture processor, the HCX Pro AI Processor. As its name suggests, it employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to make adjustments to the on-screen images. It analyzes what kind of content you’re watching and adapts the image in real time. An example given by Panasonic is football: “If it detects that you are watching football, for example, it adjusts the picture to make the grass more lifelike, the players more three-dimensional, while also automatically adjusting the sound to make it feel like you are right there inside the stadium.”

That same processor makes gaming better, too. With its “Game Mode Extreme,” the JZ2000’s input lag has the lowest figures in the industry for an OLED TV, according to Panasonic, which is quite the claim given that OLED TVs from LG, Sony, and others already have incredibly low input lags. Game Mode Extreme also supports HDMI 2.1 variable refresh rate and a dedicated gaming picture setting.

Panasonic’s flagship OLED TVs have always come with impressive built-in audio, thanks to the influence of the company’s Technics division. Previous models have been graced with front- and top-firing speakers to deliver full Dolby Atmos support. This year, the JZ2000 gets a set of side-firing speakers thrown in, which creates an audio system the company calls 360° Soundscape Pro. More speakers mean better sound immersion and they also help the TV identify and correctly deliver directional sounds.

Rounding out the enhancements for 2021 is a new dual-Bluetooth system that lets you connect two different Bluetooth devices (like a speaker and a set of wireless headphones) simultaneously. Panasonic has also made some tweaks to its proprietary smart TV software, My Home Screen, now in its 6.0 version. The interface is more responsive, and you can access key features with your voice using the included voice remote. A new “My Scenery” feature lets you pick from a variety of images to display on the screen when you aren’t watching a video.

Final pricing and availability hasn’t been set, but it’s worth noting that a lucky few American residents may be able to grab one when the time comes. Value Electronics in Scarsdale, N.Y., is one of the only U.S. Panasonic distributors that have been able to find and import small numbers of the company’s flagship OLED TVs in the past.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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