Panasonic has unveiled its Viera range of 4K TVs for 2016, which includes the HDR ready DX800, boasting HDR support and a flexible swing stand.
TVs from the DX802 series – there’s 50 and 58-inch varieties – are one rung down from the flagship DX900 range unveiled earlier this year at CES. While these won’t come with the same UHD Alliance’s ‘Premium Ultra HD’ certification, they will let you enjoy 4K content in HDR (High Dynamic Range), which is perhaps just as well as both Netflix and Amazon plan to launch content in HDR on Panasonic smart TVs later this year. Given that in our books the only UHD certification that really matters is ‘Will I be able to watch Sky Sports 4K on it?‘, this is perhaps no bad thing.
The looker of 2016’s Viera range, the DX800 comes encased in a triangular swing stand; it’s something of a fancy piece which comes complete with a 12 speaker soundbar, comprising two tweeters, four squawkers and six woofers. This ‘prismatic speaker’, as Panasonic calls it, apes the triangular shape of the DX800’s swing frame, which looks very nice but is sure to drive OCD sufferers absolutely nuts if it’s not totally perpendicular to the TV at all times.
Related: BT Sport Ultra HD – Details of 4K HDR trials emergePerhaps more impressive is the presence of THX Viewing Modes, pre-calibrated modes (Cinema and Bright Room) that have been optimized for viewing content in dark and light rooms respectively. So when you’re watching EastEnders you can leave the standard bright room mode or and then dim the lights for The Revenant, when it finally comes out on Blu-ray. Also present is something that Panasonic’s calling Studio Master HCX which promises accurate picture processing and image quality ‘as the filmmaker intended.’
Shown off here at Panasonic’s annual Convention, the DX802 series definitely stands out amidst all of the other regular-looking TVs. That said, if you don’t have space in your living room for a showy telly with its own swing seat, there’s smaller panels with more conventional arrangements like models from the DX750 and DX700 ranges.
Cleverly, these incorporate adjustable feet that means you’re able to reposition things if you need to feng shui TV stand space for the likes of Roku mini streamers and Apple TVs. They’re also smaller, arriving in 50, 58 and 65-inch and 40, 50 and 58-inch flavours respectively. Both ranges will support HDR content and the same Studio Master HCX image fidelity promise.
Where the models differ is that the DX750 ranges come with two HD tuners, meaning you can record one programme while watching another, while the DX700 doesn’t. DX750 models also boast a slightly higher refresh rate (1,800Hz vs 1,400Hz) which, again, is lower than that of the DX800 TVs (2,000Hz).
Even further down the 2016 Viera range are 4K TVs from the DX650 and DX600 series and Full HD panels from the DS500 and DS400 line up.
Unlike others in the stable, 4K panels from the DX600 and DX650 ranges don’t support HDR content, although like all 4K TVs from Panasonic’s range, My Home Screen 2.0 and Firefox OS comes included as standard. Panasonic TVs from both ranges are available in 40, 49, 55-inch editions.
TVs from Panasonic’s DS range feature the same refresh rate (400Hz), with the only difference between the two being that the high contrast mode of the DS500 TVs isn’t present on DS400 models and while you can get 24, 32, 40, 49 and 55-inch DS500 TVs, there’s only a 40-inch DS400 model.
UK prices and release dates aren’t currently available, but we’ll update as and when we get them.