When it comes to the very best OLED TVs in 2023 there are some incredible options out there: I’ve already lived with the LG G3 OLED, which I cannot praise enough as a wall-mount winner, while Panasonic’s MZ2000, as revealed at CES 2023, offers a great stand-mount alternative. But this is at the top of the top-end, as both models offer Micro Lens Array (MLA) super-bright panels.
Drop down a level to where mere mortals are more likely to spend their cash and there are superb options from both manufacturers: the LG C3, which I currently have on test, is a subtle upgrade to 2022’s OLED C2 model, but the all-new Panasonic MZ1500 might make you forget all about that, as it sounds like the best OLED TV of 2023 for most people – thanks to a key point of appeal in its integrated soundsystem.
The MZ1500’s so-called Dynamic Theatre Surround Pro is an immersive 2.1 system able to deliver Dolby Atmos straight out of the box. That should negate your need to buy one of the best soundbars separately. The TV uses digital processing in combination with its left and right front output and rear subwoofer to create additional height and immersion. (Note, however, the higher-end MZ2000 offers a much wider 7.1 system).
Sound is one of those often overlooked aspects of a TV, and with OLED panels so innately thin by design, it’s great to see Panasonic ensuring all bases are covered by introducing a front 'soundbar'-like design to the MZ1500. That’s at no cost to picture quality either, with the MZ1500 featuring a Master OLED panel (often called ‘EX’, the equivalent of what LG uses) plus a heat-sink for exquisite image quality.
An updated Filmmaker mode doubles down on Panasonic’s Hollywood industry experience, looking to deliver content as the maker intended. And with a full suite of high dynamic range (HDR) – Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive – no stone is unturned when it comes to metadata compatibility for optimum image quality.
Not only that, Panasonic is really pushing its gaming capabilities for 2023, with the MZ1500 including HDMI 2.1 for all the mod cons that gamers want: 120Hz, VRR, ALLM, plus AMD FreeSync Premium and an updated True Game Mode which Panasonic claims “brings all the colour accuracy features available for movies into the world of gaming”. There are even sound modes for specific gaming genres, from RPG (role-playing game) to FPS (first-person shooter).
The Panasonic MZ1500 will be available from August, priced at £2199 for the 55-inch model and £2899 for the 65-inch model (smaller 42- and 48-inch models will be available in Europe, but not the UK). It will not sell in the USA.