Introducing the LZ2000, the 2022 iteration of Panasonic’s no-comprise home cinema flagship screen line. Combining a state-of-the-art OLED EX panel with flawless Auto AI processing and genuinely immersive Dolby Atmos sound all built into its frame, it’s a premium proposition for those that demand the best – and have correspondingly deep pockets.
Amongst the upgrades over last season’s JZ2000 is Game Mode Extreme, a collection of advanced gaming features including 4K 120Hz support for next-gen console owners, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and AMD Freesync Premium certification, and a dedicated game settings user interface. The smart platform of choice once again is Panasonic’s My Home Screen, now up to 7.0, with Google Assistant and Alexa support.
It’s a mouth-watering confection. Let’s take a closer look in T3's deep dive Panasonic LZ2000 4K OLED TV review...
Panasonic TX-55LZ2000 review: Price and availability
The LZ2000 is unapologetically expensive, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s available in 55-, 65- and 77-inch screen sizes (TX-55LZ2000, TX-65LZ2000, TX-77LZ2000), priced at £2,299, £2,899, and £4,299 respectively in the UK. Our review sample is the 55-inch model.
There’s no price option for US buyers, as Panasonic doesn’t sell televisions Stateside. Sad but true.
For those who don’t want the value-add cost of a full-blown Dolby Atmos sound system, Panasonic sells the cheaper LZ1500 range, which boasts the same Master OLED Pro panel and processor combo, in screens that range from 42- to 65-inches.
Panasonic LZ2000 review: Features & what's new
The LZ2000 follows the sound and vision template established by the JZ2000, but adds welcome new attractions.
Like its predecessor, the LZ2000 features a seven channel, Technics-tuned 360° Soundscape Pro audio system, complete with height and side-firing drivers. But this season, there are changes to the front array, which now uses Beam Forming to offer surgical sound steerage, via the remote control. Two viewers can share the same room, but have a different listening experience, as one sits in the hot zone and the other out.
Smart duties are once again handled by Panasonic’s Home Screen platform, here in updated v7.0 guise. Fast to navigate and easy to customise, the app selection rail opens up contextual menus as you hover over them. As we’ve seen before, you can customisable sources and apps to the main Home screen, via pins. There’s also voice control with Google Assistant andAmazon Alexa.
Streaming options are wide, and include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Britbox, Disney+, Apple TV+, YouTube and Rakuten TV. There’s also a full complement of mainstream catch-up services including BBC iPlayer, ITV hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catch Up and Legend (formerly known as Horror Bites).
Gaming support is definitely to the fore on the LZ2000. New this year is a Game Control Board UI, which groups key game settings together in one place, including resolution, frame rate, input lag and VRR and HDR metadata. The pop-up board can be assigned to the customisable ‘my App’ button on the remote control for easy access.
Backstage boffins have also been working hard to reduce input lag. The LZ2000 has a new 60Hz Refresh Mode, to cut latency for 60Hz games. We measured it at 14.5ms (1080/60). There’s also an adjustable Dark Visibility Enhancer that allows some adjustment of near-black, all the better to reveal any enemies lurking in the shadows.
Panasonic LZ2000 review: Images & Sound
When it comes to performance, the combination of upgraded OLED panel, Panasonic R&D and system-on-chip (SoC) sophistication make the LZ2000 a formidable proposition. The screen retains the characteristics that have made previous Panasonic OLED tellies so satisfying (cinematic depth and detail) but adds greater colour pop and a smidge more brightness.
The SoC, better known as the HCX Pro AI processor, does a stunning job here, making the transition from pure black to just above black (Prime Video’s The Terminal List a case in point), look smooth and inclusive and preventing shadow detail being crushed.
The set’s HDR performance is uniformly outstanding. It confidently delivers 1000 nits in its Normal image default, easily dealing with specular highlights and photographic flare. And it holds onto those bright peaks when they persist, rather than abruptly fade.
General brightness levels get a boost too. This screen is stunning in full dark conditions – Panasonic has managed to boost those peak HDR brightness without burning out bright details – but it wows in brightly lit rooms too, thanks to native luminosity and ambient sensor control.
Like its predecessors, the LZ2000 offers multi HDR support. In addition to the regulars, the set has Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive, both of which analyse ambient room lighting to manage image characteristics. Other presets of note are Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode and Filmmaker mode.
Specification improvements this season include improved colour volume, specifically blue brightness and all the gradations within.
To maximise luminosity, the LZ2000 combines the new LG Display EX panel with a physical heatsink. This effectively sucks heat away from the panel to allow more head room for brightness. Panasonic isn’t new to this technique, though, as the brand first introduced a heat management system in its 2019 models.
Sonically, the LZ2000 impresses with its multiple built-in upward-firing, side-firing, and front-firing speaker units. Unlike rivals, it hasn’t chosen to bolt the screen to an ostentatious soundbar, or hide micro-speakers within the panel bezel. Here the drivers are all too obvious.
The resulting soundstage is huge, with pronounced bass. Total power output is a substantial 150W. This is the most cinematic sound system built into a TV I’ve ever heard.
Panasonic LZ2000 review: Design & usability
The LZ2000 looks suitably premium, solidly built with a high-end finish. The panel, framed by the smallest of bezels, sits on a central, circular pedestal.
Connectivity is good, but not outstanding. Of the four HDMI inputs, only two support High Frame Rate 4K120 video. There’s eARC on input 2, plus VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). All four HDMIs have ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) game mode support.
There are three USB ports, a digital optical audio output, an AV minijack and Ethernet. Wireless connectivity comes via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The set has both terrestrial Freeview Play, and satellite tuners.
The remote control is heavier than you might expect, thanks to its metallic casing, and sports dedicated buttons for Netflix, Rakuten TV, Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube and Freeview Play.
Panasonic LZ2000: Verdict
The Panasonic LZ2000 is a gorgeous TV, one that delivers a polished picture performance; its OLED execution is sensational, with perfect near-black handling, and superb colour accuracy.
The 360 degree sound system is also class-leading. I’m not sure the new sound steerage feature will get a lot of use, but it certainly works.
The LZ2000 also boasts excellent motion handling, making it good for sports, and a rock-solid smart platform. It's great for gaming, too, making it a good looking and super sounding all-in-one TV.
Brilliance rarely comes cheap, and you'll have to pay handsomely for the pleasure. But then the LZ2000 is a pleasure for the eyes and ears that comes most highly recommended.
Don't want the all-singing, all-dancing built-in soundsystem as you've already got a separates system or soundbar? Then have a think about the LG C1 OLED instead, a yesteryear TV that's still great quality but not nearly as pricey.
Or, if you fancy ultra-brightness rather than OLED ultra-blacks then Samsung's top-rate QN95B is a sensational Neo QLED option. However, it comes without as banging a built-in soundsystem and will probably cost you more cash.