Panasonic’s new TX-LX940 series are LCD TVs with a wide range of features. A 100Hz panel, penta tuner and quality image processing are just a few of the key points that roughly describe what the new range is capable of. Thanks to the use of a cheaper LCD panel, the price of the TV is significantly lower than the price of Panasonic’s OLED counterparts.
All models in this lineup feature the superb HDR Cinema Display Pro with Pro local dimming. It’s a carefully crafted LED-backlit LCD that, with its 100Hz refresh rate, also has more up its sleeve for gaming and other occasions. In the review of the Panasonic TX-55LX940 4K HDR TV as a representative of the series, we will take a closer look at the new features.
Panasonic LX940 review
The design of the Panasonic TX-55LX940 perfectly matches our understanding of Panasonic products. It is a simple and discreet but very solid design similar to the JXR940 series . The TV has a small dark silver frame. In profile, it’s seven centimeters deep, which seems pretty thick these days, but the screen itself is very thin.
Many modern televisions offer a variety of installation options. On the Panasonic 55LX940 TV, you can adjust the distance between the legs. Their location in the center under the screen allows you to install the TV on narrow furniture. Alternatively, you can position the legs around the edges of the screen.
In this case, the screen will be about six centimeters above the surface of the furniture, so that you can place the soundbar. There is no need for complicated assembly or screw work, you simply insert the legs into the device. Note that on the smallest diagonal there is no such option, and the largest diagonal has a base in the form of an L-shaped plate.
The LX940 series comes with a black version of the standard Panasonic remote control found on OLED models, including the LZ1000 . In our opinion, Panasonic is overprotective in this area. The remote is really a bit old fashioned, especially with so many buttons. A more compact and modern remote would not interfere with ease of use.
But apart from that aspect, everything is fine. The keys are pleasant to the touch, require little pressure and give a clean click. There are six app shortcuts, one of which opens an overview of all apps. You can also assign the My App button to your favorite app. Using the “Picture” button, you can quickly select another image mode from the list, which is also generated independently.
The macro shot of the pixels points to an IPS panel, so you can immediately assume modest contrast but a good viewing angle. The Panasonic 55LX940 does not have a dirty screen effect, and uniformity is good in both bright and dark images. This is especially important for dark images because the actual ANSI 740:1 contrast ratio is even lower than expected.
Although the TV can dim the backlight by zone, it has only eight columns for this. This is too small to affect the contrast. Panasonic is careful with local dimming because with so few zones, an aggressive approach will result in very visible zone borders.
The downside is that the contrast enhancement in many images is quite limited, meaning you shouldn’t expect deep blacks from this screen. Accurate color reproduction provides very natural images. The darkest shades of the gray scale tend to blue, but not significantly. Only in the black details can you notice that some of the nuances are lost.
This LCD TV supports HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive. Dolby Vision in particular represents a great added value for devices in this category. With limited contrast and brightness, HDR10 tone mapping can sometimes cause problems, and the Dolby Vision version guarantees a better result.
Peak brightness is 590 nits in a 10% window and on a completely white screen. But local dimming reduces brightness on small windows. The color range, on the other hand, is surprisingly modest: 80% P3 and 59% Rec.2020. Therefore, the deep, intense colors of HDR will be less visible. Good results can be achieved with the Filmmaker Mode.
Games, reflections and viewing angles
The LX940’s panel has wide viewing angles, especially with regard to colors. Reflections should be avoided as much as possible as it is difficult for IPS to maintain contrast in the presence of glare. The output latency is 17ms for 4K@60 and 8ms for 2K@120, which is more than enough even for avid gamers. The device supports HDMI VRR, AMD Freesync as well as Nvidia Gsync.
The latter is not in the official list of characteristics, but there is an NVIDIA Auto Game Mode in the menu. You can quickly adjust a number of settings and request image information through the game bar. Dolby Vision on the TX-LX940 is limited to 4K@60 and cannot be combined with 4K@120. And those using a soundbar or other external audio equipment will have to sacrifice one of the HDMI 2.1 ports as it works like ARC/eARC.
The LX940 TV comes with the My Home Screen 7.0 user interface. This means you’ll have to make do with slightly fewer MHS applications. The OS powers all major international streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, Prime Video, and Apple TV. The system works very fast.
The My Home Page interface is very fluid, doesn’t overload with (not always helpful) recommendations, is simple and wide enough for personalization, and doesn’t take up the whole screen. The home screen is a simple row of tiles at the bottom of the screen where you can store apps, external devices, or live TV channels.
Users can use and customize their favorite things at the touch of a button. You can pin your favorite items, like video streaming apps, to your Home screen so you always have what you need at your fingertips. LX940E is compatible with Alexa – you can change the channel, volume or turn off the TV with your voice. Similarly, Google Assistant-enabled devices such as a smart speaker, smartphone, or tablet are used.
For mid-range devices, good sound is the exception rather than the rule, so expectations in this area are not too high. The 2 x 15W audio system is comparable to the LZ980 . It produces good results for dialogue and soft music. But there is very little bass, and at too high a volume, the processor intervenes very hard. This is especially true for music.
There’s plenty of room in surround sound processing, but you won’t get a true Dolby Atmos experience from the Panasonic LX940 TV. To correct the lack of bass, you can use an external subwoofer, if you have one. But if you want a more enjoyable movie experience, we think you’d better choose a good soundbar right away.
The LX940’s connectivity list includes two HDMI 2.0 ports and two HDMI 2.1 ports with 40Gbps, ALLM, eARC , VRR, and 4K@120, as well as three USB ports, an optical digital output, and a headphone jack. The latter can also be used to connect an external subwoofer, provided you switch through the menu.
A composite video input with a stereo channel is available for those who still want to plug in older analog devices, while Ethernet and Wi-Fi are available for Smart TV features. Via Bluetooth, you send sound to or from your TV. All connections point sideways or downwards so as not to interfere with wall mounting.
The Panasonic TX-55LX940 is well suited to those looking for an all-in-one family TV that needs to work in a well-lit living room. In such viewing conditions, limited contrast, its main drawback, is not very noticeable. The rather mediocre audio pushes the true enthusiast towards the soundbar, and for that you need to use one of the two HDMI 2.1 ports.
But the clear plus is Panasonic’s excellent image processing. Combined with excellent peak brightness, sufficient HDR support and good calibration, you can expect a very good picture with natural colors.