It’s no secret that Panasonic values its OLED models higher than its LCD models. The Panasonic TX-55MX950 TV, equipped with Mini-LED backlight and quantum dots, is at the top of the LCD line-up. This makes one wonder how close it comes to OLED performance? In this review of the Panasonic TX-55MX950 Mini-LED QLED 4K HDR, we’ll look at its strengths and weaknesses and find out whether the MX950 is worth buying.
Panasonic MX950E review
If Panasonic gives even its top-end OLED model a rather modest design, then it makes sense that an LCD TV from Panasonic would also come as no surprise. It also looks a bit chunky in profile as its screen and body are quite thick. On the other hand, its build quality is excellent.
The screen has a thin frame. The rear contains the woofer modules and has a beautiful finish with a light grain structure. The main tone is black. The device does not stand on a swivel base, but on two elegant black legs. They are made of metal rather than plastic, which makes the base more stable.
The black remote control looks a little dated due to its large shape and many buttons. The only concession to the modern world is a set of six app shortcuts at the top of the remote. But this remote control is convenient to use, it is lightweight, fits well in the hand and has a pleasant, soft, but clear key stroke.
The Picture key lets you quickly change picture modes, and the My App key can be assigned to any app you choose. The only downside to such a large remote control is that sometimes you have to move your hand to reach some of the keys. Smaller remotes do not have this need.
The Panasonic 55MX950 Mini-LED TV is equipped with the company’s own Smart TV My Home Screen 8 system. The brand also launched Google TV and Fire TV in 2023, but these are only available on a limited number of models. Otherwise, My Home Screen remains Panasonic’s primary smart TV system.
The interface is minimalist with a row of tiles at the bottom and is easy to personalize. After selecting a tile, recommendations will appear. The user will not see any endless rows of unwanted content and, of course, no sponsored content after pressing the Home key. Thanks to this approach, My Home Screen runs very smoothly.
Panasonic provides access to many settings that are useful for TV viewers who like to customize a wide variety of programs. However, it is worth recognizing that, despite a fairly good organization, sometimes you can get lost in the overwhelming variety of settings.
For daily use, many settings are not needed. The downside to My Home Screen is that it has a more limited selection of apps. Luckily, all major international streaming services are available. The Panasonic MX950 Mini-LED TV is equipped with a dual TV tuner for digital television (DVB-T2/C/S2) and a dual CI+ slot.
This way you can watch TV and record another channel at the same time. You can also stream YouTube and Netflix to your TV. The built-in media player is quite complete, both in terms of video and sound.
The TV does not support DTS audio tracks. With the My Landscape feature, you can choose illustrations or even animations. You can also provide your own materials via a USB drive. There is also animation with accompanying tracks in Dolby Atmos .
The TX-55MX950 features dual 15W speakers and a 20W subwoofer. It supports Dolby Atmos but does not support DTS. As long as the volume level is kept below half, the results are very good. The sound is pleasant, the bass is high quality. Fragments of films have a clear surround sound effect, especially in the Dolby Atmos version.
At too high a volume, the bass sounds begin to disappear and the sound becomes harsher and rougher. This is especially noticeable when listening to music. Therefore, for those who like to listen to music at full volume and want cinema-quality surround sound , it is better to purchase a sound bar.
Panasonic’s flagship VIERA TX-55MX950 LCD TV is also equipped with the best HCX Processor Pro AI processor found in OLED models. The processor can adjust the image according to the viewing conditions using the AI picture mode, the intensity of which can be controlled independently.
With superior upscaling and deinterlacing, as well as subtle noise reduction, the VIERA TX-55MX950 produces beautiful images even when the content is of lower quality. At the same time, the processor cannot hide color stripes with soft gradients. Even relatively thin bands remain visible, and in dark content with low bitrates the problem is even more visible.
The LCD panel has decent image clarity. We see thin, faint edges of moving objects. Unfortunately, the Black Frame Insertion (BFI) option does not provide additional detail and only darkens the image. For the best movie experience, we recommend setting Intelligent Frame Creation to Minimum.
This will allow you to achieve a fairly smooth image without additional errors. However, for sports it is better to use higher settings. The VIERA 55MX950 TV features a VA panel that uses mini-LED backlighting with local dimming. In addition, the device uses quantum dots.
The VA panel has good natural contrast ratio of 3750:1. Local dimming consists of 128 zones. Many other devices in this price category have significantly more such zones. With local dimming enabled, the contrast increases to 5000:1. On-screen subtitles do not cause any annoying side effects. True Cinema mode is the best choice for accurate images.
Encouragingly, this model also has extensive HDR support. Besides HDR10 and HLG, there is also HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ . In Filmmaker mode, peak brightness was 1110 nits in a 10% window and 605 nits on an all-white screen.
This is a good result, although there was hope for something more. Devices such as the TCL C845 or Hisense U8KQ deliver well above this figure, although they are in the same price category. The color range reaches 92% P3 and 73% Rec.2020, which is also a very good result.
Filmmaker Mode is slightly better calibrated in HDR than SDR. The processor takes HDR10 metadata into account, so all the white detail is preserved even in very dark images. Available brightness is used well, and HDR images retain their rich character admirably, with beautiful colors and plenty of image depth.
It’s inevitable that some ghosting will occur in dark images, especially if the contrasts are very sharp, such as with fireworks displays. But, in general, the Panasonic TX-55MX950 TV works very well in HDR mode.
The Panasonic 55MX950 TV features a new “True Game” picture mode, which provides the most accurate picture quality for gamers. The menu shows frame rate, VRR status and provides access to a number of settings. Input lag is 8.6ms at 2K/120 and 17.8ms at 4K/120.
For PC gamers, in addition to HDMI VRR, AMD FreeSync support is provided. The device is also compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync , as can be seen in the settings, although this is not stated in the specifications. In HDR games, you can turn off tone mapping to allow the console to do the job.
The processor cannot combine Dolby Vision and 4K/120, which, unfortunately, has not changed for several years. Gamers who have multiple 4K/120 sources and want to use a soundbar should note that eARC /ARC is on one of the two HDMI 2.1 ports.
The rear panel has two HDMI 2.1 connectors with 40 Gbps bandwidth, ALLM, eARC, VRR and 4K120 HFR and two HDMI 2.0 connectors. There are also three USB ports, a composite video input with stereo jack, an Ethernet port, an optical digital output and a headphone jack. Wireless connections include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
If you need extra bass, you can connect a subwoofer via the headphone jack. You can switch between these functions through the menu. Most of the ports are on the side, while the HDMI 2.0 port and USB port are on the back. They are somewhat recessed into the body. Therefore, those who choose wall mounting should check whether these ports do not complicate the installation.
Panasonic does not put its LCD models on the same level as OLED models. To achieve this, MX950 TVs will need to have more local dimming zones than the 128 the TV currently has.
If anything, this small number limits its contrast and possibly maximum brightness. Otherwise, the Panasonic 950 will provide everything you ask for. Image processing is excellent, all HDR formats are supported.
For gamers, there’s True Game picture mode, low input lag, and support for all VRR options. It’s also priced right in its own line. However, competitors such as TCL and Hisense offer better contrast and brightness in this price segment.
Panasonic MX950 Specifications
|Line/options||TX-55MX950, TX-65MX950, TX-75MX950|
|Standard||Ultra HD (UHD) / 4K / 2160p|
|Matrix type||VA, Mini LED, QLED|
|Permission||3840 x 2160|
|Matrix width||10 bits|
|Frame interpolation||PPI 2500|
|Brightness||1200* nits (max)|
|Contrast||5000 : 1*|
|Update frequency||40 Hz .. 120 Hz|
|Latency/input lag||8.6 ms (minimum)|
|HDR standards||Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, HLG, HLG Photo, HDR10|
|Standard TV tuner (analog)||NTSC, PAL, SECAM|
|Standard TV tuner (digital)||2×DVB-T/T2 (H.264)/T2 HD (H.265) /2×DVB-S2/2×DVB-C/TV>IP/IPTV|
|Video codecs||AVI, WMV, MP4, 3GP, MKV, MPEG TS, VOB, VP9, FLV, QuickTime|
|HDMI||2 x HDMI 2.0 + 2 x HDMI 2.1 eARC, ALLM, VRR, 4K HFR|
|USB||2 x USB 2.0 + 1 x USB 3.0|
|Reception of TV signals||1 x RF (terrestrial antenna), 1 x F-Type (satellite antenna)|
|Audio output||Optical (audio)|
|Additionally||Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, CI+, AV component, 3.5 mm audio|
|Power||30 W (2 x 15 W) + 20 W subwoofer|
|Support||Dolby Atmos, Cinema Surround, FPS, Auto AI, Music, Stadium, RPG, User, Standard, Speech|
|OS||my Home Screen 8.0|
|CPU||HCX Processor Pro AI|
|Voice assistant||Google Assistant, Alexa|
|Front panel – Black|
|Back panel – Black|
|VESA 400 x 300 mm (55″)|
|*some parameters may require clarification|