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Panasonic Z95A: Flagship OLED TV you should be considering

Panasonic Z95A Review
Panasonic Z95A Review

Panasonic Z95A is the flagship OLED TV for 2024 and features some major upgrades over last year’s model. This includes a brighter MLA panel, a more intuitive Smart TV platform thanks to the Fire TV operating system, and next-level gaming features.

Of course, when it comes to improving OLED TV technology, brightness is usually the main battleground, but a 144Hz panel refresh rate is a major improvement too. This may be the perfect OLED TV, but a lot will depend on the price, which has not yet been confirmed. In the Panasonic TV-65Z95A 4K OLED TV review, we will look at all the pros and cons of the new product.

Panasonic Z95A review

Design

Panasonic Z95A review

 

The Panasonic TV-65Z95A is actually very similar to the previous MZ2000 . This means it has the same thin black bezels around the screen, the same speaker bar mounted below the display, and the same side-firing and rear-firing speakers. These speakers add significant depth to the body of the TV.

But at the same time, they are the core of the Z95A’s appeal, as they provide Dolby Atmos audio. The 55- and 65-inch Z95A sits on a round swivel stand. This is very convenient if you are sitting to the side of the main viewing area. By the way, the 77-inch Panasonic Z93A has a square, non-rotating stand. Again, this is all in line with last year’s MZ2000.

As a result of this audio improvement, the Panasonic 65Z95A TV is not quite suitable for wall mounting, such as the LG G3 , which has a Zero Gap between the wall and the rear panel. The body’s 7cm thickness makes one think this is a direct-backlit TV, although there are some small areas of the more typical OLED ultra-thinness.

All switching connectors are located on the rear panel and are directed sideways or downwards. The included remote control is a typical Panasonic design. It’s long and plastic and has all the buttons you could want to access, including direct access keys at the top for connecting streaming services. The silver remote control fits comfortably in your hand and works properly.

Panasonic Z95A

Panasonic Z95A

Image quality

The Panasonic Z95A series takes advantage of an OLED panel equipped with MLA+ (Micro Lens Array) technology. It bears the marketing name Master OLED Ultimate. To put it simply, we can define the Z95A series panel as being slightly optimized compared to the panel of the previous Panasonic MZ2000 series.

Let us clarify that the MLA + technology offered in the Panasonic Z95A TV allows you to obtain brightness on paper that exceeds the brightness obtained in the previous generation. It will be optimized, in particular, due to a more accurate algorithm, as well as slightly redesigned microlenses. The panel supplied by LG Display will be identical to the one found on LG’s 2024 G4 and M4 series TVs.

The supplier says the 2nd generation MLA panels are capable of operating 50 percent brighter than last year. Theoretically, they can provide brightness of about 3000 nits. Panasonic doesn’t release its own numbers, but the brightness increase over the MZ2000 is expected to be more gradual, not revolutionary.

The Z95A supports HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ Dolby Vision IQ high dynamic range. This makes it one of the few OLED TVs that supports all relevant features. In addition, color accuracy is very high thanks to the usual professional ISF modes, Netflix Calibration Mode and Filmmaker Mode.

It is the improved HCX Pro AI Mk II processor that largely provides improved image quality in the Panasonic Z95A. The combination of a new processor, a reinforced MLA panel and a multi-level thermal management configuration allows the Z95A to improve brightness and overall image quality.

The Z95A’s impressive colors and brightness create a dazzling sense of contrast. The brightest HDR highlights pop out with stellar intensity thanks to the OLED screen’s ability to place the brightest pixel next to the darkest in the image without compromising the other. This is one of the real reasons why Panasonic’s flagship TVs are so popular in the professional world.

Unfortunately, Panasonic didn’t show off the Z95A next to last year’s MZ2000, so it’s not yet possible to get a full picture of the brightness increase in 2024. But what can be said is that the Z95A produces a stunning picture on its own, with bright highlights popping against atmospheric sound and deep blacks.

 

Panasonic Z95A – switching

Smart TV

Both the Panasonic Z95A and Z93A series are powered by the Amazon Fire TV system. It replaces Panasonic’s smart TV platform, My Home Screen 8.0, which many considered one of the shortcomings of last year’s MZ2000 for being clunky and difficult to navigate. This is not to say that all 2024 series will be like this, but the brand has already begun a slight turn in this.

The transition to Fire TV was not easy, requiring development teams to completely overhaul while ensuring control over picture quality. The new OS allows TVs to use an expanded set of applications, a customizable interface, in particular, by creating profiles for each family member. It is also possible to control all connected objects in the house through the microphone built into the TV.

The Home screen now features a curated feed of the best streaming services, allowing you to instantly see what you’re watching and easily navigate between apps. With access to Apple Home, AirPlay, and Google Chromecast, you’ll also be able to use tools like watching a live feed from a security camera. This is the future of home technology that puts the TV at the center of the home.

 

Gaming Features

The Panasonic Z95A TV supports 4K/144Hz mode with standard HDR and SDR content. This is sure to please avid PC gamers with high-end hardware. But Xbox Series X and PS5 gamers will still get a maximum of 4K/120Hz, as that’s all the consoles can do. Of course, VRR and ALLM are also supported, as are AMD Freesync Premium and G-Sync .

Unfortunately, the Z95A still only has two HDMI 2.1 connectors that can support 4K/120Hz, and one of them is also a designated eARC port . That is, if you connect your soundbar or AV receiver via eARC, you’ll only have one high-quality HDMI connector for your gaming console. But Panasonic is careful to emphasize that the two HDMI 2.0 ports will at least handle ALLM and VRR up to 60Hz, something that can’t be said about many competing devices.

Sound

There are no changes in the sound system of the Panasonic Z95A compared to last year’s flagship. This is the same Panasonic 360 Soundscape Pro configuration, which provides Dolby Atmos spatial audio with seven speaker channels. This means you don’t need a soundbar at all to get immersive sound.

The Precision Positioning feature in Audio Settings allows you to manually adjust the direction of your speakers based on your room environment. It is clear that most viewers will be sitting directly in front of their televisions. But this feature is most useful when constantly moving your viewing position – it directs the “best result” of the sound to where you are sitting, including to the side.

From a technical standpoint, the only slight difference between the 55- and 65-inch Z95A is that the larger model has a slightly higher power rating of 160W compared to 150W. As for the speaker channels, there are two side-firing, two upward-firing, three forward-firing and a subwoofer.

Connections

The switching unit of the Panasonic TX-65Z95A TV has also not changed compared to its predecessor. There are 2 HDMI 2.1 ports and 2 HDMI 2.0b ports, as well as a USB 3.0 port and 2 USB 2.0 ports. You can connect to the Internet via the LAN port and via a Wi-Fi adapter. Sound can be output through the digital optical output and through the 3.5 mm minijack. There is a Bluetooth connection for audio and for connecting devices. There is an antenna socket and CI slots on board.

Conclusion

It takes time to fully test the TV. The big new thing is the move to Fire TV OS, which requires further exploration despite a very good first impression. While the Panasonic Z95A OLED TV doesn’t look much different from last year’s MZ2000 – it has the same swivel design and black bezels – there’s a lot going on under the hood that shows how much better it is.

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