Meet Panasonic’s astonishing new Premium 4K UHD TV that rivals OLED at CES 2016

by on January 7, 2016

Stephan Jukic – January 07, 2016

LCD TV technology which can rival the pure deep blacks of OLED 4K display has been an elusive dream of television manufacturers and home entertainment fans for some time now and Panasonic now claims to have pulled it off.

If the company’s new exquisite OLED 4K UHD TVs,weren’t enough to wow audiences, Panasonic has also developed a new LCD 4K TV called the DX900, which is apparently capable of reaching black levels previously only possible in OLED TVs and well outside the reach of even the best LCD/LED models on the market.

Furthermore, Panasonic’s new innovative TV model isn’t just a simple prototype. Instead, it has already been unveiled at CES 2016, certified as a Premium TV and will be going on sale at the end of January, even if only to the European market at first.

With this release date, the DX900 will in fact be one of the first 4K UHD TVs unveiled at CES 2016 to actually go on sale, with most other models scheduled for releases in the early spring.

In any case, the Ultra HD Premium label given to the TV is a standard which has been adopted by the UHD Alliance as part of its new set of standards for HDR and 4K video playback technologies, which was also announced at CES 2016 by the industry organization. With the Premium label, only TVs and other display devices which reach a certain particularly high level of brightness, resolution, contrast and color rendering can wear this new UHD Alliance badge of honor.

As for the DX900 itself, it more than meets those specific and exacting UHD Alliance specs and has also even managed to meet and beat the also highly refined and strict standards for display technology which have been put out by THX as another distinct certification system since 2014.

In other words, the new Panasonic DX900 4K UHD smart TV will be the first ever THX-certified and UHD Alliance-certified Ultra HD Premium TV.

As for the more specific details behind the DX900’s display technology, they are indeed impressive and mark a major advance in Panasonic’s efforts to create 4K UHD TV screens which can recreate not only naked-eye realism but also video as a film creator originally intended it as closely as possible to perfectly.

For starters, the new TV comes with a sort of new “honeycomb” LCD structure that marks a sharp departure from more conventional backlight designs. In other words, the LCD panel in the DX900 breaks down the display into hundreds of individual lighting zones which are all completely compartmentalized and isolated to ensure a complete absence of light bleed from one “honeycomb” to the other. In effect, this creates a picture quality with precision-perfect deep black dimming and extremely bright lighting exactness for each tiny section of the screen without any sort of halo effects or light bleed.

In other words, an LCD/LED simulation of what OLED technology pulls off –though based on what we’ve heard so far about the honeycomb LCD design, it still doesn’t quite match the single pixel darkness or brightness precision of OLED, which in fact adds up to the practical equivalent of literally millions of individual lighting and dimming zones.

Thus, even Panasonic’s new “honeycomb design” isn’t what we could quite call the LCD match of OLED. Nonetheless, it is a huge advance for the picture quality in LCD TV technology to previously unheard of levels of richness.

the DX900's "honeycomb" LCD display supposedly matches OLED in precision

the DX900’s “honeycomb” LCD display supposedly matches OLED in precision

Furthermore, Panasonic is claiming that the DX900 can deliver its superior brightness across even more of the display panel than a conventional 4K UHD TV, to the tune of 1000 nits over roughly  60% of the average picture level in comparison to only 20% average picture level at 1000 nits for average, normal LCD TV screens.

This in effect means much wider HDR range and a much more consistent level of high dynamic range quality.

Finally, the new and almost revolutionary DX900 offers some superb color gamut coverage, with about 90% of the DCI P3 standard –which is the latest and most professional cinematic color gamut range in use today– delivered by the new TV.

On top of all these visual technologies, this new “Premium” 4K ultra HD TV also offers Panasonic’s all new HCX+Video processing engine, which is in fact yet another part of the company’s effort to go beyond the borders of ordinary video reproduction and deliver content that’s as absolutely close as possible to original production source images from a studio: The new HCX+Video processor comes with “Hollywood Cinema eXperience chipset technology.

We don’t have any pricing details for this spectacular new Panasonic 4K TV model, but we do know that it’s going to be in the upper end of high 4K TV pricing, possibly costing as much as or more than many new OLED 4K models.

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  • Gerry
    January 8, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    If it costs as much or more than OLED and it still can’t match black levels, why would you not wait for OLED to become perfect in a couple of months through 8K.


    • Tomas
      January 11, 2016 at 3:47 am

      8k? You don’t even have 4k movies and you are thinking on 8k?
      Most of you people don’t even know what is a perfect 1080p, and you talk about 8k…. LOL


      • Gerry
        January 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

        I know I must be crazy to be thinking about the future in the present. And when you say “you people” in a sentence that’s pretty dumb, then you look like a complete idiot.


        • nck.m
          March 20, 2016 at 3:47 am

          The stupid one here is you! What 8k are you talking about you moron? There arent even cameras to create 8k not to mention movies or other content. The industry is just now transitioning to 4k. Just because you saw some post on the internetz talking about 8k doesn’t mean its right there available to everyone.
          With you internet speed you wont be able to watch even 5 minute videos. Do you realize that you moron?


          • Stephen
            March 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

            Actually no, there are 8K cameras on the market. They are highly specialized but a number of models have been used for professional productions. One example: the 8K WEAPON Vista Vision/full-frame 35mm camera from RED. Also, many older film reel movies slated for 4K digital release are first digitized to 8K resolution (35mm film alone can easily scale up to 8k and even 10k) and then scaled back down to 4K for consumer release, so, in summary, 8K content isn’t such a ridiculous notion at all. Furthermore, and this is a crucial concept to bear in mind, Technology tends to scale at a rate that often resembles logarithmic growth. This applies particularly to consumer information technologies. In other words, even if 8K video transmission (the hardest to develop aspect of the technology) seems extremely difficult now, it may not be so in even a short few years.

    • weston
      April 18, 2016 at 5:10 am

      I know LG OLED has trouble with brightness, thus, it candle handle HDR as well. This is due to ABL, Automatic Brightness Limiting. so, while blacks may not be as perfect inky black, there are some advantages over OLED. for now, anyways.


  • MrSatyre
    January 8, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    “If the company’s new exquisite OLED 4K UHD TVs, the DX900 line weren’t enough to wow audiences, the company has also developed a new LCD 4K TV called the DX900, which is apparently capable of reaching black levels previously only possible in OLED TVs and well outside the reach of even the best LCD/LED models on the market.”

    Please let me know that YOU know that the first half of that sentence makes no sense.


    • Stephen
      January 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Hello there. It was an unfortunate error of sentence construction that has been corrected. Sometimes we miss a few. Thank you for pointing it out though!


  • cafenitro
    January 10, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Perfect blacks are unnatural in the real-world outside of mine-shafts. I’m glad I don’t lust for them. Saves me money.


    • Stephen
      January 11, 2016 at 4:55 am

      While perfect blacks are certainly not essential to a high quality viewing experience, the ability to render them for those situations in which the reality equivalent of what is being seen on a screen really would show virtually complete darkness is indeed useful as a sort of display bonus. Realism in display is a major long-term aim of most panel manufacturing and this of course includes perfect darkness or its closest possible functional equivalent. I believe the current best technology for achieving this is found in the new 2016 OLED 4K TVs from LG, which can create darkness so deep that it registers only 0.0005 nits of light emission. Something not even some sensors, let alone the human eye, could detect.


  • Adey
    February 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    First it was hd ready, then 1080p, then 4k, then 4k uhd premium or whatever it is, ALL were described as “as close to what the director intended” etc. Etc.
    With 8k round the corner, amI the only person who is sick to the back teeth of manufacturers playing customers for fools with their stupid cat and mouse games?


    • Stephen
      February 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Hey there Adey. I sympathize with your sentiment about these sorts of sales games from the major manufacturers but a couple of things should be kept in mind:

      First, with any particularly new technology (which is the case with 4K TV display) sudden and very frequent technological leaps and new standards are to be expected as all the makers in question get their specs and connections sorted out. It’s frustrating but also a natural characteristic of the consumer tech world. Once standards are more firmly in place, the issue becomes less problematic and one can likely own an older but standardized TV for some time without problems with even newer technology in content or peripherals.

      Second, as a corollary of the above, i’d say that if you have a 4K TV which is up to the latest “essential” standards for 4K video and are happy with the picture quality it delivers, you don’t need to go out and buy a new model soon. Any new HDR 4K content that comes along will almost certainly display fine on a standardized SDR 4K TV and while it won’t include the benefit of the latest in visual technology, you’ll still enjoy a great viewing experience.


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