Panasonic has big plans for its 4K TVs in 2016: OLED, better LEDs, new TV models

by on September 15, 2015

Stephan Jukic – September 15, 2015

After first unveiling a new OLED 4K TV model that is the first soon-to-be production model which will finally give some competition to LG’s still completely unique OLED 4K sets, Panasonic has also created a lot of expectation for other innovations the company plans in the coming year.

For starters, the upcoming CZ950 OLED TV launched earlier in this month will only be part of a wider OLED range that’s due to go on sale in 2015, and beyond that Panasonic’s general TV models will slowly start moving increasingly away from HD technology to purely 4K resolutions, according to Panasonic’s director, Masahiro Shinada.

The 65 inch OLED 4K TV created by Panasonic was first unveiled at IFA 2015 earlier in the month and will likely soon be joined by a second 55 inch model and even more OLED sets after that.

As Shinada himself explained, “For the consumer, we will expand the line-up. This year, it is only 65 inches. We are now thinking 55 inches. The line-up is very important to expand the OLED business. Panel cost is still very unclear, however.”

This last point of Shinada’s comments has always been and remains as a major issue for organic light emitting diode technology. The cost of producing these absolutely exquisite display panels remains very high and though the resulting screen visuals created are absolutely unbeatable by any normal LED/LCD TV technology, many users can’t afford the prices for even smaller OLED 4K TVs.

With OLED technology, it is possible to create perfect, infinite contrast by totally killing backlight in a dark section of a TV screen. Furthermore, OLED TVs can release incremental light right down to the single pixel level, something that LED TVs cannot match. On top of these features, the TVs are capable of maintaining perfect picture clarity even at sharp off-center angles and can also simulate color and lighting with nearly perfect realism.

The big hope is that with Panasonic’s involvement in the OLED 4K TV industry, new technologies and production methods will be developed which reduce the costs of these TVs across the board.

In addition to OLED, Panasonic will be moving the focus of its TV production much further towards purely 4K display resolution and even here, with the LED 4K TVs that make up the majority of Panasonic’s UHD display technology, Shinada had words to say about future developments: “We have some ways to improve LED quality. We probably cannot full reach OLED quality but we can improve LED quality by using our local dimming technology. We are now planning to launch the 2016 models next spring. Those models have new local dimming technology: we’ll aim for near-black picture quality”.

The superb local dimming technology of the AX900 4K TV allowed for nearly OLED-like dark tones

The superb local dimming technology of the AX900 4K TV allowed for nearly OLED-like dark tones

This gives fans of more affordable LED/LCD TV displays who want OLED-like black rendition without the immense cost of a real OLED 4K TV something to seriously look forward to. Currently, the closest we’ve seen to perfect black rendition on non-OLED TVs has come from Panasonic’s own 2014 AX900 model 4K TV and from Sony’s latest 4K HDR models. Samsung’s SUHD TVs also do a fantastic job of creating deep rich blacks, though none of these models come close to the real deal of perfect total black that’s found in LG’s OLED TVs or in Panasonic’s newest OLED model.

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