Sunday, 15 May 2016 23:18

LAUNCH VIDEOS: Panasonic’s 2016 4K UHD HDR VIERA range in Australia

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Here are the launch videos of Panasonic’s 2016 VIERA range, naturally featuring 4K UHD models, Pana’s 4K Blu-ray player and Pana’s superb new audio range

As always, Panasonic is promising its newest TVs are ‘designed to be true to the filmmaker’s vision,’ while naturally including the latest 4K UHD HDR technology, smart TV tech and ‘seamless style.’

Panasonic says that ‘both 4K UHD and HDR are continuing to redefine what’s possible with TV picture quality,’ and it’s a message we’re effectively hearing from most of the TV vendors.

Panasonic says its ‘latest VIERA TVs are designed to make the most of what these technologies have to offer, providing outstanding viewing with Hollywood picture tuning that delivers high-quality, accurate colour reproduction with amazing detail across dark and light scenes.’

Maetham Roomi, Panasonic’s Senior Product Manager of Home Entertainment said: “Currently, we are on the crest of a golden age of cinematic television, with audiences enjoying silver-screen production values brought to life in the comfort of their homes.

“With the input of Hollywood directors, cinematographers and colourists aligned with the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL), Panasonic’s TVs have been designed to deliver unparalleled detail and nuance through both 4K and HDR technologies. They are faithful to the filmmaker’s vision, immersing the viewer in the ultimate entertainment experience in their living room.”

Here’s the Panasonic launch video. This is followed by two product demo videos. The article continues below, please read on! 

Here’s Panasonic’s product demo videos - TVs, 4K Blu-ray and audio players:

Here’s a demo of Panasonic’s massive audio system - check out the volume - you can SEE the audio waves!!!

The rest of this article is below, please read on!

As you’d expect, Panasonic proudly boasts that ‘VIERA Ultra HD Premium and HDR TVs deliver outstanding luminance and fine gradation,’ and state that ‘the Studio Master HCX+ (Hollywood Cinema Experience plus)/HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) chipset with Hollywood picture tuning ensures amazing colour accuracy for both HDR and non-HDR content.’

Panasonic also boasts its ‘honeycomb-structure Local Dimming technology delivers spectacular bright highlights and deep blacks with 1,000 nit peak brightness; while the Super Bright Panel Plus delivers crisp and dynamic images.’
Panasonic’s quest to ‘Bring Hollywood cinema to the home’ The company says its ‘latest generation of Panasonic TVs reproduce the director’s vision more accurately than ever before.’

The explanations continue, stating ‘the flagship Ultra HD Premium DX900 4K LED LCD TV is Panasonic’s first ‘Ultra HD Premium’ certified TV’ which features ‘a brand-new super accurate Studio Master HCX+ chipset and a new LCD panel, delivering outstanding 4K UHD picture quality, just as Hollywood directors intended.’

We’re also told that ‘the DX900 has also earned 4K certification from a renowned independent quality assurance group, THX Limited – recognition of picture quality and accuracy that few TVs achieve.’

Talking up the DX900’s ‘beautiful native 4K UHD resolution,’ Panasonic says this ‘makes it the perfect partner for Panasonic’s new UHD Blu-ray, the UB900, letting you enjoy streamed 4K content, and also the exciting new Ultra HD Blu-ray disc format. The new line-up also delivers HDR performance further down the range, with the DX740 and DX700 Series also capable of handling High Dynamic Range video.’

With so many sources of content available from the TV screen today, plus soon-to-be-launched 4K HDR content, Panasonic says its ‘makes it easy with the ‘Beyond Smart’ interface powered by Firefox OS, which can be customised to let users quickly reach the content they frequently use.’

Other convenient features to personalise viewing include ‘TV Anytime’, Twin HD Tuners and easy sharing of content between TV, smartphone and tablet.
Alongside this suite of Smart TV features, Panasonic boasts ‘the look of the 2016 line-up takes inspiration from interior design, with premium materials used to create elegant frames and pedestals.’

The aforementioned effort to bring Hollywood to the home means ‘Hollywood picture tuning.’

This is where the ‘DX900, DX740 and DX700 have been tuned in conjunction with the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory to ensure that HDR and SDR playback lives up to the original vision of filmmakers and content creators; while renowned Hollywood colourist Mike Sowa – who has mastered colour for more than 100 movies including Oblivion, Insurgent and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D – was assigned to tune the DX900 to an incredibly fine level.’

Ron Martin, VP and Director, Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory said: “Panasonic has long understood that delivering the most accurate TV pictures possible means working with the creative community that actually create the films and TV shows you love to watch.”

With the ‘Professional cinema display,’ Panasonic explains that ‘High Dynamic Range on HDR-enabled TVs delivers images much closer to the way your eyes see the real world. Deep blacks are combined with very bright highlights to produce a level of reality not previously possible on a television. TVs must be finely tuned to deliver HDR’s brightness heights without compromising their handling of dark image areas.’

Naturally, Panasonic says its ‘Ultra HD Premium and HDR TVs are all designed to deliver both the bright highs and the deep blacks that a great HDR experience demands, using high-brightness panels and local dimming technologies.’

The flagship DX900, with its new honeycomb-structure local dimming technology, delivers superb brightness that makes it possible to reproduce crisp images while maintaining high contrast and details in dark and bright scenes. Panasonic states ‘the honeycomb design divides the screen into hundreds of ‘zones’ of individually controlled light clusters. These zones are isolated from each other to remove light leakage issues that can lead to a ‘light halo’ effect around bright objects.’

The ultra-transmissive LCD cells allow the DX900 to showcase greater brightness peaks (up to 1,000 nit) across a wider portion of the screen than conventional HDR LED LCD TVs. This means consumers see a more vibrant image that really utilises HDR’s potential, also without using significantly more power.

Panasonic says its ‘Super Bright Panel Plus, available across the DX740, DX700, DX640, DX600 and DS610 Series, boosts brightness to make pictures look crisper and more dynamic and delivers excellent colour and contrast, via a combination of a new panel-driving system, a panel structure that lets light through more easily, and a highly efficient backlight system.’

Then there’s the promise of ‘Precise colour accuracy’

Panasonic says its ‘2016 VIERA TVs are designed to deliver outstanding picture quality true to the source material. With the 2016 range, Panasonic aims to provide the best possible colour accuracy.’ ‘Central to the 2016 4K UHD LED LCD VIERA range is the Studio Master HCX+ (DX900) and Studio Master HCX (DX740/700) processor – which provides the flexibility to achieve great colour accuracy even with content that hasn’t been made in HDR.’

‘SDR content is faithfully replicated thanks to an upgraded 3D Look Up Table system. This incorporates a registry of 8,000 reference points which enables up to 40 times more colour accuracy than in a traditional TV.’

‘Previously only possible via expensive professional studio master screens, Panasonic has added a new colour compensation algorithm to the DX900. This further enhances on-screen colour accuracy, meaning the TV can reproduce hues and tones within the Rec. 709 standard space at every level of brightness. The unique ability of the DX900 to harness Panasonic’s technical innovations to creative intentions again owes much to our close working relationships with the film community, forged through the Hollywood Laboratory.’

As for ‘Smart TV innovations,’ here’s where we learn more about Firefox OS.

Panasonic explains that its ‘DX-series UHD TVs are powered by Firefox OS. Thanks to the intuitive and customisable TV home screen powered by Firefox OS, you can quickly access favourite TV channels, apps, videos, websites and content through the TV home screen. Consumers are provided with three standard choices for quick access to Live TV, apps and personal connected devices.’

‘Firefox OS can also be personalised by pinning favourite apps or content to the TV home screen. Panasonic Info Frame combines everything from local weather reports to recommended TV shows, TV listings and your favourite websites, all on a single screen.’ ‘A new Firefox OS update, planned for later this year, will provide new ways to discover Web apps and save them to your TV.

Firefox OS will feature Web Apps with curated TV, optimised Web content (games, news, VOD, weather and more) and offer users an easy “click to watch” content discovery experience with no installation necessary. This update will also provide a seamless Firefox experience across multiple platforms, including a "send to TV" feature to easily share Web content from iOS or Android devices.’

‘Panasonic’s TV streaming feature changes the way you consume content in your home, allowing you to easily stream broadcasts from your main TV to a second device such as tablets or smartphones in another room. The TV’s Twin HD Tuner lets you enjoy picture in picture functionality; record one program while watching another; or watch one program while streaming another to a smartphone or tablet device. Swipe and Share also makes sharing content between the TV and smart devices over the home network easier than ever.’

With TV Anytime and the Panasonic Media Centre App, Panasonic says ‘you can stream live TV shows or movies on your tablet or smartphone wherever you are in the world, via your TV’s tuner or a connected USB hard disk drive. For example, if you are travelling, TV Anytime lets you start watching a movie at home, set the recording before you leave the house, and then continue to watch from where you left off when you reach your hotel.’

Finally, we come to ‘Harmony through design’

Panasonic says ‘the look of the 2016 line-up takes inspiration from interior design, with premium materials used to create elegant frames and pedestals. The new range features adjustable designs and styles that harmonise with the home environment whether they are on or off.’

We are told that the DX900’s “art of light” design ‘offers an ultra-slender and elegant frame and pedestal to complement the picture quality and fit seamlessly into the most stylish home environments. The DX740, DX700 and DX600 offer a ‘switch design’ pedestal with adjustable legs for versatile TV positioning.’

DX900 Series – Beautiful Design and Ultimate Cinematic Pictures

TH-65DX900U 65 inches - Late May - $7149
TH-58DX900U 58 inches - Late May - $5799

DX740 Series – Supreme 4K Quality and Incredible Smart Functions

TH-65DX740U - 65 inches - available now - $4599
TH-58DX740U - 58 inches - available now - $3299
TH-50DX740U - 50 inches - available now - $2649

DX700 Series – Supreme 4K Quality and Incredible Smart Functions

TH-65DX700A - 65 inches - available now - $4599
TH-58DX700A - 58 inches - available now - $3299
TH-50DX700A - 50 inches - available now - $2649

DX640 Series – Superior 4K images and incredible Smart TV

TH-65DX640A - 65 inches - available now - $4199
TH-55DX640A - 55 inches - available now - $2999

DX600 Series – Great 4K Images and a Superb Smart TV System

TH-55DX600U - 55 inches - Late May - $2649
TH-49DX600U - 49 inches - Late July - $2199
TH-40DX600U - 40 inches - Late May - $1749

DS610 Series – Full HD Stylish Smart TV with Superior Picture Quality

TH-65DS610U - 65 inches - available now - $3649
TH-55DS610U - 55 inches - Late May - $2299
TH-50DS610U - 50 inches - available now - $1899
TH-40DS610 - 40 inches - available now - $1449

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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