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Panasonic 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

Panasonic 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Having announced its new flagship OLED, the JZ2000, at CES back in January, Panasonic's 2021 TV line-up is now available. It comprises four OLED models and three LCD TVs and includes the brand's first-ever 48-inch OLEDs – in fact, there are three of them!

The JZ OLED series replaces the mixed success of 2020's HZ models. We were impressed by the general picture quality and motion handling of the HZ1000, awarding it five stars, but while the HZ2000 proved even more accomplished in the picture department, its expensive speaker system proved a disappointment. Wisely, this year's JZ2000 has a revamped sound system. What's more, unlike in 2021, this year you can get Panasonic's enhanced Professional Edition panel without going right up to the flagship 2000-series TV. 

Panasonic has also sought to address the lack of next-gen HDMI features right across the range, which should prick up the ears of gamers who's been put off Panasonic TVs in the past.

For the LCDs, the JX models replace the successful HX range. At the top is a flagship model that gets the same processing treatment as its OLED sibling, while at the bottom is an entry-level model that utilises the Android TV operating system.

Want to know everything there is to know about Panasonic's 2021 TV range? Allow us to run down all of the tech highlights before breaking down the individual models in full.

  More affordable ‘Professional Edition’ OLED TVs

Panasonic 2021 TV line-up: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

In previous years Panasonic's custom Professional Edition OLED panels have been the preserve of flagship 2000-series models (the HZ2000 in 2020 and GZ2000 in 2019). However, Panasonic is now bringing its best picture quality to the more affordable 1500-series, which is this year called the JZ1500. That's excellent news for people who already have a sound system and don’t want to fork out for the JZ2000s price-increasing, bulk-adding in-built Atmos speakers.

Only the 65-inch and 55-inch JZ1500 get the upgrade, though; the new 48-inch model (more on which below) has a standard, non-Professional Edition panel.

Compared to standard OLED screens, Panasonic's Professional Edition OLED panels are brighter, punchier and more vibrant, offering even better HDR performance. Panasonic will also be the only manufacturer in 2021 to use this top tier panel in more than one range, meaning that, depending on price, the JZ1500 could potentially undercut other brands top of the line models.

Additionally, all the 2021 OLEDs benefit from an enhanced colour profile courtesy of Panasonic’s ‘Hollywood’ tuning overseen by Stefan Sonnenfeld, post-production colourist on films including Wonder Woman 1984 and Beauty and the Beast.

  Panasonic's first 48-inch OLEDs

Panasonic's 2021 TV line-up: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

LG (which manufactures all of the OLED panels currently used by all TV brands) begun manufacturing 48-inch panels in 2020 and shortly thereafter launched its own 48-inch OLED TV, the excellent OLED48CX. Sony and Philips quickly followed with their own 48-inch OLED TVs, but Panasonic has held off until now.

Perhaps keen to make up for lost time, Panasonic is offering not one but three 48-inch OLED models – a JZ1500, JZ1000 and JZ980. While the larger versions of each range will have Pro, Master and standard OLED panels respectively, all three 48-inch TVs will have standard OLED screens.

The other main difference the 48-inch models have compared to their bigger siblings is mounting. Although the bigger versions of the JZ1500 and JZ1000 have Panasonics popular adjustable swivel stand, the 48-inch JZ1500 has a central, fixed pedestal, while the 48-inch JZ1000 and JZ980 have a pair of adjustable feet to allow for the addition of a soundbar.

  New HCX Pro AI processor

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup:everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

All of Panasonic’s OLED TVs and the top LCD model have received an upgrade in processing power with the new HCX Pro AI processor. It supports an Auto AI mode that can analyse the type of content being played and adjust the picture accordingly. You'll still be able to make manual adjustments, but if you leave the TV in its Auto AI mode, it will work to automatically get the best out of everything you watch, from movies to sports and games. The top of the line JZ2000 is the only model that also benefits from Auto AI sound quality adjustments.

The JX850 LCD, meanwhile, has a new HCX AI Processor – note the absence of the word 'Pro' – whilst the JX800 gets last year’s standard HCX processor.

  Enhanced gaming performance and features

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Pansonic)

Gaming has typically been a lower priority for Panasonic than for some other manufacturers, but the company is looking to redress that in 2021. All models with the HCX Pro AI processor support a new low latency input setting called Game Mode Extreme. Panasonic claims input lag will be amongst the "very lowest in the industry", with their own live demo producing an impressively short lag time of 14.4ms. 

The entire range, except the JX850 and JX800, sport four HDMI ports, two of which are HDMI 2.1 (though one of these is also eARC), adding specs such as HFR (aka 4K@120Hz), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and AMD FreeSync Premium on top of the ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that Panasonic's sets already have. 

Panasonic has openly stated that at launch, the TVs will only display half the vertical resolution for 4K HFR and 4K@120Hz VRR with a firmware update to arrive later in the year to restore 4K HFR fully.  An announcement on an update for 4K@120Hz VRR will be made “in due time”.

  Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive

Pansonic's 2021 TV lineup:everything you need to know

(Image credit: Pansonic)

Panasonic has long supported both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and it's adding HDR10+ Adaptive to the 2021 range.

Like Dolby Vision IQ, this new format adjusts HDR10+ picture characteristics in accordance with both the source material metadata and the ambient lighting conditions of the room. All 2021 models have Dolby Vision and HDR10+ Adaptive, and Dolby IQ is supported on models down to the JX940. Panasonic is the first manufacturer to produce TVs with both Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive on board.

Panasonic's unique application of Filmmaker Mode returns to all models in the lineup. Filmmaker Mode overrides the TV's processing (such as motion smoothing and detail enhancement) to allow content to be displayed at the aspect ratio, colour and frame rate intended by the content’s creator. Panasonic adds an ‘Intelligent Sensing’ component to the feature ’, which dynamically adjusts HDR10+, HDR10, HLG or SDR pictures based on the lighting in your room.

We've so far been very unimpressed with the soft and dull performance of Filmmaker Mode on various TVs, so it'll be interesting to see if Panasonic's 2021 models can bring us around to the format.

  My Home Screen 6.0 

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: pansonic)

All models down to the JZ850 feature a new version of Panasonic’s own operating system, which promises to be “much more intuitive and much more usable” than before and includes a ‘my Scenery’ feature that lets you display a selection of restful images and videos, or set your own, to match your mood.

Last year Panasonic TVs were missing several key streaming apps at launch, and despite updates, Disney+ still won’t be included in 2021, although Panasonic says it is “in discussions” with Disney to rectify this.

All models down to and including the JX850 support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in, while the JX800 only has Google Assistant.

The JX800 is also Panasonic's first TV with Android TV OS, which it apparently combines with some of the aspects of Panasonic’s own 'My Home Screen' operating system. It’s good to see the company adding Android TV to its lineup. Could this be just a toe in the water ahead of a broader rollout next year?

Panasonic 2021 TV range breakdown 

So that's the overview of the technology and features behind Panasonic's 2021 TV range, but what about specific models? You'll find all the details and pricing below.

Panasonic JZ2000 4K OLED TV

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic’s flagship OLED for 2021 is the JZ2000, which has the same bright, punchy Master HDR OLED Professional panel as last year's HZ2000, which we described as having “excellent all-round picture quality”.

New for this year is an upgraded  HCX Pro AI processor, which can analyse what type of content is being played and adjust picture settings automatically. While all the OLEDs in the lineup benefit from this AI mode, the JZ2000 is the only model that will also offer AI sound quality adjustments.

As with previous generations of the 2000-series, one of the main features of the JZ2000 is its integrated speaker system with front- and upward-firing drivers as well as a rear-mounted subwoofer. Panasonic has added a pair of side-firing speakers to make the sound even wider and more room-filling.

This setup, which Panasonic calls '360° Soundscape Pro', has once again been developed with Technics and utilises Dolby Atmos. The speaker system is actually less powerful than last year, at 125W compared to 140W, but power isn't everything and we’ll be curious to see what progress has been made given that we found the sonic performance of the HZ2000 lacked clarity and excitement. The JZ2000 is available from June 2021.

Panasonic JZ2000 specs:

  • Display type: Master HDR OLED Professional Edition
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch
  • Processor: HCX Pro AI
  • Sound: 7.1ch, 125W
  • HDR Formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision (IQ)
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x2)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes
  • Operating system: My Home Screen 6.0

Panasonic JZ2000 prices:

  • Panasonic TX-55JZ2000B – £2700
  • Panasonic TX-65JZ2000B – £3500

  Panasonic JZ1500 4K OLED TV 

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

The JZ1500 is an exciting proposition. It features the same Professional Edition panel as the JZ2000 but does without the fancy speaker system, potentially making it the perfect high-end TV for someone who already has (or is intending to buy) a proper home cinema system or quality soundbar.

Not only will the JZ1500 come in cheaper than the JZ2000, it's thinner, too, to the tune of over 5cm.

It's worth pointing out that the 48-inch version doesn’t get the Professional Edition OLED panel or swivel stand of its bigger brothers, but it does have a central pedestal, unlike Panasonic's other 2021 48-inch models. The JZ1500 is available from June 2021.

Panasonic JZ1500 specs:

  • Display type: Master HDR OLED Professional Edition (65-inch and 55-inch models) Master HDR OLED (48-inch model)
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
  • Processor: HCX Pro AI
  • Sound: 2.1ch, 50W
  • HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision (IQ)
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x2)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes
  • Operating system: My Home Screen 6.0

Panasonic JZ1500 prices:

  • Panasonic TX-48JZ1500B – £1700
  • Panasonic TX-55JZ1500B – £2200
  • Panasonic TX-65JZ1500B – £3000

  Panasonic JZ1000 4K OLED TV

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

All sizes of the JZ1000 have the same Master HDR OLED Panel as the 48-inch JZ1500 but otherwise, there’s very little to differentiate between the JZ1000 and JZ1500; it has the same HCX Pro AI Processor, Auto AI, Game Mode Pro and raft of format support. 

The in-built speaker system is a step down in power, 30W compared to the JZ1500's 50W, and the JZ1000 series's 48-inch model will come with adjustable feet to accommodate a soundbar.

The JZ1000 is available from June 2021.

Panasonic JZ1000 specs:

  • Display type: Master HDR OLED Panel 
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
  • Processor: HCX Pro AI
  • Sound: 2ch, 30W
  • HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision (IQ)
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x2)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes
  • Operating system: My Home Screen 6.0

Panasonic JZ1000 prices:

  • Panasonic TX-48JZ1000B – £1600
  • Panasonic TX-55JZ1000B – £1900
  • Panasonic TX-65JZ1000B – £2500

  Panasonic JZ980 4K OLED TV

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

The JZ980-series is the entry-level OLED for Panasonic in 2021, but it maintains the same HCX Pro AI processor as the rest of the range, and its 30W in-built speakers pack the same punch as the JZ1000 models. 

The panel is a lower grade than the JZ1000, described only as ‘OLED’. It still promises natural colour and high contrast though we expect it to lack some of its more expensive siblings' visual punch. 

The 65-inch and 55-inch models don’t have a swivel stand to let viewers angle the screen freely, featuring a fixed pedestal instead, and the 48-inch has the same adjustable feet as the JZ1000 version. The JZ980 will be available from June 2021.

Panasonic JZ980 specs:

  • Display type: OLED 
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
  • Processor: HCX Pro AI
  • Sound: 2ch, 30W
  • HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision (IQ)
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x2)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes
  • Operating system: My Home Screen 6.0

Panasonic JZ980 prices:

  • Panasonic TX-48JZ980B – £1500
  • Panasonic TX-55JZ980B – £1800
  • Panasonic TX-65JZ980B – £2400

Panasonic JX940 4K LCD TV

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup:everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

The JX940 is Panasonic's premium LCD TV for 2021. Available in 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch, 49-inch sizes, it has the same HCX Pro AI Processor as the new OLED models and includes the full complement of HDR adaptive technologies, as well as Auto AI, Game Mode Extreme and VRR support. 

The 120Hz HDR Cinema Display Pro panel apparently boasts excellent colour reproduction and contrast as well as wide viewing angles and ‘Intelligent Clear Motion' to smooth out dynamic action for flicker-free viewing. Of course, whether it delivers on those promises will only become clear once we've had the JX940 in for review.

All features are consistent throughout the range except the mountings, the 75-inch has a flexible pedestal, and the smaller models have adjustable feet to allow a soundbar to neatly slot underneath. The JX940 is available from May 2021.

Panasonic JX940 specs:

  • Display type: LCD with LED backlight
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 49-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch
  • Processor: HCX Pro AI
  • Sound: 2ch, 30W
  • HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision (IQ)
  • HDMI 2.1: yes (x2)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes
  • Operating system: My Home Screen 6.0

Panasonic JX940 prices:

  • Panasonic TX-49JX940B – £TBC
  • Panasonic TX-55JX940B – £1200
  • Panasonic TX-65JX940B – £1500
  • Panasonic TX-75JX940B – £2500

  Panasonic JX850 (and JX870) 4K LCD TV

Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

The processing chip in the JX850 doesn’t have the Pro features of the OLEDs and the JX940, so there’s no Dolby Vision IQ, though HDR10+ Adaptive remains, as well as standard Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10.

Game Mode Extreme is replaced by a standard Game Mode, and gamers won’t have the advantages of 4K High Frame Rate (aka 4K@120Hz) or Variable Refresh Rate as there are no HDMI 2.1 sockets. The JX850 is available from May 2021.

There is also be an alternate model, the JX870B, exclusive to John Lewis & Partners.

Panasonic JX850/JX870 specs:

  • Display type: LCD with LED backlight
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 40-inch, 55-inch, 58-inch, 65-inch
  • Processor: HCX AI
  • Sound: 2ch, 20W
  • HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision
  • HDMI 2.1: No
  • 4K@120Hz: No
  • VRR: No
  • Operating system: My Home Screen 6.0

Panasonic JX850 prices:

  • Panasonic TX-40JX850B – £800
  • Panasonic TX-50JX850B – £900
  • Panasonic TX-58JX850B – £1000
  • Panasonic TX-65JX850B – £1400

Panasonic JX870 prices (exclusive to John Lewis & Partners):

  • Panasonic TX-40JX870B – £800
  • Panasonic TX-50JX870B – £900
  • Panasonic TX-58JX870B – £1000
  • Panasonic TX-65JX850B – £1400

  Panasonic JX800 4K LCD TV

Pansonic's 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: Panasonic)

The JX800 is the most budget-friendly TV in Panasonic's 2021 line-up and uses, for the first time, the Android TV operating system, which Panasonic says will include 'a very wide range' of streaming services. Dolby Atmos and Alexa are dropped for this model, but Google Assistant and Chromecast are on board.

Panasonic has bequeathed its previous generation HCX chip to the JX800. It won't offer the AI technologies of the other 2021 models, but it still supports the same array of HDR formats and as the JX850, as well as sharing the equivalent HDR Bright Panel Plus.

The JX800 will be available from May 2021.

Panasonic JX800 specs:

  • Display type: LCD with LED backlight
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 40-inch, 55-inch, 58-inch, 65-inch
  • Processor: HCX
  • Sound: 2ch, 20W
  • HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ (Adaptive), Dolby Vision
  • HDMI 2.1: No
  • 4K@120Hz: No
  • VRR: No
  • Operating system: Android TV

Panasonic JX800 prices:

Panasonic TX-40JX800B – £600

Panasonic TX-50JX800B – £700

Panasonic TX-58JX800B – £900

Panasonic TX-65JX800B – £1200

READ MORE:

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre.

  • What Hi-Fi? said:
    More Professional Edition models, 48-inch OLEDs, HDR10+ Adaptive, Android TV and more...

    Panasonic 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know : Read more
    They just need Apple TV app now.
    Reply
  • kdbur
    Shame there are no mini LED models. The local dimming Pro, did a decent job on last years top LCD models but mini LED's would have made it really enticing, to me at least.
    Reply