I've tested the latest MLA-OLED TV and the upgrades aren't as game-changing as I'd hoped

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Earlier this year, I began wondering why this supposedly revolutionary year for OLED TVs has been somewhat uneventful. Yes, we've had some excellent sets this year, such as the Award-winning Sony A80L, but that's a traditional WOLED with none of the latest technology imbued within the panel. When I shared my disappointment in saying that 2023 is not the year of next-generation OLEDs that I had hoped for, I was waiting to see both of the latest screen technologies in person, as well as the acclaimed A80L. Since then, I have had plenty of hands-on experience testing Sony's stellar OLED and have finally seen an elusive MLA-OLED TV in person as well. The results? Well...

Taking one look at our Best TV 2023 Awards list should tell you everything you need to know. Not a single QD-OLED or MLA-equipped OLED makes the cut, which gives me the right to say this: "I told you so." That's not to say I'm pleased to see OLEDs stagnate somewhat this year, but first-generation technology always has its flaws, meaning early adoption will come with caveats. The key issue is of course pricing, as new technology (plus global price rises) necessitate higher price tags, a prime example being the LG G3 which is £200 more than its predecessor. 

Enough of retreading old ground, because I now have an MLA-OLED TV on hand to offer some anecdotal experience. In our testing rooms we have the Panasonic MZ-2000B (full review coming soon) which costs a whopping £3600, and it harnesses the power of Multi Lens Array (MLA) to enhance the OLED experience. My first thoughts when we fired it up with a quick look at Blade Runner 2049 were very much positive, but it's not as game-changing as I'd hoped. 

Sure, it's brighter and Panasonic really does impress when it comes to its excellently balanced colours, sharp detail and overall cinematic presentation, but side by side with the Sony A80L I struggled to see the benefit in relation to the price increase. Obviously, further testing is required, and that lightbulb moment might still happen; but as initial impressions go, I'm still not convinced that these OLED upgrades are as revolutionary as promised. That's also not to say that the latest Panasonic OLED flagship isn't a great TV, and we'll explore this more in our full review of course. 

Ultimately, next year could be the year I'm waiting for, with MLA and QD-OLED tech hopefully trickling down to mid-range OLED models, and I have my fingers crossed for cheaper prices too – although I will certainly be more cautious than optimistic. 


Read our Panasonic MZ-2000B hands-on review

As well as our picks for the best OLED TVs

And the overall picks for the best TVs

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.