Panasonic’s flagship OLED TV for 2023, the MZ2000, was unveiled at CES, succeeding the company’s LZ2000 from 2022. The Panasonic MZ2000 TV features a new OLED panel and numerous improvements, including a significant increase in brightness.
The Panasonic MZ2000 is available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch sizes, all of which feature the same design as the company’s previous flagship series. There’s a flat display with a lovely thin bezel around it. The speaker system is located at the bottom of the screen, which sets it apart from the majority of its competitors, and the back of the TV is quite chunky, housing all ports in a panel.
All three display sizes are wall-mountable, but each also includes a rotatable circular stand that allows you to easily adjust the MZ2000 to the desired position. The Panasonic MZ2000 has the usual suspects in terms of connectivity, including four HDMI ports on the back. It’s worth noting that only two of these support HDMI 2.1 for 4K/120Hz, which is a couple less than flagship models from LG and Samsung.
In its 55-inch and 65-inch models, the Panasonic MZ2000 features a new panel called ‘Master OLED Ultimate,’ which is an LG Display panel found on the new LG G3 – also revealed at CES 2023. The 77-inch MZ2000 is outfitted with a ‘Master OLED Pro Cinema’ panel. The Master OLED Ultimate panel is a Micro Lens Array (MLA) panel designed to increase brightness by layering billions of micrometre-sized convex lenses over the OLED panel – 27 billion on the 65-inch model, to be exact. Instead of reflecting light inwards, the lenses redirect it out of the screen.
The three key elements to the brighter display are said to be the new MLA panel, Panasonic’s HCX Pro AI processor, and a bespoke multi-layer heat management configuration. Panasonic claims the MZ2000 has a 50% increase in peak brightness over its excellent predecessor, but it also claims a general improvement in overall brightness, which appeared to be the case during our demonstration.
While measurements during the demo showed the LZ2000 at around 1000 nits and the MZ2000 at 1456 nits, the difference was not just in the numbers. Several still images were shown side by side with the LZ2000, and there was a noticeable difference between the two models in terms of brightness and detail.
The Panasonic MZ2000 has a similar setup to the LZ2000 in terms of sound, with the company’s 360-degree Soundscape system, but it improves with an upgraded Bass Booster algorithm for deeper low frequencies. Behind the front speaker grille, an array of speakers – upward-firing, side-firing, and front-firing – runs the length of the TV, and the system is tuned by Technics for a fully immersive soundstage with Dolby Atmos as well as a more precise soundstage.
On the MZ2000, there are three Sound Focus modes: Pinpoint, Area, and Spot. Pinpoint mode directs the sound to a single point, whereas Area mode allows you to direct the sound to a specific area of the room, including away from a wall where children may be sleeping on the other side. Spot Mode allows you to increase the volume in one area while still allowing others to hear the sound. We weren’t able to test the sound quality during our brief time with the MZ2000, but there are some promising features here.
The MZ2000 also includes support for HDMI 2.1 key features, 4K resolution, up to 120Hz refresh rate, ultra-low latency as well as input lag, VRR, and AMD Freesync Premium. There’s also a Dolby Vision Game Mode, though it runs at 60Hz rather than 120Hz. Furthermore, the MZ2000 is Nvidia G-Sync compatible, which means that when connected to a system with an Nvidia RTX graphics card, input lag and VRR settings will be automatically optimised for a smoother experience.
But that’s not all. The Panasonic MZ2000 includes a True Game Mode, which is intended to bring all of the colour accuracy features found in films into the gaming world.
True Game Mode, for example, will turn off HDR Tone Mapping by default, implying that it will be source-oriented from the gaming device rather than the TV.
Within the MZ2000’s upgraded Game Control Board, you can also configure different sound modes for RPG (Role-Playing Game) and FPS (First-Person Shooter) modes. The former is intended to immerse you in the virtual world of a game, whereas the latter provides accurate audio location, letting users to hear subtle sounds such as footsteps for a tactical advantage. Basically, it’s a cheat mode. Both appeared to be excellent in our demo, delivering on their promises, though we will need to spend more time playing our favourite games to fully appreciate these features.
My Screen 8.0 OS Features
The Panasonic MZ2000 upgrades the LZ2000’s My Home Screen 7.0 smart TV OS to My Home Screen 8.0, with the majority of the new features coming in the form of new accessibility options and the addition of the myScenery feature. During initial setup, the new accessibility options allow users who are deaf or blind to select different settings before being guided through the process by Voice Guidance. There is also an audible feedback function for visually impaired users to learn buttons.
Meanwhile, the myScenery feature lets you choose from a variety of calming images and videos, and new Dolby Atmos-encoded nature sounds are now available. As one would expect, all major video streaming services are supported.
The Panasonic MZ2000 still has a lot to learn, but based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s likely to be an excellent OLED option in 2023, since it has every place to be as brilliant, if not more so – than its predecessor. For the time being, we need to spend more time with it to test out the new panel as well as all of the new features, and it will undoubtedly face stiff competition, but our experience with the MZ2000 has been very promising.