If you’re looking to splash out on a television, chances are you’re be looking for something with an OLED panel. Manufacturers are increasingly looking to OLED to offer a premium picture, and Panasonic is no exception, offering an expanded range of four OLED TVs rather than the two sets we saw last year – the FZ952/FZ950 and FZ802/FZ800.
We’ve already written our hands on review of the flagship GZ2000 OLED, with a custom panel and color correction from leading Hollywood production colorists. The remaining three models actually share the same panel and processor – so the picture won’t be much different between them, other than the size of the screen – but each of the GZ1500, GZ1000, and GZ950 vary in their shape, as well as what they offer in the audio department.
We went eyes on with the Panasonic GZ1500, which promises the most out of the three in terms of audio quality – a crucial consideration for that premium home cinema experience. Here’s we expect to see (and hear) from the set when it releases over the summer.
Pricing and availability
There’s no word on pricing yet, but keep in mind last year’s OLEDs ran into the thousands. We’ll be seeing the GZ1500 release to UK and EU markets around June.
Design and features
Like the other three OLED TVs releasing this year, the GZ1500 features a pleasingly slim OLED panel, which expands into a bulked-out rear for housing the processor, speaker, and inputs.
The screen itself comes in either 55-inch or 65-inch sizes, with the now-commonplace narrow bezel, and an L-shaped stand providing some real support for the panel’s weight. The GZ1500 isn’t as discrete or compact as some competitors, but has the same sort of shape as the rest of Panasonic’s OLED range.
There are the usual smattering of ports shared between the side and rear of the set, with a minimal offering within easy reach at the side, and the rest huddled further around the back: one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, Common Interface, Ethernet, composite, optical, and headphone outputs.
You get a total of four HDMI ports, including one with ARC (audio return channel) to let you transfer audio from the TV to an external hi-fi system if needs. The hope here is that you won’t need to: Panasonic’s ‘Blade speaker’ design shifts the speakers out of the main housing and into a soundbar fit to the underside the screen. The forward-firing speakers then – as the name suggests – fire towards the viewer for a more immersive audio experience than the rear-facing speakers found in most television sets.