Last month, I jetted off to Berlin with Panasonic to visit the annual IFA consumer electronics show.
The reason for our visit – apart from goggling at the iPad ultrasound and WiFi protection vests for ladies – was to see the rather swanky new 4K OLED television from Panasonic.
Now if you’re anything like me, this means NOTHING to you. But thanks to Panasonic I know that a 4K television has about four times as many pixels as a regular HD TV. More pixels equals more clarity, more detail, and better quality.
As for OLED, this comes down to how those pixels react to light. In a normal LED television each pixel is lit from behind, which lets it show colour. If the pixel needs to be black then a gate crosses in front of the pixel, cancelling out the light. Except the light is still there, behind the gate, and some of it inevitably ‘leaks’ around the edges of the gate, meaning most LED TVs struggle to show true black, or much detail in very dark scenes.
I know, right? Yada yada.
Except, NO. Showing detail in dark scenes on television is actually very important. When I think about it, a ridiculous number of TV shows I watch take place in semi-darkness.
And having seen the new OLED 4K set in action on the Panasonic stand in Berlin, the picture detail you see on them is nothing short of phenomenal. Actually, the Panasonic OLED 4k has been tweaked by a Hollywood colourist, no-less, so it delivers true black and near black “just as the director intended”.
I mean, I bet I’d be able to appreciate more fully the emotional range of actors if I could see more of their face on an OLED 4K television.
And I feel sure I could enjoy this scene more if the costume had four times the clarity and detail.
Then there’s set dressing, too. Wouldn’t you love to be able to better see the props in this scene?
Often you want to appreciate the scenery, don’t you? Scenery is essential to the story.
Also – such a lot of work goes into people’s hair and make-up on television, doesn’t it? You really want to be able to see that properly. You know, just so you can fully engage with a character and be immersed in the story.
I’m sure I’d be able to appreciate the subtleties of the dialogue on TV at a completely new level with the benefit of more accurate colour representation.
It’s so important that you see a scene just as the director intended, isn’t it?
Along with OLED 4K pictures, the new Panasonic TVs are THX certified, meaning you get WAY better sound. I feel like that would have really made this scene much more enjoyable for me.
I could relive my youth in WAY more detail if I had access to something 4x the quality of HD television.
Yeah. I’ve got no excuse. I’d just like to see this sort of thing better.
I should note at this point that the new Panasonic TX-65CZ950 does only come in a curved, 65-inch version. And it will cost around £8,000. But I think you’ll agree that it’s an exciting glimpse into what the next generation of TVs will look like. I went to Berlin as a guest of Panasonic as a member of their Viera VIP Club, meaning I’ll be sharing news and reviews with you throughout the year.