Panasonic TH-65FZ1000M OLED TV

While TVs have been getting more affordable over the years, one area that still remains slightly out of reach are OLED TVs. The image quality on these TVs is absolutely phenomenal, so naturally you’d be expected to pay a premium price for them. 

Panasonic’s latest 4K OLED panel, the TH-65FZ1000M, is a gorgeous 65-inch TV that is just short of being an incredible piece of kit to proudly display in your living room. 

Price and availability

The TH-65FZ1000M is priced at AED 12,999 (US$ 3500), and will be available in the UAE by the first week of October. That’s a heady price tag to pay for a TV, but once you see what the TH-65FZ1000M  can do, you’ll figure out a way to welcome it into your home. 

Design

As with most OLED TVs, the TH-65FZ1000M is deceptively thin, with its wider part towards the bottom housing most of the TV’s tech and connectivity options. It’s got impossibly thin bezels all around, so the focus is directly on whatever you’re watching.

Your eyes are then immediately drawn to the TV’s Dynamic Blade Speaker, which sits at an angle just below the TV. It’s equally slim yet hides away twelve speaker units, capable of producing impressive sound. The speaker and TV fit onto a single stand, with a small (and slightly fidgety) cable connecting the speaker to the TV set.

Included in the box are two remote controls – one is a standard remote with direct buttons for apps, Netflix, and changing channels, while the other is smaller touch remote that’s perfect if all you’re going to be doing is changing input sources and adjusting the volume.

Surprisingly, the TH-65FZ1000M doesn’t run Android TV, but instead uses Firefox OS as its main interface. Despite development on this OS being stopped last year, it’s puzzling why Panasonic would opt for this instead of the widely-adopted Android TV.

Setup

It’s important to note that setting up the TH-65FZ1000M is a two-person job, and you’ll need to be extremely careful when unboxing it during setup. We’re normally used to the luxury of manufacturers sending a technician along with their TVs to set them up for us properly, but this wasn’t the case here. So we prepared ourselves as best as we could and dove right into the setup process.

The first task to complete is assembling the stand the TV will rest on, which consists of a pretty standard metal and plastic base, with another heavier angled metal part that actually slides into the TV. The two combine with four screws, and once they’re secure you can carefully lift the TV straight out of the box (a minimum of three people is highly recommended) and onto the stand. Secure it in with some more screws, and you’re good to go. 

You can then slide on the speaker, screw it in, and then connect the small cable to the TV to pump out audio. There are a few plastic covers to pop in that complete the TV’s sleek look, and when it’s all complete, you can stand back and admire your gorgeous work.

After that is a straightforward process of connecting the TV to your home network, checking for any software updates, and then installing any essential apps you’d use.

Performance

Panasonic has a lot to say about the TH-65FZ1000M, especially the TV’s HEXA Chroma Drive Pro, which guarantees accurate color reproduction no matter what you’re watching.

The TV is quite capable of upscaling HD content, with only a very slight blooming occurring around some edges if you’re looking at it up close. Sitting some distance away on a couch for example, and you’ll never notice this at all. Watching the original Planet Earth documentary was still breathtaking, with the episode set in the depths of the ocean acting as a stunning showcase for what OLED is capable of. 

In one scene, the camera illuminates thousands of plankton seen swimming and floating about in the darkness of the ocean, and the TH-65FZ1000M handles this scene beautifully. The murkiness and darkness of the water is immediately evident by the rich blacks of the TV, with only specks of light dotted across as the plankton drift about in the water.

In another shot, a lone jellyfish glides across the screen, its deep red and orange hues standing out against the murky depths. It’s impossible to describe just how surreal such scenes look when you’re watching them, and it’s proof enough that OLED clearly leads the pack when it comes to such vivid scenes.

Switching to 4K and HDR content was a whole other game, and if you thought HD content looked great, you’re going to be blown away by what the TH-65FZ1000M can really do. First up was one of our top choices, Marco Polo on Netflix. The show often has dramatic scenes and battles set at night, so we were eager to see how this fast-paced show would look. In one episode, we see a village been burned to the ground, with the flames licking and leaping across the screen, as embers float upwards towards the starry night sky. It’s a surreal visual that’s been captured brilliantly, and we’re lucky to experience it in such vivid detail. 

Another night scene which shows thousands of small birds carrying burning tufts of wool towards an enemy city is another cinematic masterpiece. The small dots of light dance toward the city, and soon tall plumes of smoke are billowing against the pitch-black night sky. The outline of every single building can be still made out, just before it’s consumed in a fiery blaze and turns to ash. It’s a powerful scene to watch, and one that truly shines on the TH-65FZ1000M.

Lastly we swapped to another nature documentary, this time showcasing everything from giraffes walking the African plains to brightly colored macaws exploring the forests of South America. Again, the TH-65FZ1000M shines with quickly being able to adapt between light and dark scenes, with no color loss or ghosting occurring. When the camera pans upwards to the sky, the sun isn’t just a white blob but shoots out beautiful rays that make for a completely captivating scene.

Audio on the TH-65FZ1000M is similarly impressive, thanks to the Dynamic Blade speaker. Angled perfectly so that audio is directed towards you, it’s a good choice for watching everything from movies to musical pieces. The bass – despite being impressive for a speaker of this size – is a little lacking, so for those seeking a better audio experience, feel free to connect your own speaker system instead. After all, if you’re going to spend a small fortune on your TV, you may as well throw in some extra cash to get a good sound system as well, or at least a soundbar with a separate subwoofer.

Where the TH-65FZ1000M does actually fall a little behind is with its OS. It feels sluggish to navigate through, and we miss the slick visuals of Tizen, WebOS or Android TV. Not to mention, the app market has some of the most unheard of apps and TV channels, and the selection of games is another letdown. If the TH-65FZ1000M moved to Android TV, it would make life so much easier, but until then you’ll have to struggle through its outdated and childish interface.

Conclusion

The Panasonic TH-65FZ1000M is hands-down one of the best OLED TVs you can spend your money on. It’s got incredible color accuracy, ridiculous black levels, and makes both HD and 4K content look amazing.

With the interface being its only downfall, the TH-65FZ1000M will easily take pride of place in your home, and whether you’re watching TV, playing videogames, or just mindlessly scrolling through YouTube videos, the TH-65FZ1000M will absolutely annihilate whatever content you throw at it. Yes, its price tag is something to gawk at, but when you witness just what this TV can do, you’ll be grateful for making the investment.

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Nick Rego

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