Pana TC_65CX850_A 580

Panasonic revealed Wednesday that its full 2015 series of 4K Ultra HD LED TVs have earned “Netflix Recommended TV” certification.

A certified Netflix Recommended TV has been evaluated and shown to comply with the subscription-based over-the-top Internet streaming video service’s specific performance criteria. That includes: instantly displaying the service’s latest app at turn-on, boosting the speed of the launch of apps, faster playback and resumption of apps and programs (now takes a matter of seconds compared with 20 seconds or more for non-recommended TVs), picking up a program where the viewer left off and offering a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control.

More on Panasonic’s Netflix Recommended TV line after the jump:

The Netflix Recommended TV program was designed to help consumers easily spot televisions that “deliver a superior Internet TV experience.”

Panasonic joins Sony, LG, Sharp, TCL, Hisense, Vizio and Insignia with “Netflix Recommended TV” models this year.

Panasonic’s current 9-model line features 4K Ultra HDTV resolution across four model series – the CX850 (65- and 55-inch screen sizes), CX800 (65-, 60- and 55-inch screen sizes), the CX650 (65-, 60- and 55-inch screen sizes) and CX600 (50-inch). All feature Wi-Fi connectivity and all but the entry 50-inch include the new Firefox smart TV operating system by Mozilla and open Firefox Web browser.

The Firefox OS interface on Panasonic’s 2015 TVs was developed for easy navigation and switching between apps and inputs, the company said.

The TVs feature a graphical user interface (GUI) and Xumo Guide intuitive recommendation tool that makes it easier for users to quickly access content they want to watch from different sources (broadcast TV, cable/satellite/telco TV services and the Internet) in a “single gateway.”

The system also accepts users’ personal identification numbers to allow each viewer in the home to customize the system with personal bookmarks of favorite channels, devices, apps, and web pages for quick access.

All models include three HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 ports, three USB inputs and support HEVC decoding. Panasonic said all models will support Netflix 4K Ultra HD streaming.

Thus far, the 2015 Panasonic 4K UHD TVs are available only through Panasonic’s direct online sales store. Panasonic said it will announce retail partners for the lines later.

Panasonic’s line is highlighted by the flagship 65-inch TC-65CX850 ($3,999.99), pictured at top, and 55-inch TC-55CX850 ($2,999.99), which include: Local Dimming Pro, Studio Master Drive, and Super Bright Panel, to improve contrast performance. The models use a 32-zone, full-array LED backlight, and Panasonic’s original Dynamic Range Remaster technology with enhanced rendering capabilities in the high luminance range. By restoring the information of high-brightness image areas that drops out during recording, it reproduces brightness and original colors, the company said. The CX850 Series also includes HEVC and VP9 decoding and will support 4K Streaming from popular VOD services.

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Panasonic said the 65-inch model will also be able to support future 4K UHD content encoded with HDR metadata through a firmware update after standards are established. A wide color range is supported in the series using what Panasonic calls an “enhanced phosphor emissivity layer of the LED backlight.”

The set uses a native 120Hz panel, and enhances motion clarity using Panasonic’s “Image Motion 240 Hz” technology that uses a flashing backlight.

The CX850 models also add a Voice Command Pro feature, which executes commands spoken directly to the TV without the need for a remote. By speaking, users can have the set change channels and search for content.

Other models in the 2015 line include Voice Assistant, which accepts commands spoken into the TV’s Touch Pad Remote or TV Remote App on their Smartphone.

The CX800 series includes the 55-inch TC-55CX800U ($1,899.99), 60-inch TC-60CX800U ($2,399.99) and 65-inch TC-65CX800U ($2,999.99), all of which use direct-lit LED backlight with “Local Dimming” but not “Local Dimming Pro’’ in the flagship line. They also have a 120Hz native refresh rate with “Image Motion 240” motion smoothing, and swap the Studio Master Pro and Super Bright Panel systems for “Black Gradation Drive.”

Both the CX800 and CX850 series models have active-shutter 3D TV support and include two pair of glasses.

The CX650 series, includes the 55-inch TC-55CX650U ($1,499.99), the 60-inch TC-60CX650U ($1,799.99), and the 65-inch TC-65CX650U ($2,199.99), which all have direct-lit LED “Super Bright Panels” without local dimming, and a 120Hz native refresh rate. None of the models support 3D.

The entry 50-inch TC-50CX600U ($1,049.99) includes Wi-Fi connectivity but uses a different operating system from the Firefox models. It also uses an edge-lit LED, and has a 60Hz native refresh rate and omits 3D support.

By Greg Tarr

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