Panasonic TX-48JZ980 48in 4K HDR OLED TV Review Page 2

So Panasonic has finally got its game face on, and its improved gaming credentials extend to input lag performance. Previously a weak point in the brand's arsenal, the JZ980 acquits itself well. We measured latency at 14.6ms (1080/60), which should satisfy most joystick jockeys. E-sports wannabes might be swayed by LG's 48in C1 rival, which offers 12.6ms (1080/60).

Small Wonder
Picture quality is a treat. The JZ980 lineup doesn't boast Panasonic's Master OLED Edition heat management engineering trickery, but it does deliver a remarkably fine picture that in this confined space looks nuanced and beautifully judged.


The set uses its ambient sensor to fine-tune playback of Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content

Colour fidelity is particularly excellent, the Fleischer style animation of What If...Captain Carter Were the First Avenger (Disney+, Dolby Vision) is vibrant without over-saturation; deep and lush. Fine detail is outstanding, although at this size, only those using the panel as an up-close gaming monitor are likely to fully appreciate what it's capable of.

That said, even if you're parked on a sofa, you'll appreciate its HDR performance, which is often quite dramatic. The 48JZ980 is at its most eye-catching when handling small, high-intensity HDR lighting effects.

1221panasonic.remPicture elements that are designed to provide specular highlights really jump from this screen. A rewatch of Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead (Netflix, Dolby Vision) provides plenty of opportunities for the set to show gleaming teeth. I couldn't help but spot the two UFOs at the start of the movie, such was their twinkling intensity. Had I been using this set I would never have missed them first time around.

With a 5 per cent measuring window, the screen musters around 800 nits with 60 per cent luminance. That's quite a lot of sparkle amid the darkle, although with a more conventional 10 per cent measurement window, peak HDR drops to 650 nits. This can still be considered an above-average performance, and the overall average picture level is refreshingly high provided you steer clear of the grimly realistic Filmmaker Mode.

Fiddling with image presets seems almost pointless on the JZ980. Auto AI, powered by the brand's HCX image engine, manages all relevant picture parameters based on content. Amazingly, the result is not at all irritating. It's this ability to dynamically monitor and optimise content that gives this screen much of its everyday appeal.

Inevitably, onboard audio is constrained by the set's two-channel speaker arrangement and 15W amplification. While it'll go loud for those in the cheap seats, you'll really want to route Dolby Atmos out to a soundbar or home theatre system.

Cinematic Approach
The 48in JZ980 makes a big impression for a (relatively) small TV. It offers beautiful pictures and has an accommodating specification, both for movies and games.

It might not challenge the top level of Panasonic's 2021 TV lineup, not least because it can't match the wow of Panasonic's over-engineered OLED panels, but picture quality on this upper mid-range screen is outstanding for its class, and Panasonic's reliably cinematic approach to detail, near black control and colour fidelity is enhanced by some smart AI management.

I rate it a great panel to partner a separate immersive audio system, and a tempting near-field gaming monitor for next-generation gamers. With the JZ980, small-ish really is beautiful.

HCC Verdict

Panasonic TX-48JZ980

Price: £1,400

We say: A premium TV that's sure to score with gamers as well as movie fans, this small footprint OLED is big on impact. We love its AI enhanced processing and console-friendly connectivity.

Overall: 5/5


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. Dolby Vision (incl. Dolby Vision IQ); HDR10: HDR10+ (incl. HDR10+ Adaptive); HLG; HDR Photo TUNER: Yes. Freeview HD; satellite HD CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs (2 x v2.1); 3 x USB; optical digital audio output; Ethernet; headphone/subwoofer output SOUND (CLAIMED): 2 x 15W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): N/A CONTRAST RATIO (CLAIMED): N/A 4K/120: Yes DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,069(w) x 622(h) x 67(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 16kg

FEATURES: Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; Dolby Atmos audio; HCX Pro AI Processor; Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing; My Home Screen 6.0; CalMan Ready; Auto AI mode; Netflix Calibrated mode; Smooth Motion Drive Pro