Panasonic HX940 4K TV review: Elevated imagery

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 Supposedly the most popular screen size for a new TV in the UK is somewhere between 49- and 58-inches. Panasonic must be confident that takers for its highest-performing 4K LED range aren’t your typical customers, though – otherwise this HX940 wouldn’t only be available as a 43-, 65- or 75-inch model sizes.  

On paper, it looks an eccentric decision. The HX940 range is what the motor industry likes to call ‘fully loaded’ – and if you’re piling on the features and functionality, it might seem sensible to make the range appealing to as many customers as possible. 

But it goes without saying that Panasonic knows what it’s doing. This is a company that’s been among the planet’s leading purveyors of televisions for decades now and, if the performance-to-price ratio of the TX-65HX940 is anything to go by, Panasonic isn’t about to give up that position any time soon.

Design

  • Connections: 4x HDMI (incl. 1x ARC, 1x HDMI 2.1 ALLM), 3x USB, digital optical
    • Wireless: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions (65-inch model): 915 x 1454 x 45mm / Weight: 27.5kg

In design terms, the HX940 is unremarkable – which is only sensible. A 65-inch unit is a lot of TV, and the last thing prospective customers want is some overwrought try-hard design detracting from all that screen. The bezel surrounding the screen is minimal and nicely finished, and the depth of the frame is a svelte-by-LED-standards 45mm. In design terms, it’s job done.

If you want to wall-hang your new TV, you’d better make sure the wall in question is up to the task – the 65-inch version on review is a not-inconsiderable 27.5kg. Those wishing to stand their new TV on a surface are offered a choice of position for the TV’s simple, sturdy push-and-click feet – they can be sited quite near the corners of the chassis (leaving plenty of room between them for a soundbar) or more centrally so the TV doesn’t need quite such a wide surface to stand on.

All of the HX940’s inputs and outputs are grouped together in a recess behind a detachable cover. There are four HDMI HDCP2.2 inputs (that acronym ensures compatibility with current 4K broadcast data) – one is ARC enabled for audio return through the port, while all four feature compatibility with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). That doesn’t mean they’re HDMI 2.1 inputs, mind you, just that they incorporate a little of the 2.1 specification.

There are three USB sockets, an Ethernet socket, CI card slot, aerial posts for a couple of satellite and single Freeview tuners, a component video input (with analogue left/right audio inputs) for your real legacy equipment, an analogue output (switchable between headphones and subwoofer), and a digital optical output. There’s also Wi-Fi on board, naturally, and push/pull Bluetooth for serving content to the screen or using wireless headphones.     

Image result for Panasonic HX940 4K TV review: Elevated imagery

Features

  • High dynamic range handling: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
  • HCX Pro Intelligent Processor
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos surround

Too many 4K TVs by too many TV brands suffer from gaps in their headline specification for one reason or another – generally it’s because of inter-manufacturer grumbles or squabbles. Panasonic, though, is a bit more grown up than most – so its 4K TV range includes more of the specification highlights than quite a few alternatives.

This is most apparent where high dynamic range (HDR) is concerned. Panasonic includes every significant standard – HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are all available. There’s no Dolby Vision IQ, admittedly, but in every other respect the HX940 is ready to maximise those colour volumes and so on, no matter the source of the images.

Elsewhere the HX940 covers all worthwhile bases. It’s governed by Panasonic’s top-of-the-shop HCX Pro Intelligent Processor, and features the company’s HDR Cinema Display Pro panel for increased brightness. The screen also has a speedy 100Hz refresh rate, which (in theory, at least) should offer super-smooth motion.

The LCD pixels are backlit by LEDs operated by Panasonic’s Local Dimming Intelligent Pro arrangement, which seeks to mimic the impression of thousands of local dimming zones. It’s about as thorough a picture-making specification as you’ll find on a LCD/LED TV in 2020

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