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Thank you for your review, which I definitely found helpful, when I read it the other week. I had my new Panasonic TX-55GZ950B delivered on Saturday, to replace my 20-year-old Panasonic 42" professional HD plasma screen, whose power supply was finally giving up the ghost.
Being a professional display screen, of the kind you would have found in a BBC studio, my plasma screen was significantly high quality, and actually five channel component analogue, as HDMI didn't exist at the time. I had a small computer running D/A conversion for it!
I had noticed in recent years that modern screens were finally better enough to be worth considering, but I just carried on, because its 1080i HD was still very good. Then, when the PSU started playing up, I didn't want to be left without a screen during lock-down, so I finally took the plunge.
When I picked this model, it wasn't for how good the sound was, because I already have my own hi-fi surround set up. However, I did try it just to see, and you're right - it's far better than most television sound.
My reasons for picking what I did, were that I find Panasonic usually has greater picture depth and natural realism than other brands, and that they are so long-lived (I know lots of people that keep them for 15 years plus!). Naturally, I wanted OLED, which is definitely the worthy successor to the great plasma screens of the past. Another factor that I considered was the What Hi-Fi? review comment that, if you still watch SD sources, this particular model should be at the top of your shopping list. I do still watch SD too, so that consideration rather clinched it for me, and I must agree that it's up-scaling abilities are truly impressive.
My local independent retailer only had the 65" GZ out on display, when I visited them - which I didn't want - but it was sufficient to demonstrate the general quality of the GZ range. I played some HD Blu-Rays on it, to give me a proper comparison with what I was used to, and it was very impressive. For various reasons, I was going for the 55" and I'm glad I did. I think it's actually better than its 65" bigger brother. My retailer did say that I'd probably find it sharper, and I certainly do. I also wonder if 65" is just and so starting to push the limits of 4K technology. The image on the 55" - and I'm only talking about up-scaled HD so far, because I don't have any 4K sources yet - is like you are standing next to the camera operator in the studio!
I've paired the Panasonic with my Denon AVR-3803 surround amplifier, which was an upgrade from my previous Yamaha DSP-A595a. I use my wonderful Tannoy 10" dual concentric speakers for the front left & right, which I got second hand when I was a teenager, are now 41 years old, and are still better than most modern speakers I've heard, unless you are talking rather more serious money than I paid for the TV! I use Mission centre & surround speakers, and the Yamaha active subwoofer that I got with the original amp.
I have a true home cinema, and a significant improvement on the screen I had, despite what I had being very good. I think the timing of my upgrade turned out to be perfect, albeit by pure happenstance, and I hope to enjoy this new screen for many years to come. Personally, I'd recommend the GZ950B to anyone wanting a 55" TV.