Technology News

Panasonic HX800 4K HDR TV: 2020’s mid-range TV king?


The HX800 is the follow-up to the best mid-range 4K TV of 2019, the Panasonic GX800. Is it everything we hoped?

Pros AffordableDolby AtmosUniversal HDR supportCons Edge-lit panelOnly three HDMI inputs

UPDATE: The JX800 has replaced the HX800 as Panasonic’s mid-range contender

Sadly, the Panasonic HX800 range has reached the end of its lifespan. You’ll struggle to find it new at any of the major retailers, and it’s even become tricky to track down used/refurbished models. But fret not; the HX800 has been replaced with an all-new 2021 range. The Panasonic JX800 is available in 40in, 50in, 58in and 65in sizes, with prices starting from just £599.Currys PC WorldFrom £599Buy Now

The HX800 is Panasonic’s eagerly awaited mid-range LED LCD TV for 2020. While it doesn’t exactly match up to the brand’s flagship OLEDs (like the £4,000 HZ2000) it still manages to pack in premium features including ALLM and universal HDR support. Having launched at only £699, it’s since been seen on sale for as little as £599.

As the sequel to our top-rated mid-range 4K TV of 2019, the Panasonic GX800, we’ve been anticipating the HX800’s arrival for a very long time. Read on to find out why we’re so excited and see if it’s the right 4K HDR TV for you.

Panasonic HX800: Key specifications

Screen sizes available: 40in TX-40HX800B,
50in TX-50HX800B,
58in TX-58HX800B,
65in TX-65HX800B
Panel type: VA-type LED LCD (edge-lit)
Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Refresh rate: 60Hz
HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Hybrid-Log Gamma
Audio enhancement: Dolby Atmos, ARC
HDMI inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0
Streaming services: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Freeview Play etc.
Tuners: Freeview HD, Freesat HD
Gaming features: ALLM (Auto Low-Latency Mode)
Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Smart platform: My Home Screen 5.0

Panasonic HX800: What you need to know

On paper, the Panasonic HX800 stacks up similarly to its predecessor, the GX800. It has a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) VA-type LCD panel that’s LED edge-lit and a 60Hz refresh rate. Like the GX800, it also supports all four mainstream HDR formats and uses a Panasonic HCX picture processor. It even has the same chassis/stand design as last year’s model.

The HX800 is available in 40in, 50in, 58in and 65in sizes. You may also spot a Panasonic HX820 making the rounds online. This model appears to be exclusive to John Lewis but it is actually identical to the HX800 in terms of its specifications and performance. The HX820 may have small cosmetic differences (i.e. the colour of the stand) but, whatever they are, they aren’t listed.

The HX800 has a robust build and, because it’s edge-lit, it’s rather slender too. The edge lighting also makes the HX800 more economical to run, but there are some downsides. While it will look great for everyday viewing in most living rooms, the limitations of strip lighting might become more noticeable when watching in a darkened room.

Panasonic does state that the TV’s local dimming features will ensure a good level of contrast between dark and light areas but it simply won’t be as effective as the results achieved by a TV with full-array local dimming (FALD). Those models don’t come as cheap, however. In 2020, the most affordable Samsung QLED with FALD is the Q80T, starting at £1,299 for the 49in variant.

As mentioned, the HX800 supports the four main HDR standards, namely HDR10, HDR10+, the broadcast-friendly HLG and Dolby Vision. For a TV of this price, that’s a rarity.

You can’t expect the world from a mid-range TV when it comes to High Dynamic Range playback but last year’s GX800 more than exceeded our expectations, delivering rich colours and exceptional highlight detail in spite of its limited peak brightness. We look forward to more of the same from the HX800.

Panasonic’s My Home Screen operating system serves as the portal to a number of great streaming services including Netflix and Prime Video, so you can enjoy a wide array of 4K HDR content, and you can also stream from free UK catch-up platforms like BBC iPlayer.

Though the Panasonic HX800 doesn’t support next-gen HDMI 2.1 gaming features like Variable Refresh Rate and 4K 120Hz, it does at least offer ALLM (Auto Low-Latency Mode) for activating the TV’s Game Mode and reducing input lag – last year’s GX800 delivered ultra-fast response times of just 15ms.

Panasonic HX800: Price and competition

Prices for the Panasonic HX800 originally started at £699 for the entry-level 40in model, going right up to £1,399 for the top-end 65in variant. This time around, you can pick up the 40in for roughly £599, while the 65in is now around £1,099. That’s not bad value, especially for the 40in, and even more so when you consider that the GX800 40in from 2019 still costs £600.

Image of Panasonic TX-65HX800BZ 65 Inch 4K Multi HDR LED LCD Smart TV with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, Freeview Play (2020), Black

Panasonic TX-65HX800BZ 65 Inch 4K Multi HDR LED LCD Smart TV with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, Freeview Play (2020), Black

Buy now amazon_logo.svg

One of the HX800’s key competitors this year is the Samsung Q60T, which is the most affordable of Samsung’s 4K QLED models for 2020. Having launched at £799, the Q60T 43in has come down to £545 at various online retailers, making it quite the bargain for a TV with quantum dot technology, three smart assistants onboard and multi-HDR support. It misses out on Dolby Vision but does come with eARC support for higher bandwidth audio connections.

Image of Samsung 2020 43

Samsung 2020 43″ Q60T QLED 4K Quantum HDR Smart TV with Tizen OS

£572.00 Buy now amazon_logo.svg

You might also want to look out for the LG NANO81, currently £599 (a discount of £300) for the 49in model. This TV has a NanoCell layer, which is LG’s alternative to QLED, and it offers wider viewing angles than both the Q60T and HX800 due to its IPS-type LCD panel. It doesn’t have Dolby Vision or HDR10+ support, however, so the HX800 is still the preferred option for dynamic HDR playback.

Image of LG NanoCell NANO81 49NANO816NA 124,5 cm (49

LG NanoCell NANO81 49NANO816NA 124,5 cm (49″) 4K Ultra HD Smart TV Wi-Fi Nero

£569.00 Buy now amazon_logo.svg

Original Article