Review: Panasonic TX-42MZW984 Ultra HD OLED TV

Review: Panasonic TX-42MZW984 Ultra HD OLED TV - TX-42MZW984 42 tommer, OLED, 4K HDR Smart TV ; Resolution (W x H). 4K Ultra HD/3,840 x 2,160 ; Motion Technology. Smooth Motion Drive Pro ; Multi HDR Support

Panasonic offers a range of OLED TVs, including smaller models like the TX-42MZW984. This TV provides all the benefits of OLED technology in a smaller size, although it comes at a higher price. The specification list indicates that it delivers excellent performance.

The screen is wafer-thin but almost unnoticeable due to a large housing for the electronics, making the profile appear a bit thicker. The back has a beautiful grain structure.

One small luxury detail that you should not miss is the swivel base. Unlike the higher model with a metal base, this TV stands on a fixed central base, which is rectangular and has a plastic surface. However, this base is not as attractive as the metal base.

Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – Connections

At the back of the TV, you will notice that some of the connections face backwards. Unlike larger models, where all ports are located on the side or downwards. On the 42-inch TV, two HDMI ports, two USB ports, the analog video/audio input, and the digital audio output face backwards. This is something to consider when deciding whether to wall mount the TV.

However, besides the setup, the connections are the same as those on the MZ2000 series. There are two HDMI 2.1 connections with 40Gbps bandwidth, ALLM, eARC, VRR, and 4K120 HFR, as well as two HDMI 2.0 connections that provide ample options. Additionally, there are three USB ports, a composite video input with stereo cinch, an optical digital output, a headphone jack, Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth. You can also connect a subwoofer to this small model via the headphone jack (configurable through the menus).

Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – Ease of use and smart TV

Panasonic OLED models, such as the MZ980 series, come with an operating system called My Home Screen. The system has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which are now quite well-known. The interface is designed to be minimalist, with a row of tiles at the bottom of the screen that provide easy access to apps, inputs, and live TV channels. The user can customize this list to their liking. When a tile is selected, recommendations appear (if available).
The My Home Screen approach is different from other systems which often bombard the user with endless and often useless recommendations, or sponsored content. This makes it much easier to use and more streamlined.

Panasonic offers access to a multitude of settings that can be very helpful for avid TV viewers who like to customize their experience. However, we understand that despite the fairly well-organized layout, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of options available. But don’t worry, for day-to-day use, the quick menu provides easy access to the most important settings, appearing as a ribbon at the bottom of the screen just like the Home menu. You can even personalize it to bring the settings you care about the most to the forefront.

While assessing the product, we found that it has a minor drawback – limited range of apps. However, all the popular streaming services are available on the product. In Belgium, we couldn’t find any local apps, which is a downside. Though, if you are in the Netherlands, you are in luck as most local apps are available there.

Remote control

The large, black remote control appears outdated and does not reflect a modern design. However, it is still quite user-friendly. It is lightweight and comfortable to hold, with soft and clear keystrokes. The remote features a set of six app shortcuts at the top, making it slightly more modern. The keys are well labeled and the layout is easy to navigate. The ‘Picture’ key allows for quick changes to picture modes, and the ‘My App’ key can be customized to launch any app of your choice.

The only downside of the remote is its size. It can be difficult to reach certain keys without having to move your hand, which wouldn’t be an issue with a smaller remote.


The MZW984 comes with a double TV tuner that supports digital TV (DVB-T2/C/S2) and a double CI+ slot. This means you can watch one channel and record another at the same time. You can enjoy YouTube and Netflix on your TV by casting them. The built-in media player is comprehensive and supports both video and audio, along with subtitles. However, DTS soundtracks are not supported, so they cannot be forwarded via eARC. The ‘My Scenery’ feature allows you to use the TV as a decorative item. You can choose from a range of illustrations and animations or upload your own material via USB storage. There are also animations with accompanying Dolby Atmos tracks if you want to enjoy high-quality sound.

Image processing

The small Panasonic OLED TV comes equipped with the HCX Processor Pro AI, which is also found in higher-end models. As a result, you can expect top-notch performance from this TV. It offers subtle upscaling, excellent deinterlacing, and good noise suppression, resulting in high-quality treatment of all your content. The image can be sharpened using the sharpness setting and/or via ‘Resolution Remastering’. However, there is one downside – the elimination of color bands in soft gradients. Unfortunately, the MPEG noise reduction cannot get rid of these, which remain visible, especially in dark content. To maintain the best image quality, it’s recommended to leave the light sensor activated so that the processor can adjust the brightness of the image based on ambient light. Additionally, it can also adjust the color temperature.

The OLED screen offers excellent motion sharpness, as expected. It doesn’t show any double edges on fast moving objects, just a slight blur. The Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature should be left off as it can cause disturbing flicker in the image and provides virtually no extra detail. For the best filming experience, we suggest using “Intelligent Frame Creation” on Minimum, although you can also go for higher settings to achieve perfectly smooth camera movements. The processor is highly efficient and can intervene timely and correctly even in the case of quick action.

Main settings

Image Image Image Advanced
Picture Mode: Filmmaker Mode

Illuminance: 30-70
Contrast: 90
Brightness: 0
Color: 50
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0-30
Warmth Color: Warm2
Color Remastering: Off

Environment Sensor:
Auto Brightness: On
Auto White Balance: Off
Noise Reduction: Min
MPEG Remaster: Medium
Resolution Remaster: Medium
Dynamic Remaster Range: OffDark Visibility enhancer: 0-5Intelligent Frame Creation: Minimum
Accurate IFC: On
Black Frame Insert: Off
Advanced settings:

Contrast control: Off/Auto
Gamma: BT.1886 / 2.4 / 2.2
Dynamic HDR effect: Off/On
Cut in HDR tone mapping: Normal

Image settings

Aspect ratio: 16:9 Image scan: Off

Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – Image quality

The OLED panel is fairly standard without any surprises. Unlike the MZ2000 series, this model does not have the MLA layer, but it is still a last-generation panel. The uniformity is excellent, and we observed no vertical bands or other errors in both dark and bright images.

Panasonic provides a myriad of image modes, but for the best results, you can rely on True Cinema or Filmmaker Mode. The latter mode appears to be almost perfectly calibrated. We only noticed that the gamma value is slightly too high, making the image a bit darker. In the very darkest shades, some shadow detail is missing. However, if you desire, you can use the ‘Dark Visibility Enhancer’ setting, which is excellent and can be set between zero and five to your preference. However, it is advisable not to set it above five because it can negatively affect the contrast perception.

The Panasonic TV has impressive color reproduction and scores well in terms of image quality. In SDR mode, the TV looks stunning. However, Filmmaker Mode is designed for use in a darkened room and can be quite dark. To make the mode more usable in all environments, increase the ‘Illuminance’ setting to 70 and activate the light sensor.

Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – HDR

Panasonic continues to excel in providing broad HDR support. You can enjoy both HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ on their latest OLED TV. The TV delivers a peak brightness of 720 nits on a 10% window and 132 nits on a fully white screen. The ABL is also very forgiving, ensuring that the TV retains a fair amount of brightness across all the different test window sizes. This is a significant improvement from other models we saw last year that either had to sacrifice brightness in the smallest windows or in the largest.

The OLED color range scores typical results with 96% P3 and 69% Rec.2020. Panasonic’s excellent calibration and Filmmaker Mode deliver accurate colors.

The processor of the TV respects HDR10 metadata, ensuring that all white details are preserved. Additionally, a lot of black detail is visible in dark scenes, and you can make black detail slightly brighter with the “Dark Visibility Enhancer”. The improved visibility helps when there is ambient light, especially in very dark scenes such as the beach scene from House of Dragons. The color reproduction is outstanding, prioritizing the correct shade even if it means darkening the color slightly. This excellent tone mapping makes images very attractive and gives them that typical HDR impact. Moreover, the “Dynamic HDR effect” is activated even in Filmmaker mode. This means that the TV makes the brightest shades a little brighter, and sometimes gives the colors a little boost. However, there is no impact on dark scenes, and even on many bright scenes, the effect is small. For the purist experience, turn this feature off, but we recommend leaving it activated as we saw no adverse effects. It is noteworthy that a small OLED TV can deliver very nice HDR images.

Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – Gaming, Reflections, and viewing angles

For OLED screens, there are some recommended guidelines to follow. The viewing angle of an OLED screen is very wide and it is not too affected by reflections. However, it is best to avoid placing it in an area with strong incident light as it has a greater impact on a small screen.

This year, Panasonic has introduced the True Game mode specifically for gamers. As the name implies, this mode delivers the most accurate image quality. With this mode, you can turn off the tone mapping on the TV, allowing the console to handle HDR games. The “Game Control Board” displays the frame rate, VRR status, and provides access to various settings. Additionally, the input lag is only 6.5ms in 2K120 and 10.5ms in 4K120, which are both top results.

For PC gamers, there is support for HDMI VRR, AMD FreeSync, and NVIDIA G-Sync. It is worth noting that Dolby Vision and 4K120 cannot be combined. Gamers with multiple 4K120 sources who want to use a soundbar should also note that eARC/ARC takes up one of the two HDMI 2.1 ports.

Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – Sound quality

When it comes to audio performance on smaller models, it’s usually not worth expecting much. The TX-42MZW984 has a 2x 15W setup and is compatible with Dolby Atmos. Despite its size, the sound quality is impressive, and with several settings, you can adjust the timbre to your liking. The speakers provide sufficient volume and can even create a subtle surround effect. Overall, we are very pleased with the outcome. If you want to enhance the bass, you can connect a subwoofer, but we recommend investing in a good soundbar instead.

 Panasonic TX-42MZW984 – Conclusion

The Panasonic TX-42MZW984 is proof that a small OLED TV can perform just as well as larger models. However, it does have some of the minor flaws of the Panasonic OLED family, such as the lack of support for DTS and the visibility of color bands, particularly in dark content. Unfortunately, there are no local apps available in Belgium.
But, there is no need to worry about image quality. This TV delivers excellent peak brightness, which may not be comparable to the latest top models, but is still very good for its category. The image processing is excellent and achieves good results in almost all areas. Panasonic finishes the image with excellent calibration, both in SDR and HDR, allowing you to enjoy the most beautiful film images on this TV.
This smaller size may be extra attractive to gamers. They have a True Game image mode, low input lag, and good VRR support, so you can really enjoy your games to the fullest. The only downside is the price, as it is listed at a premium price compared to models from last year.


  • Good peak brightness
  • Almost perfect viewing angle
  • Reference level calibration in Filmmaker Mode, SDR and HDR
  • Extensive HDR support
  • Excellent image processing
  • HDMI 2.1 with all gamer features and low input lag
  • My Home Screen works smoothly

  • Processor cannot eliminate color bands
  • Lack of local apps (Belgium)
  • No DTS support