Philips is known for its LED feel-good lighting Ambilight in TVs. This runs all around in the TVs now presented, so it is a four-sided Ambilight. Apart from the LEDs in the frame, the manufacturer now wants to install even more light-emitting diodes in its Smart TVs, namely tiny mini LEDs in the backlight of LCD TVs.
Two model series with the not very catchy product names 9636 and 9506 should benefit from a very finely dimmable backlight. The 9636 MiniLED TVs and the 9506 series will be available in 65 and 75 inch diagonals from this summer, and Philips promises June for the 9506. Both series use a VA panel, which is a bit of a U-turn – so far, the high-quality LCD TVs from Philips have used IPS technology, which is known for its larger viewing angles.
VA panels for mini LED TVs
In an interview with c’t, chief developer Danny Tack had an explanation for this change of heart. VA technology shields the light better, which means that it naturally achieves a richer black. If there is mainly dark content and, for example, a small light spot within a dimming zone, this would brighten the entire zone (the mini LEDs can only be dimmed per zone). With IPS panels, this actually dark zone would then appear brighter than with the VA display. With a very large number of small zones, halo effects would also arise around light objects.
The manufacturer promises a peak luminance of 1500 cd / m for the 9506 series2, whereby the backlight can be dimmed in 1000 zones. This should ensure very fine contrast gradations within an image. According to Philips, the MiniLED series 9636 achieves 2000 cd / m2 Peak luminance; The manufacturer has not yet revealed how many zones there are.
To control the LEDs or zones, Philips has developed its own engine for its new 5th generation P5 image processor. In the case of the 9506 TVs, this is called Micro Dimming Pro, for the higher-quality 9636 TVs it should be the premium version (Micro Dimming Premium).
HDR-Formate, HDR 2.1
Both model series support the relevant HDR formats, such as HLG, HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+ and the 9636 also HDR10 + Adaptive, in which the respective ambient light is also taken into account. This indicates that these are VA panels from Samsung.
All four models support HDMI 2.1 with e-Arc, the variable refresh rate VRR for 4K signals from 40 to 120 Hertz with 48 Gbps (4: 4: 4, 12 bit), FreeSync Premium Pro, Auto Game mode and the car Low Latency Mode (ALLM). This means that the MiniLED TVs are also recommended for gamers.
A sound system from Bowers & Wilkins with Dolby Atmos Elevation speakers ensures good sound in the 9636 Premium MiniLED TVs, and an additional, raised tweeter ensures clear dialogues. The speaker system also serves as a stand. The 9506 series uses a 50 watt loudspeaker and a woofer in the display back as well as four passive radiators for rich bass; it also supports DTS Play-Fi for high-resolution multiroom audio.
Philips continues to place televisions with organic displays as top models in front of MiniLED TVs. Here, too, there were two new model series with the 806 and 856 series. Both should be available in 55 and 65 inches, the manufacturer now wants to offer the 806 OLEDs with 48 inches and 77 inches.
The successors to the 8000 series should primarily benefit from the improved performance of the P5 image processor. This includes that film content is automatically recognized and the presentation is adapted accordingly. An intelligent light sensor optimizes the contrast settings for SDR and HDR content in real time depending on the room light.
The basic equipment of the OLED TVs is similar to that of the MiniLED TVs. New is the Fast Motion Clarity mode, which is supposed to ensure particularly sharp moving images – the inter-image calculation against jerks developed by Philips is a matter of taste.
Philips’ own anti-burn-in technology should now also protect OLED TVs in the middle price segment from burn-in; it was previously reserved for the top models. Logo recognition is intended to reduce the luminance of static content in order to prevent burn-in without affecting the image reproduction in the other image zones.
Of course, the slim OLED TVs can handle the above-mentioned HDR formats and they also support the HDMI 2.1 functions e-ARC, VRR, ALLM, FreeSync Pro and Auto Game mode. The supplied remote control has backlit buttons and a metal housing that has been upholstered in Scottish leather from Muirhead on the back. Philips has not yet announced prices for its new TVs.