An Overview Of Philips New 4K Dolby Vision HDR TVs, Kitchen Chromecast TV And 4K Blu-ray Player
Stephan Jukic – January 16, 2018
While not every major manufacturer delivered a whole pile of essentially consumer oriented new 2018 TVs right during CES 2018 for tech fans gossipy eyeballs to crawl over, some companies really nailed the ball out of the park. One of these is Philips, which not only unveiled several new 4K HDR TVs with the further enhancement of Dolby Vision HDR to make them even more enticing but also pulled out a whole new ultra HD Blu-ray player as an extra bonus.
What makes the Philips lineup rather cool is its sheer consumer market focus. Yes, we saw LG’s new 88 inch OLED 8K TV and were duly impressed, and we also got a look at Samsung’s monstrous 146 inch microLED Quantum Dot 4K HDR TV with next generation display technology, but who is really going to buy either of these fantastic machines any time soon? In the case of Philips, things were a lot less jaw dropping but a lot more essentially cool for being so, mainly because they’re actually designed for normal buyers.
In other words, Philips focused on a wide range of normal-sized consumer market televisions that nonetheless deliver premium-quality specs at reasonable prices. These are the models scheduled for April of 2018 in certain markets and they show major improvements over their 2017 predecessors.
For starters, there’s the inclusion of Dolby Vision support, a feature that was lacking in the 2017 4K TVs from the brand and which makes a major difference to how well high dynamic range content plays back on the screen (assuming you can find Dolby Vision movie and programming from your favorite streaming providers). This technology will be available in Philip’s OLED TVs and its new 69 and 59-Series UHD TVs. HDR10 support is still there, since it’s a default part of Dolby Vision itself but with Dolby Vision HDR color and contrast variations are adjusted frame-by-frame for a much more precise and impressive level of picture performance.
Additional enhancements in the 2018 models include the abandonment of Philip’s Amblight backlighting technology in favor of what the company calls BrightPro, which is supposed to deliver twice the general display brightness of Amblight. This will of course enhance these TVs HDR performance even more. There are also color enhancements in the new TVs for a wide color gamut coverage that Philips claims will deliver 75% of the entire naturally available color spectrum. They’re referring to the giant REC.2020 color space here, even more so than to the narrower currently standard DCI-P3 wide color space, of which most HDR TVs try to cover at least 92%. If they can pull off 75% of Rec.2020, that would mean truly impressive color performance, since even HDR TVs with DCI-P3 wide color gamut coverage of 92% only display a little over 60% of REC.2020 colors.
As for Philips TV sizes and models, as we said, there are the 59-Series and the 69-Series. The cheaper, “entry-level” 59 Series will come in five different sizes, ranging from 43 inches up to 75 inches. All of these will provide dual format HDR support (HDR10 & Dolby Vision) along with the latest in connectivity specs such as 802.11ac WiFi, HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2 and gaming connectivity for optimal 4K or HD console and PC game support as needed. Built-in streaming media apps will include Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and many others via Philips NetTV+ platform.
The 69-Series models are the next ones up and they will cost more and come in only 50, 55 and 65 inch sizes. Similar looking to the 59-Series, these will offer superior backlight brightness, and the already-mentioned massive wide color gamut support for maximum possible delivery of Dolby Vision HDR visuals.
We don’t yet have pricing information for any of these televisions but the 69-Series will undoubtedly cost more than the 59-Series across the board.
Moving beyond 4K TVs, there’s also Philips new 4K ultra HD Blu-ray player, which does its own internal upscaling of non-4K video sources while also optimizing 4K video streams for playback on non-4K UHD TVs as a bonus. This 4K player also supports HDR and will be going on sale as of the summer for $299.
Finally, and pretty damn cool too, there’s Philips tiny little 24 inch 7703 kitchen TV. This little dude doesn’t come with 4K resolution or HDR to our knowledge but it’s still pretty neat in that it’s designed to sit inside the kitchen, on the counter, and comes with a built-in microphone, Bluetooth speaker, Chromecast and Google Assistant, which connects to other devices throughout your home. In other words, you can use the little 7703 to watch something while cooking or eating, or to pull up online content for a recipe or cocktail. The inclusion of voice controlled assistant AI software has been a major theme of CES and particularly for 4K TV releases from just about every brand, It’s not exactly surprising that Philips joined the same fray with the 7703.