Philip’s Media Player 880 Makes Getting 4K Content to the Company’s Ultra HD TVs Easy as Pie
by Stephan Jukic – September 4th, 2014
Knowing whether or not to go ahead and buy that expensive new 4K TV because you’re not sure about its ability to actually play the latest 4K content when it finally becomes available can be a pain in the rear.
However, At least when it comes to Philip’s 4K TVs, this problem has been solved by the company so that its customers can rest easy and buy a new TV without worries.
The parent company of Philips has just recently announced the Philips Media Player UHD 880, which is a plug-in upgrade for all 2013 and 2014 Philips UHD TVs that have been released and which allows all models during this time-frame to be capable of now playing streaming 4K content that has been encoded in the HEVC video compression format.
High Efficiency Video Encoding, HEVC or H.265 to be even more technical, is the video compression standard used by virtually all digital broadcasters and creators of streaming online content to deliver their data intensive 4K streams to the UHD TVs of customers anywhere there is a decent enough web connection.
This is the encoding standard used by creators of the latest and best 4K content such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, and it’s also used by many other lesser known or overseas content broadcasters.
Philips, unlike Sony, LG and Samsung, hadn’t added the ability to watch HEVC compressed content to any of its 4K TVs when the compression standard was first accepted and now that HEVC has become the gold standard for 4K transmission online, the company has realized that it absolutely has to make sure its 4K TV products can compete effectively with their rivals’ brands on usability with the latest entertainment standards.
The Media Player 880 system connects to a Philips 4K TV via a standard HDMI 2.0 port and will then accept HEVC encoded content over either WiFi, Ethernet or USB connections. Because the Media Player technology connects to Philips Ultra HD TVs via HDMI 2.0 cables, it can also render 4K video at a rate of 60 frames per second instead of the more choppy and older model 30 fps that used to be common but which sucks for smooth playback of action packed 4K videos.
However, the 60 fps refresh rates will be limited to later model 2014 Philips TVs given the lack of HDMI 2.0 ports on 2013 and early 2014 4K sets from the company.
Specifically, the models not able to use Media Player UHD 880 at 60 frames per second are this year’s 6809 and 7809 series along with 2013’s 9708 line of 4K TVs.
The Media Player UHD 880 box runs on an internal Android L mobile operating system, which is the latest from Google and because of this, it offers the full Android UI experience to any connected Philips TV. Furthermore, the Box itself is fully capable of getting remote updates for any new versions of HEVC that come along and once again restrict the content options of TVs that aren’t equipped to handle them.
This all means that users buying into a Philips 4K TV can spend just $350 dollars (suggested MSRP for the Media Player UHD 880 box) extra and relax knowing that they’re ready for any new streaming content formats that come along for the latest in 4K video they want to watch.
Story by 4k.com