TP Vision for Philips will be Offering the 4K Capable Media Player 880 Free to Philips TV Buyers

by on September 10, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – September 10th, 2014

Many of the Philips 4K TVs released during the first half of 2014 and all of the 4K sets released by the company in 2013 were not built with the ability to decode the HEVC (H.265) video codec installed in them.

What this means for customers who bought these models is that they can’t use them to play the very best sources of streaming 4K content on the web today since these streams are all encoded using HEVC, by companies such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.

What that, in turn, means for Philips is that its main 4K UHD TV models are virtually all inferior to their competitor’s brands which are HEVC capable. Thus, in terms of the value they offer, the TVs by Samsung, Sony and LG are more attractive to consumers.

This is why Philips is now taking steps to change that problem by offering a special attachable media player that is capable of HEVC decoding to several of their older and newer model 4K TV sets. Furthermore, the company plans on offering the player to select customers free of charge, despite its actual price tag of just over $300 USD.

The 4K HEVC capable Media Player UHD 880 is built to work with many older 4K TVs from 2013 to 2014 and will let all of these models capture and display streaming Ultra HD content from sources such as Netflix and Prime Instant Video.

Though it will be going on sale as of early 2015 for a price tag of just under $350 USD, the Media Player 880 will be given out for free to customers of Philips who had previously bought the 8809, 8909 curved, 9109 and 9809 Philips 4K Ultra HD TV models that were released between last year and the first half of 2014.

Based on Android L, the 4K Media Player 880 is designed to handle HEVC decoding and almost as importantly, is capable of loading that HEVC decoded 4K content it captures into most of the newer TVs it’s attached to via HDMI 2.0 at a very smooth refresh rate of 60 frames per second instead of the previous and somewhat choppy 30 fps refresh rates that Philips originally built into its 4K sets.

Specifically, the 60 fps setting won’t be usable on 6809 and 7809 model TVs, which are all not designed to handle HDMI 2.0.

The Philips 7809 4K TV

The Philips 7809 4K TV won’t display Media Player 880 content at 60 fps

The Media Player box is designed to capture HEVC encoded content from Amazon, Netflix and eventually others who stream UHD video in HEVC through WiFi connections, Ethernet and USB. It will then pass its videos onto the attached TV it plugs into via HDMI 2.0 cable in TVs with the right port built into them.

According to a spokesman from Philips, “TP Vision presented a Philips Media Player that will solve one of the big challenges of the 4K UHD era – the availability of content. The Philips UHD 880 will allow receiving HEVC encoded content over the internet and watch it on Philips UHD TVs at the best possible picture quality”.

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