Philips Goes All-Out With Android

Philips UltraHD TV

Philips and US-licensee Funai share space in the Renaissance hotel, next to the Convention Centre. The companies were mostly gathering feedback on their products for the year.

A major announcement by TP Vision (the European licensee for Philips), made just before the opening of the show, was that the majority of the company’s TVs will be driven by Android TV this year, which applies to the US TVs as well. 80% of the line will use Google’s operating system; the only TVs it will not be present on will be the low-end models.

One of the more interesting products was a TV using a red laser backlight with cyan LEDs. The TV, which will be launched in the second half of the year, exceeds the BT.2020 colour gamut in the red area, and is between the coverage of a standard LED TV and BT.2020 in the blue and green areas.

The PFL8900/F7 laser TV will come in 58″ and 65″ sizes, with UltraHD resolution; 240Hz PMR; ports for HDMI (x3, supporting UltraHD at 60fps), composite, VGA, USB and RJ45; and two front-firing speakers. They will be launched in the summer. Tentaive pricing is between $3,000 and $3,500.

78″ and 65″ curved TVs, which are not on the roadmap (PFL9900), were being shown as a demonstration. Buyer interest could put them into mass production. These feature Miracast, 240Hz PMR and HEVC and VP9 support. There were also demonstrations of auto-steroscopic 3D and HDR displays.

Non-laser UltraHD TVs this year will be part of the 6000 series. These will be 50″, 55″ and 65″ units, being launched in the summer ($1,000 – $1,700), with many of the features of the curved models (HEVC and VP9, 240Hz PMR and Miracast).

Finally, standard HDTVs will be part of the 4600 (28″ – 55″) and 4900 (28″ – 65″) series. The only differentation that we could see, aside from in sizing, was in stand design. All models feature PC and Mac screen mirroring; 120Hz PMR; and smart functionality. Prices (again, tentative) are between $250 and $680 (4600 series) and $270 and $1,400 (4900 series).

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We also had a chance to meet up with TPVision (the European licensee of the Philips brand for TV) in the Venetian hotel. The company was showing HDR technology and told us that its 8000 (edge-lit) and 9000 series (micro-dimming backlight) will have peak brightness boosted to 700 cd/m2 to better show HDR content. Philips has technology in HDR (along with Dolby, Technicolor and the BBC). For more see Philips Explains its HDR Solutions.

Digging around at the show, we couldn’t find out much about the laser light sources, although we heard unconfirmed rumours that Mitsubishi might be involved. Whether that was just because the firm has tried to promote laser TVs in the past, or whether it’s, perhaps, the supplier of the lasers for this set, we couldn’t clarify. (BR)