Philips held a press tour on the first day of the show and we went around the booth. Chris Sluys of MMD, which markets the Philips brand LFDs and monitors in Europe, started by explaining that the Philips brand is increasingly seen as a B2B brand rather than just a consumer brand. The company has moved its hospitality TV business across from the TV division (TPVision) as it makes sense to combine these with the company’s LFDs. (For more on the advantages of this, see the comments on the new CMS.
The main product announcement at the show was a new 30QL range of 32″/43″/48″/55″ and 65″ sets. The sets from 43″ to 55″ have a new option – the AmbiLight system. This system was developed by the Philips TV business and Kim Meijer of MMD told us that Philips had sold 10 million TV sets with the feature over the years. The AmbiLight technology adds LEDs to the back and edges of the display (just the left and right edge on the public displays, although all around on TVs). A processor in the set calculates the average colour of the image on the screen and replicates that colour with the LEDs. This, effectively, extends the size and impact of the display.
The technology has multiple modes – the colours can be fixed and set (without reacting with on-screen content) or the colours can be optimised for different colours of the back walls. Philips highlighted that the technique is useful in a lot of areas – for example, in transportation applications, the Ambilight feature can be used to extend the colour from an airline logo to extend the impact of the display. The cost adder is around 10% for the new technology.
UltraHD is a big topic and Philips has new 84″ BDL8470EU (available now and €6,000) and 98″ BDL9870EU (available in May at €12,000). The monitors are designed for professional use and can support 24/7 and portrait operation. There are other professional features including four separate inputs so that the displays can be driven from a four way video wall controller. OPS slots are included for integrating systems and there are a number of mounting options including an option to “fly”.
Next we looked at UHD video wall options based on four 46″/47″ or 55″ ultra narrow bezel displays with integrated DisplayPort 1.2 multistream support. This allows the use of a single cable with “daisy-chaining” to support UltraHD display over the multiple displays from a single PC or player.
Philips has been developing its features to include “failover” facilities that allow up to seven different optional inputs so that there will be no blank screens if the primary source of content fails for some reason.