Philips Tempts Then Disappoints

Despite arriving 10 minutes late to the Philips conference (Samsung overran), we only missed some appliance talk. The conference itself was quite light on display-related discussions, although there were certainly more than we’d seen at Panasonic or Sony the day before!

Wiebo Vaartjes, CEO of Philips Consumer Lifestyle, was on-stage discussing the company’s audio brands when we arrived. New Fidelio products include noise-cancelling headphones and a soundbar that can be split to form a surround sound system. We also heard from a Spotify executive who talked about Spotify Connect, a one-tap service that transfers playing music between devices. Philips’ TVs will support it this year.

Nico Vernieuwe is the head of TP Vision, which produces Philips TVs in Europe. He was introducing new Android-powered models (Philips added Android to its TVs at CES this year – see Display Monitor Vol 20 No 3), to be launched in Europe in Q3. Three new models were shown: the 7900, 8900 and 9100 ranges. All of these have UltraHD resolution and two-, three- or four-sided Ambilight, respectively. The 7900 TVs will be ‘entry-level’, the 8900 models are curved and the 9100 TVs has premium features like 1,000Hz Perfect Motion Rate and a bundled wireless subwoofer. Both the 8800 and 9100 feature micro dimming.

As Android units, the TVs have full access to the Google Play store. Cloud gaming is also a possibility through Philips’ partnership with On-Live.

Remaining with high-resolution devices, the UHD880 is an UltraHD media player powered by Google’s upcoming Android L operating system. It will be launched in Q1’15 for