Philips is throwing everything its got at its new 55-inch 901F TV. Not only is the 901F the company’s first OLED set, but it also comes with 4K resolution, high dynamic range imaging (HDR), a built-in sound bar, Android TV, and Philips’ Ambilight ambient lighting system. The results are beautiful.
Ambilight is a novelty of course, and whether or not it creates a more immersive TV viewing experience (as Philips claims) is up to the individual. Light strips on the sides and top of the TV mirror the colors onscreen, so if you’re looking at a shot of a wide blue sky, they’ll throw blue light onto your walls. It definitely looks flashy, but is Ambilight really going to improve your next viewing of, say, The Godfather Part II?
More important is what’s happening with the screen itself, which is manufactured by TP Vision (which licenses the Philips brand for TVs.) The difficulty and expense of manufacturing OLED panels means the tech has gone in and out of fashion with TV manufacturers without ever becoming standard, but it’s worth reminding yourself just how good the picture quality can be. Individual illumination of each pixel in an OLED set (as opposed to a blanket backlight in LCD displays) means darker blacks that produce greater contrast. Philips also combines this with its own Perfect Pixel Ultra HD Engine, which it says ensures fluid motion. In short, the 901F looks sharp, bright, and smooth from all sorts of viewing angles.
Philips says the 901F will be available towards the end of the year (apologies for the mistake in the video above, where I say it’ll be next year), but the company hasn’t mentioned prices yet. However, compared to similar sized OLED TVs, we can expect a price of around the two thousand dollar mark, maybe more.