Having said that, this is not the best Ambilight effect. The lights are on the left and right edges of the screen only, not across the top as well. It’s good, but misses the magic of three-sided Ambilight. Still, at least it’s clever enough to make allowances for content that doesn’t span the entire width of the display, which would result in no light at all coming from the black edges of the TV.
Instead, it matches the onscreen colours for the edge of what’s being displayed – wherever that appears on the TV. But that brings us to the key feature on the 21:9 series: you should only buy it if you’re going to watch a lot of films. Because most TV broadcasts are 16:9 format, which means there are big black bars at the left and right edges of the screen.
To be honest, it doesn’t look good, though after a while you notice it less. It’s also smart enough to know that if you’re watching a movie that’s broadcast with black bars at top and bottom, that it’s safe to zoom in to fill the screen. This reduces the resolution, of course, but the trade-off is worth it. When this screen is filled, it looks magnificent, with the impressive scale and shape almost making you feel you’re at the cinema. Without people talking.
Picture quality throughout is strong, as you’d expect from Philips. It tends a little to the grittily realistic, which can make a movie look like cinema verite, but with some adjustments it can deliver a strikingly good image.
This is a smart TV and Philips has embraced the concept of extra functionality, though it’s not as advanced as some companies, notably Samsung whose CES 2012 announcements put it in the smart TV vanguard. Still, the ease of use of NetTV, as the company calls it, is valuable. Key to the features are iPlayer, YouTube and Facebook. We can expect every TV maker to ramp up smart capabilities over the next year or two.
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Re: Stupid Aspect Ratio
Do you mind clarifying what is "Daft" and "Stupid" about a TV built to be the same aspect ratio as the majority of films? I find it hugely frustrating that I have spent good money on a widescreen TV but still get huge black bars at the top and bottom of most films. I don't watch telly (naff all on worth watching the last few times I looked) so I would love a 21:9 screen. That means either a projector or one of these.
I just can't see what is daft about having a film screen designed correctly for films? Please enlighten me?
What's so stupid about it?
Have you never been to the cinema and watched a movie shot in Cinemascope (2.35:1 / 2.55:1), Panavision (2.39:1), Cinerama (2.35:1), Super35 matted to 2.35:1, Super Panavision (2.2:1), or Ultra Panavision 70 (2.76:1), then?
That's the kind of thing this TV is intended for. To show wide-format material.
If you prefer 4:3 / 16:9, that's fine, just say so. No point in slagging off other aspect ratios just 'cos they're not what you're used to...
The country went to the dogs...
....when they stopped teaching mathematics in schools. I have to admit I didn't notice anything in the news about it; but they must have done so for you to be unable to understand something as simple as an aspect ratio.
Let me try to explain it for you. Film made 21:9 not show good on TV made 16:9 - no silly complain complain make laws of number county changey changey!
Does that clear it up for you?
"adding some lights on the back of a TV set"
There is rather more to it than that. How did you plan to get your $5 set of LED christmas lights to change colour according to what was appearing on the screen?
"daft overpriced ideas like this"
You want overpriced? Wait for those 50 inch OLED screens to hit the shops.