Feeds
80%
Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Ambilight TV

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold 50in ultra widescreen TV

The film buffs' telly gets cheaper... and smaller

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Colour television

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.

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Ambilight TV 50PFL7956T

Full screen

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.

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Ambilight TV 50PFL7956T

Bordered viewing

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.

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Ambilight TV 50PFL7956T

Widescreen letterboxed

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.

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Ambilight TV 50PFL7956T

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Sonic boon

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.