Improved image quality, class-leading audio and slick European design were the key messages from Philips TV maker, TP Vision, at its annual European trade show, held recently in Amsterdam. In a surprise move, the manufacturer committed to

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support across 90 per cent of its 2019 range. Until now, Dolby Vision has been positioned as a premium alternative to the industry standard HDR format, and has not been a fixture on any Philips set. However, now the brand says it will include it on every model, up from and including its budget 6 Series.

Philips director of product strategy and planning,

Danny Tack, told ERT that the inclusion of Dolby Vision on even relatively low brightness 4k HDR screens will help deliver a superior picture performance, compared to standard HDR. All these sets will support HDR10+, the open standard rival to Dolby Vision. Both use dynamic metadata for greater image refinement and control. Dolby Vision is available from Netflix, Rakuten TV,

iTunes and 4k UHD Blu-ray. HDR10+ is widely available on Amazon Prime Video.

At the showcase, Philips unveiled two new premium

OLED TVs, the 804 and 854. Available in 55- and 65- inch screen sizes, the only difference is their stand design. The 854 features a swivelling T-Bar, to optimise viewing angle.

Also new is a third generation P5 image processor, 9

said to be 20 per cent more powerful than its predecessor. Benefits include more shadow detail and smoother colour gradations. Audio was a recurring theme at the trade event. In addition to the mass adoption of Dolby Atmos, TP Vision has acquired the Philips audio brand from Gibson, and showed a selection of soundbars, Bluetooth wireless speakers and headphones.

It has also extended its partnership with Bowers &

Wilkins, unveiling an LED LCD TV with integrated Hi-Fi soundbar and subwoofer. The 8804 employs a variation of the 50W 2.1 sound system first heard on its award- winning OLED 903 model. According to Bowers and Wilkins senior product manager, Andy Kerr, an increasing number of consumers are now using their TVs for music only playback. The 8804’s sound system features two forward-facing drivers covered with Kvadrat speaker cloth. A subwoofer rumbles from the rear of the panel. Philips also confirmed a heavy marketing push for its mid-range 7 Series screen. To be called ‘The One’ on

all POS, the ‘Performance’ Series 7304 will be available in a variety of screen sizes, from 43- through to 70-inch. It believes this marketing angle will help the model become the default recommendation for consumers looking for a high performance LED LCD TV at an affordable price. The specification is certainly top notch (Multi-HDR support with Dolby Atmos, three-sided Ambilight, and Android smart platform), and the design suitably premium.

Expect a good deal of consumer interest in Philips entry-level 6-Series models, too. The 6814 LED LCD has Amazon Alexa built-in, and will come in 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes. The screen uses Philips own Saphi Smart OS. There’s also ‘introductory Ambilight’ 6704/6754 range, which lacks Alexa. One screen technology conspicuous by its absence

was 8k. “There is no reason to launch 8k yet, because there is no software,” Product Strategist, Danny Tack, told ERT. “An 8k panel upscaling 4k isn’t as effective as Philips P5 image processor working with native 4k,” he proclaimed.

“Record sales” reported by Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone has released its trading update for the 10 weeks ended 5 January 2019, reporting a “solid” peak trading performance with “record sales against a tough backdrop”. Group like-for-like revenue was up one

per cent for the period and UK & Ireland electricals like-for-like sales were up by two per c ent. Other highlights include

share gains across all categories online and instore, offsetting market decline, and international like-for-like revenue up five per cent. Record peak sales across all categories

were driven by Small Domestic Appliances, Smart Tech, Vision and Gaming. The company also reported of growth online of eight per cent over the period and year-to-

date 28 per cent of total sales. Internationally, it was a “record” Black Friday and peak period with particular strong performances in Consumer Electronics, Major Domestic Appliances, Gaming and Mobile. “We continued to grow our leading electrical market positions in all territories, online and instore,” commented Alex

Baldock, Group Chief Executive. “Sales were strong in all categories, with standout performances in TV (where we drove the supersizing trend), Smart Tech and Gaming. And our increased investment in colleagues produced an easier end-to- end customer experience, with improved availability and satisfaction.” Read more on the ERT website.

February 2019

Philips embraces Dolby Vision and Atmos at European TV tradeshow, but shuns 8k

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