The Philips press conference room was pretty slick, with LCD panels lining the walls and cool lighting creating an ambience. The talk was of a â€˜connected planetâ€™ as demonstrated by products such as its Wi-fi enabled Stremium line.
Philips was very proud of its new 'Ambilight 4' flat-panel TV technology, which is claims has enabled it to reach a double digit market share in North America. This is essentially lights attached to the back of the TV that glow and change colour in response to the colour content on the screen. If thatâ€™s sounds flash, gimmicky and very Las Vegas youâ€™d be right, but itâ€™s surprisingly effective. Itâ€™s certainly a good example of, quite literally, thinking outside of the box, and really is something that no other manufacturer offers.
Ambilight 4 differs from version 3 by dint of the fact that the TV is set onto its own white frame, so as to ensure that the effect works when the TV is mounted on dark walls or even on a stand away from a wall. This adds to the size of the TV though, and t the moment Ambilight is only available on screen sizes of 42in and above. However, the US Product Manager told me that there will be a more European wall friendly 37in version launched in the middle of the year.
When Ambilight is combined with its ClearLCD, for smoothing out motion, and improving contrast and viewing angle along with its new PixelPlus 3 technology that adds detail, Philipsâ€™ TVs should really be a force to be reckoned with in the image quality stakes.
But how about a flat TV that looks like a mirror but turns into a LCD TV at the touch of a button. This has got to take the plaudits for the most wife friendly TV on the planet. The MiraVision is available in 32in and 42in sizes. Philips had one on display at the stand and I took a picture but Iâ€™m not showing you that as itâ€™s got my mug reflected in it. Have these press shots instead.