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Philips 21:9 TV Launches


Philips 21:9 TV Launches

I'm sure many of you have £4,500 burning a hole in your pockets to splash out on a new television and if that's you, then it would be remiss not to take note that Philips' Cinema 21:9 HDTV has a firm launch date - 18 June. Yes, £4,500 (Philip's estimated retail price) is a shocking amount of money but this is a unique television. For now at least.

The Cinema 21:9 TV's USP isn't hard to spot - the clue is in the name. Unlike your garden variety TV, the cinema 21:9 has a 21:9 aspect ratio, making it notably wider than a 16:9 aspect ratio television. There's a good reason for that, too. While most broadcast TV is now recorded in 16:9 (preferably 1,920 x 1,080 pixels to be specific) a majority of films are shot in 2.35:1 - as near as damn it 21:9.

As a result such films shown in the Cinema 21:9 recorded in that aspect ratio can be displayed without the dreaded black bars which would plague a 'normal' TV. Of course when watching 16:9 (or even 4:3 - perish the thought) content the Cinema 21:9 is subject to black bars at the sides of the image - unless you want to have the TV scale the image to fit, with some distortion.

The Cinema 21:9 measures 56in diagonally, with a vertical height matching that of a 42in set. A resolution of 2,560 x 1,080 pixels means that current 1080p, 2.35:1 content has to be scaled up, cutting off the black bars which are hard-coded. Philips' Pixel Perfect HD engine is pretty nifty at video processing, so it's not like any films will look bad on the Cinema 21:9 - indeed, I was thoroughly impressed with a prototype unit which had no processing whatsoever so the retail products should be excellent.

Philips' has kitted out the Cinema 21:9 with five HDMI ports a USB port and Wi-Fi for access to NetTV - Philips in-TV internet access solution. The Cinema 21:9 will play AAC, MP3, AC3, LPCM and WMA audio, MPEG-1 MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video and display JPEG, Gif and PNG images from a USB drive or, as its DLNA certified, it from a network device.

MPs, good luck trying to get one of these through your expenses; the rest of us will have to dream.


June 1, 2009, 7:47 pm

No, but the guy who has 9 grand has probably already blown it on that 50" Sharp monstrosity.


June 1, 2009, 8:56 pm

Just out of curiosity, what size of 16:9 display would it take to produce the same size image as the 21:9? (I'm sure I *should* be able to work it out mathmatically, but...well, I can't :o/ ).


June 1, 2009, 9:22 pm

Area of the Cinema 219 ~ 8 sq ft

Dimensions of a 16:9 TV with that area ~ 45 x 25.3in and 51.6in diagonal.

A 52in LCD is probably about £2k and a 60in Kuro offers more screen for similar money...


June 1, 2009, 9:25 pm

I think I've worked this out correctly.

A 56in 21:9 display would need a 59.1in 16:9 display to display a full picture+ a whole lot of black border.

Matt G Baish

June 1, 2009, 9:31 pm

@Hugo - that aint what Beaky69 asked

@CptKirk - you beat me to it & you are correct (wonderful how O level Maths comes back to you when you need it :))


June 1, 2009, 9:59 pm

Depends what figure you want. I'm assuming in both cases the image talked about is filling the entire screen - the whole point is not to have black bars, right?


June 1, 2009, 10:43 pm

Beaky69 should clear this up for us.

Anyway I'd just buy a regular large 16:9 sreen.


June 1, 2009, 11:02 pm

Would 21:9 make your "Ultimate TV" wishlist though?



June 2, 2009, 12:26 am

@CptKirk - Thanks very much, you answered my question; I just wondered how big a 16:9 display would have to be (complete with black bars) to get the same size 21:9 image as the Philips TV.


June 2, 2009, 7:50 am

much more pressing will be what signal you have to give it - what are the pixel matching options - personally I think it will be a rehash of the zoom in the days of early wide-screen TVs. which looked awful ;-)


June 2, 2009, 8:24 am

@DavidDB - I published a preview of the 21:9 back in January which goes into a little more detail about this... http://www.trustedreviews.c...

Matthew Bunton

June 2, 2009, 8:46 am

I'd taka a 60" Kuro over this any day.

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