While probably not quite as mind blowing as the remarkable Cinema 21:9 (why oh why has no-one else copied that form factor yet?!), Philips has unveiled two rather tasty new additions to its LED HDTV line-up.
Never one to use simple, clear and intuitive product names when complicated, overly long, misleading ones will do Philips has announced the '40PFL9704' and '46PFL9704'. These, surprisingly concise (for Philips), model numbers slot directly into the company's high end portfolio.
Why makes them so? Something Philips is calling 'LED Pro' which is essentially the company's next generation LED backlight technology. Compared to the previous generation it ups the number of LED segments to 224 - a 75 per cent increase - meaning each segment lights a smaller section of this screen. As a consequence each backlight should more accurately match onscreen content and therefore provide a better picture.
On top of this you'll also find a much better (2.5x) contrast ratio which Philips quotes as a monstrous/ridiculous 5,000,000:1, combines it with a 200Hz refresh rate to eliminate motion blur and claims a screen response time of just one millisecond. Furthermore, trees will hug you given the models are claimed to be 50 per cent more power efficient than conventional LCD TVs gaining them eco-label certification.
Throw in Philips' proprietary 'Perfect Colour' technology (which produces a dizzying 2,250 trillion colours), its swanky Ambilight Spectra 3 technology (which mimics the dominant onscreen colours to create a welcoming and potentially more immersive 'glow'), no less than five HDMI ports and Philips online 'NetTV' service and the premium status sounds kosher.
It should be too since Philips will be asking £1,799 for the 40in 40PFL9704 and £2,499 for the 46in 46PFL9704 when they launch in December. It'll be a happy Christmas for someone, though for sheer Wow Factor I still prefer the Cinema 21:9...
Update: Our discussions with Philips' PR have led to an explanation of the mix-up over availability. In their own words:
"We made a conscious decision - agreed with the in house PR team - that rather than take the shipping date as the launch we would wait until product arrived at our office (we normally get the very first sets). This avoids customers being unable to find the product because of delays in the shipping chain, and believe me that's far worse than one or two people finding the set early."
We can appreciate this perspective, but obviously from a journalistic viewpoint this is simply not how news works. The launch is the launch, limited quantities or not, and not the day samples arrive in a press office. Apologies to all over the confusion and on the bright side they do looks superb models and we'll hopefully be able to bring you a review soon.