Philips 2014 Smart TV System - Setup and Performance

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During our time exploring the apps on the new Philips TV platform, it must be said we did experience a few bugs – in particular some apps not loading, and the TV screen not popping back up when we went back to the Home menu and so on. But such things are pretty easily fixed by firmware updates and so could well have been sorted out by the time you read this article.

There’s some inconsistency, too, in the set’s localisation features. For instance, while the Meteonews app does a great job of figuring out where you live without any particular input from yourself, the Cloud TV app appears to require a manual territory selection – with the default position on our review set being Germany!!

Actually, at the risk of sounding like some sort of UKIP pamphlet, the amount of foreign language content within the menus even after telling the TV which territory you live in is a general nuisance that feels more like an attempt by Philips to make its content library look busy than provide anything genuinely useful.

Philips Smart TV 2014

Another set up issue is that getting all the TV’s second screen features working is a bit more of a chore than it ideally should be.

For starters, strangely the TV’s default position is to have its network access features – Miracast, Wi-Fi Media Playback and Wi-Fi media smart screen – all switched to off. So you have to head into the network menu to turn these on before you do anything else.

The up-front app situation is also a bit confusing, as searching for Philips TV apps reveals quite a few separate options with it not being immediately obvious which ones are the best for the latest crop of TVs. There’s a Philips TV Media one powered by ZappoTV which even features the Philips Smart TV logo – yet upon downloading this it refused to work properly with the 55PFS6609.

It was only after a second search that we selected the correct Philips My Remote app.

To be fair, the feature ‘advert’ that appears on the right hand side of the home screen does occasionally refer to the MyRemote App. But it would have been better, in our opinion, if the TV steered you towards this app at some point during its initial installation phase. After all, as things stand it’s quite possible that many users will never even realise the MyRemote App exists, which would be a shame given the decent roster of features it offers.

In considering the performance of the 2014 Philips Smart TV iteration, the main thing to discuss is speed, given that past iterations have tended to be irritatingly sluggish. And the good news is that it’s WAY faster than last year’s system, with the main menus opening up almost instantaneously and even apps tending to fire up much quicker than they have done before with the Philips Smart OS.
Philips Smart TV 2014
The system is less impressive right now with its stability. During our time exploring the new Philips TV platform we experienced a few bugs – in particular some apps not loading, and the TV screen not popping back up when we went back to the Home menu. But such things are pretty easily fixed by firmware updates these days and so could well have been sorted by the time you read this article.

One final point worth making here is that there is an engaging simplicity to the way Philips’ latest Smart TV system is organised. Having most stuff you need accessible via a single hub screen is a refreshing change to the multiple hubs favoured by many rivals these days.

The only problem is that as noted in passing earlier, with no separate hubs in use to separate different kinds of content out, Philips could have done with making the design of some of its icon ‘links’ a bit more instantly recognisable/less obscure to make swift navigation easier.