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Philips’ new OLED+ series ups the ante for picture, gaming and TV sound

Philips OLED+ range has stood at the top of its TV range for the past few years, and its latest entrants look to serve up the best all-round performance for picture, sound and gaming.

The OLED+ range consists of the OLED+936 and OLED+986, and aims to do something a little different from the ‘usual’ range of features we often see from an OLED. That difference is exemplified by its partnership with Bowers & Wilkins to produce the speakers for the TVs.

Philips 65OLED+986

Philips OLED+986 press image

First off, it’s the TV that sits at the top of the Philips tree in the OLED+986. It arrives in a 65-inch, four-sided Ambilight model that features the latest ‘evo’ panel from LG. That offers a 20% increase in peak light output over standard OLED displays for a brighter HDR performance.

The 5th gen P5 Intelligent Dual Picture Engine processor is onboard, with Philips claiming its latest iteration is capable of displaying images with better sharpness, more accurate colours and skin tones and better contrast performance across all sources. Continuing for this year is the P5’s improved performance when using the Dolby Vision Bright mode.

A new Film Detection Mode has been added to the P5’s chip, joining the existing five AI categories. It can determine whether you’re watching a film and automatically switch into Filmmaker Mode or Philips’ newly tweaked Home Cinema Mode.

The set’s Ambient Intelligence also works with the TV’s light sensor to ensure that contrast for SD or HDR content is optimised to the local ambient light levels so you can see all the details that you’re meant to see.

Philips also continues to be a big support of HDR formats, with HDR10, HDR10+, HDR10+ Adaptive, HLG and Dolby Vision all onboard. Dolby Vision IQ doesn’t appear to be supported, but we’re looking to confirm that with Philips.

Gaming has received a big push by Philips across all its models. Previous TVs had been rather weak in terms of gaming, but that’s been rectified with wide support for the latest gaming features. Standard VRR, AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync ensure super low latency times with game consoles, and also puts Philips on the same level as LG in terms of the VRR support.

Other gaming features include Philips’ Fast Motion Clarity feature that produces a smoother but still realistic looking image that increases sharpness without introducing artefacts of flicker by running at 100Hz.

Burn-in has always been a concern with OLEDs, but Philips solution to mitigate this issue builds on prior foundations with its anti-burn-in solution. It’s capable of detecting static content (such as logos), and gradually reduces the intensity of the local light output in that local area to reduce the potential for burn-in. It does this without reducing the light output in other parts of the screen, with the OLED+986 featuring a grid of 32,400 to carefully monitor any issues.

Audio is delivered by Bowers & Wilkins’ speaker system (not soundbar), that’s been re-engineered by the iconic audio brand; featuring their renowned decoupled Tweeter-on-Top designs and continuum cone technology mounted beneath the TV’s display.

Bowers say the new system can be driven harder than before to create a larger, more spacious soundstage with lower distortion. For more bass extension, the speaker system features a sub out connection for adding an active subwoofer.

The Philips OLED+986 is available in the UK from October 2021 onwards.

Philips OLED+936

Philips OLED+936

Cheaper, but no less splendid in terms of design, the OLED+936 comes in three sizes (48-, 55- and 65-inch).

It carries many of the same features as the OLED+986, with the new brighter evo OLED panel, wide HDR support, 5th Gen P5 AI processor, gaming VRR compatibility and four-sided Ambilight performance.

Where it really differs is in the 3.1.2 Atmos sound system. Still made by Bowers & Wilkins, this system features improvements in its use of higher quality crossover components: new surrounds for all three tweeters, a stiffer 100mm x 65mm cone, more powerful magnet for the dedicated bass driver, new voice coils for the four mid-range drivers and repositioned Atmos elevation units.

All of those changes aim to increase the degree of precision, control and power handling to extend audio into room with more energy. By engaging the Movie, Game or Personal TV mode activates the ‘elevation drivers’ to bring a similar immersive ‘Atmos’ effect for non-Atmos content.

The Philips OLED+936 goes on sale September 2021.

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