Philips Launch 65PFL9708, Its First 4K Ultra HD TV At IFA 2013

Mike Wheatley

It’s a case of better late than never at all for Philips, which has finally unveiled its new 9000 Series of 4K TVs, the Dutch brand’s first Ultra HD offering, at its press conference during IFA 2013 this week.

Philips 84PFL9708

Philip’s 9000-series, which was unveiled alongside its new wireless speakers and headphones at the press event, was billed as the company’s “heritage of picture quality”. The series encompasses two models: the 65-inch Philips 65PFL9708 that uses a VA-type LCD panel from AU Optronics (AUO), and the 84-inch 85PFL9708 which features LG Display’s IPS panel – both are capable of upscaling HD content to 4K resolution as the solution to the current dearth of ‘true’ Ultra HD content.

Philips’ 4K TVs look every bit as gorgeous as their counterparts from Samsung, LG, Sony and the like, and come with a number of compelling features including the manufacturer’s proprietary Ambilight technology, plus plenty of cloud-based smart TV features. The ultra high-definition televisions also boast excellent quality speakers, with a 15W main speaker and two 6W speakers on the 65-inch, and two 20W and two 25W speakers on the larger display.

The company further revealed that the 65PFL9708 had been voted as “best Ultra HD TV of the year” by EISA, whilst stating that both models have been “future-proofed” – the company’s chief TV designer Danny Tack said that support for HDMI 2.0 will arrive in the form of an external compact connection box which can be purchased by owners later down the line. During its press conference, the company explained that the rapid growth of Smart TVs was one of the biggest factors behind the 9000-series’ development, noting that the number of smart TV users had doubled worldwide in the last couple of years.

Micro Dimming Pro

In a picture quality workshop, Philips demoed its Micro Dimming Pro technology which dynamically adjusts the amount of pseudo-local dimming applied on the LED backlight depending on the level of ambient lighting, as well as the company’s Ultra Resolution feature that enhances all types of video sources including native 4K ones (not that we think it’s necessary!). By and large Micro Dimming Pro worked well, retaining plenty of shadow detail when the lights were switched on, though there’s still a gradual but noticeable fluctuation in global luminance during the transition.

As well as its visual delights, Philips also took the chance to show off a range of new wireless speakers, including its Fidelio SoundSphere DesignLine speakers that are claimed to deliver perfect acoustic audio, its Fidelio E5 sound system for home theatres, and the appropriately named “The Dot’, a singular, splash proof speaker.

Philips also showed off its innovation at the other end of the audio spectrum, unveiling its Fidelio L2 headphones, built with lighter materials that improve on the sound quality of the originals and sport a redesigned headband. The firm also showed off a pair of new wireless headphones.

The Philips 65PFL9708/S12 will go on sale in the United Kingdom next week at a competitive price of £4,999, whereas the 85PFL9708 will be priced at £14,999.