Photos from IFA 2006: See the Ambilight with Philips

The Philips stand at IFA was dominated by dozens of Ambilight screens, emitting gentle-coloured glows. Highlights included its first range of Blu-ray products, a 100-inch LCD and a friendly sofa...

Mary Lojkine
3 min read

The Philips stand at IFA 2006 was dominated by Ambilight in all its various sizes and guises. As seen in two-channel mode on the Philips 32PF9830 and in full surround on the Philips 42PF9831D, Ambilight provides coloured backlighting that automatically adjusts to match the picture on your screen. Philips expects to have sold over 1 million Ambilight sets worldwide by the end of 2006.

The biggest screen on display was this 100-inch LCD with Ambilight Full Surround (the four-sided version). Philips was quick to point out that it has no plans to commercialise the giant screen, which was produced on a 'because we can' basis.

Taking 'full surround' to its logical extreme, Philips had also built an egg-shaped auditorium lined with Ambilight screens showing colourful footage. Don't try this at home -- you can't afford to power that many televisions.

If the screens weren't holding your attention, you could watch the dancers writhing across the stage.

Philips was also showcasing its first range of Blu-ray products. This is the BDP9000 Blu-ray Disc player, due to launch in the US this autumn and in Europe in early 2007. It plays CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs (BDs) and outputs high-definition video at 1080p.

Sexy see-through PCs with blue underlighting provided glamorous surroundings for the prosaic-looking TripleWriter SPD7000 (mounted at the top), an internal drive that reads and writes CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. It should be available in September 2006.

Philips has already introduced 25GB single-layer BD-R (recordable) and BD-RE (recordable and erasable) media capable of holding more than 6 hours of hi-def video, 12 hours of DVD video or 36 CDs. Dual-layer 50GB BD-R discs were also on display and should be on sale soon.

Philips final Blu-ray offering is a pair of Showline Media Centers with Blu-ray Disc drives, the MCP9480i and MCP8480i. Both models have an Intel Pentium D CPU, an Intel G965 Chipset and 1024MB of RAM. They come with Windows XP Media Center Home Edition 2005, but are ready for Windows Vista.

Other new products include the GoGear SA9200, a 2GB MP3 player with a blue touchpad, and a bigger version of the digital PhotoFrame with a 230mm (9-inch) screen. The PhotoFrame comes in Classic and Modern (pictured) designs, and has twin memory card readers that support most common memory card formats.

The Future Zone displayed concept and prototype products such as Photonic textiles -- fabrics containing flexible arrays of coloured LEDS. The arrays are programmable, so they can display messages or animated graphics.

As well as displaying a clock or a coloured pattern, this sofa flashed up a message saying 'Hi' when someone approached. The heart on the back of the jacket was pulsing gently.

The Entertaible is designed for pubs, fast-food restaurants and resorts. It combines the human interaction of a traditional board with an electronic playing area that lights up as the players move their pieces.

This is a high-tech version of Snakes and Ladders, where the snakes and ladders appear when you land on the relevant squares. The spinner at the top of the picture replaces the die.