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Philips announces first 4K UHD TVs, the 9000 Series

Philips has announced its first 4K UHD TVs, the 65-inch and 84-inch 9000 Series, at IFA 2013, alongside the first four-sided Ambilight.


BERLIN -- The Philips 9000 Series is Philips' first foray into Ultra High Definition television, unveiled at technology show IFA 2013 in Berlin. Philips also announced a four-sided Ambilight TV, called Elevation.

There are two UHD TVs in the 9000 range: a 65-inch model and an 84-inch model, both displaying 3,840x2,160 pixels of eye-popping detail.

Both TVs are LED-backlit and have three-sided Ambilight, which projects light from the top and sides of the TV to complement the colours on the screen, drawing you in to your film or TV show as you watch. To massage your ears as well as your eyes, the 65-inch model boasts a 15-watt speaker and two 6-watt speakers; the 84-inch version pumps out sound from two 25-watt speakers and two 20-watt speakers.

4K is still very much in its infancy, so there's very little actual 4K stuff to watch. So the 9000 TVs attempt to improve on the detail of high-definition films and TV by upscaling Blu-ray, DVD, or HD TV channels.

One way you can see the eye-popping detail of which the TV is capable is with photographs. Photographs taken by even today's average compact cameras and camera phones pack in way more detail than HD video, so you can view photos of 8 megapixels or more in stunningly crisp detail.

Which means you've just paid 5 grand for a photo frame.

You can also connect to the Web and access apps and online services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Skype alongside Philips' usual smart TV features, as well as Miracast and SimplyShare to connect to your phone and tablet.

And the 4K TVs also do 3D, because nobody demanded it. Like most high-end TVs today, the Philips 4K models can convert regular two-dimensional films and TV to 3D.

And the price? The new Philips models are more expensive than Sony and Samsung models already on the market: the 65-inch 65PFL9708 costs 4,999 euros, and the 84-inch 84PFL9708 will set you back 14,999 euros.

Philips also revealed a four-sided Ambilight television, called Elevation. Ambilight involves rows of small lights ringing the rear of the TV, casting a soft glow against the wall that complements the colours appearing on screen. The idea is to reduce the stark contrast between the vibrant colours onscreen and the dinginess of your wallpaper, drawing you into your film or TV show. Elevation is the first to bathe all four sides of the TV in an Ambilight glow.