IFA 2010: Philips throws its weight behind 3D

Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum 3D TV

It’s all about 3D on the Philips stand here at IFA, with the Dutch company joining its Korean and Japanese rivals in throwing its weight behind the 3D TV format.

The flagship of the range is the new Cinema 21:9 Platinum TV, which is 3D-capable straight out of the box and now has a 2in larger screen than the old model, at 58in. But a slimmer bezel means the new set is the same overall size as its predecessor.

Technically there are improvements too. There’s now full LED backlighting, a new Sharp-supplied panel, 400Hz and Perfect Pixel HD processing, and Bright Pro, which is said to boost brightness while giving even deeper black levels.

Philips Net TV, developed with Sharp and Loewe

You also get Net TV, Philips’s web TV portal, with a multiview function that allows you to watch a broadcast TV programme alongside Net TV content simultaneously. Philips has joined forces with Sharp and Loewe to co-develop an open IPTV platform, bringing video-on-demand, apps etc to sets across all three brands. "We want to make it easier for content providers to make apps for connected TVs," says Philips. Sounds good to us.

The Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum TV goes on sale in Europe this month for 3999 Euros. We’ll confirm UK pricing shortly.

For those who want a more conventional 16:9 screen with 3D capability, Philips has the 8000 and 9000 Series models which are 3D-ready, but need an optional 3D transmitter and active-shutter 3D glasses for the full three-dimensional effect.

Philips believes its customers want to choose when they upgrade to 3D, so gives them the option of buying a 2D TV which can be easily turned into a 3D one later.

Philips 8000 3D LCD/LED TV

Of course, a 3D TV needs a 3D Blu-ray player and Philips says four out of five of its 2010 players will be 3D-compatible. There are two standalone players, the 9000 and 8000, both of which have integrated 3D support, DLNA, built-in wi-fi and Net TV.

The top-of-the-range BDP9600 also has Qdeo video processing, Burr-Brown DACs for each audio channel, a separate power supply for the audio section and a multichannel 7.1 analogue connection.

Expect the BDP9600 to cost around 599 Euros when it goes on sale later this month.

Philips 8000 3D Blu-ray player

As well as the standalone players, there’s the HTS9540 3D Blu-ray home cinema system, with HD 360Sound. The latter is a proprietary Philips technology that uses clever signal processing to create a more diffuse soundfield from three drivers in each double-cube speaker. It will sell for 1499 Euros from September.

Customisation is another key theme here at IFA. We’re particularly intrigued by Philips’s plan to introduce an online design and ordering system for its Ambilight 7000 Series LCD/LED TV. From October, you’ll be able to log on to www.philips.com/designyourtv and create your own bespoke telly, which will be delivered to your home three weeks later.

You can choose from 100 design combinations, including the colour of the TV frame, screen size, the type of stand or wallmount and type of remote control you want.

This custom ordering service will be trialled in Europe from October. If it's successful, it will come to the UK in 2011.

Philips EcoNova TV

One of the other trends emerging here from all the big consumer electronics manufacturers is the rush to prove their 'green' credentials. In that respect Philips is no different, and has introduced the EcoNova 6000 range, which is said to use half the power of some other sets and is made from 60% recycled materials.

As for audio, there's the SoundSphere Streamium MCi900 music system which we'll be testing in our November issue, on sale in a couple of weeks' time. The company has also partnered with sports brand O'Neill to create four new headphone designs for sporty types.

Expanded range of Fidelio iPod/iPad docks on the way

And there’s an expanded range of Fidelio iPhone/iPod/iPad docks in smaller sizes than the original model coming out this autumn (prices tbc).

Finally, the new Philips GoGear Connect is a Google Android-driven portable music and video player aimed at buyers who don’t have, or don’t want, an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. You can read all about it in our News story.

Philips GoGear Connect portable player

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.