Close up with the Philips 2010 LED TV range

Like just about every other TV manufacturer in 2010, Philips has launched a clutch of 3D TVs which actually make up for around half the models that will be available to UK customers. Technically speaking, these TVs are only 3D Ready meaning that you'll need to buy a separate 3D adaptor and glasses set as well, believed to be around the 200 euro mark for a pack.

Interestingly, it's not just 3D watching that will require additional hardware. None of the Philips sets will support Freeview HD unless you buy a further piece of kit to strap into one of the four HDMI ports. This might come as a surprise to those looking forward to the World Cup 2010 in HD in the UK.

The reasons given by Philips were from two very different standpoints. On the one hand, the company does not seem to think that having Freeview HD will make enough of a difference to consumer choice.

"We've seen it already with the similar HD service in France for the Olympics and it will be the same here", was the response from a company spokesman.

He may be right but a Frenchman's love of the Olympics is hardly on the same scale as the Brit's passion for football - or most of the world's feelings for the beautiful game for that matter.

At the same time, Philips also casts some doubt over the quality of the built-in Freeview HD hardware which its competitors were rushing to install in time for June. LG, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and others would probably beg to differ.

It seems too that the UK will have to miss out - at least, for the time being - for the full use of services on the Philips Net TV platform. We were told of "on-going negotiations with UK broadcasters" for on-demand services with a particular interest in BBC iPlayer. The smart money would go on an announcement some time much later in 2010.

On the positive side, the all-LED range for 2010 looked strong. Those without white painted rooms can now appreciate Ambilight with a wall-adaptive setting. Users will be able to effectively white balance the lights by selecting from a palate of environmental colours that correspond to your living space's particular shade of Verdant Green or whatever can of Dulux you chose.

The 2-in-1 stand is also a nice touch which means the included bracket will work as a swivel wall-mounted unit as well as a straight TV stand.

The LED systems themselves look good with the edge-lighting on the 7000 and 8000 series supposed to be on a par with standard backlighting options, while the 9000 uses local LED dimming at the rear of the panels for the highest possible contrast, resulting in impressive black levels.

The famed 400Hz technology in the top range of sets is created by native 200Hz refreshing plus the action of scanning light to double the effective count. Between that and the Pixel Perfect HD engine, the 9000 series appears to handle the bulk of quick motion video very well too.

Prices and, of course, full reviews when they become available.

 



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