TV technology is in such a state of flux right now that it's hard to keep up. There are, though, two things that thankfully never seem to change. First, TV buyers always pick outright picture quality as their most wanted TV feature, and second, Dutch brand Philips can always be relied on to leave no stone unturned in its bid to provide exactly the sort of premium picture quality experience consumers desire. Picture quality is simply part of Philips' TV DNA.
For decades now, Philips has been at the forefront of picture technology, using advanced, industry-leading processing to unlock the maximum potential of every facet of television picture quality. And for 2017, Philips has pushed its picture quality ambitions further than ever before thanks to its new P5 picture engine.
Philips P5 Processing: Making sense of a crazy TV world
The new Philips P5 engine is the most comprehensive solution yet to unlock the full potential of today's stunning new 4K Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR) picture quality features.
It introduces 25 per cent more processing power than any previous Philips picture engine, and somehow its ultra-efficient single-chip design manages to get through the same workload that used to need three separate chips. This ensures more balanced and accurate picture quality results.
As its name suggests, the P5 system works on all five of the most important areas of picture quality: motion, colour, sharpness, contrast and source recognition. Let's look at each of these in turn.
LCD TVs traditionally struggle to handle movement in pictures. Moving objects tend to look blurred or juddery - or both. The P5 engine's Perfect Natural Motion component, though, works out how to add enough extra image frames to the source content to ensure that blur and judder disappear.
Trying to work out in real time how every pixel in new 'interpolated' 4K-resolution image frames should look is clearly going to place a huge burden on any processing system. Which is why the P5's four billion pixels of processing power makes such a difference, delivering even the most dynamic of action scenes with truly outstanding - and consistent - clarity and fluidity.
Only a picture engine as enormously powerful as the Philips P5 – working in conjunction with the latest wide colour gamut panels - can unlock the full impact of the new wide colour spectrum picture technology you now get alongside almost all HDR sources.
Having so much processing power at their disposal allows P5 TVs to combine wide colour performance with 17-bit processing. To give you an idea of what this offers, the P5 sets are capable of an incredible 2,250 trillion colour shades over the 69 billion of an already excellent standard TV.
This will give you pictures that deliver more vibrant, dynamic but also subtle colours perfectly suited to today's new picture quality world.
The Philips P5 processor’s Perfect Sharpness system features a Detail Enhancer to turn the original pixels in any source into better pixels, to produce a sharper, cleaner, more detailed image.
With Full HD sources, the Perfect Sharpness processing first works out the appearance of each one of the millions of extra pixels you need to add to an HD picture to make it 4K, taking into account the differences in the source image between video noise and true image content. Perfect Sharpness then further improves the new Ultra HD image by refining the appearance of details, lines and edges to make the picture look even sharper.
Perfect Sharpness is so powerful and sophisticated that it can even work its magic on native 4K Ultra HD sources, making you feel like Philips has somehow squeezed even more than 3840 x 2160 pixels into its P5 TVs' 4K screens.
For most movie fans looking for the best in TV picture quality, contrast performance has long been a critical picture attribute. Achieving a good black level, in particular, is crucial to a convincing picture performance, yet delivering this from LCD TVs has become increasingly difficult as the arrival of HDR technology has also required TVs to deliver ever more brightness.
Cue the Philips P5 engine's Perfect Contrast system.
A powerful algorithm breaks the picture down into thousands of separate analysis zones, so that the P5 processing can respond more accurately to the precise localised contrast needs of different parts of the image.
With Philips' existing 901F and upcoming 9002 OLED TVs the contrast performance can be even more precise, since every single pixel in its 4K-resolution screen is capable of producing its own light, for unprecedented contrast and light control.
Perfect Source Playback
Getting the best performance possible from any source means understanding how that source was created. The P5 picture engine draws on Philips' peerless TV picture quality experience to ensure that every P5-equipped TV responds in the most effective way possible to whatever source is received - be it a standard dynamic range, HD broadcast, or a 4K Blu-ray or broadcast with HDR.
With this in mind, Philips' P5 TVs recognise the AV world's two biggest HDR formats: the industry standard HDR10 and broadcast-friendly hybrid log gamma (HLG) platforms.
So P5 sounds good - where can I get it?
Philips is set to start rolling out TVs equipped with the P5 processing engine soon. Models to look for are the 7502 LCD TV and the new flagship 9002 OLED TV that looks set to build on the already stunning achievement of Philips' debut OLED TV, the 55POS901F/12.
Check out the Philips 55POS901F OLED TV and other excellent televisions with Ambilight at Philips.co.uk.