Philips might have sold its TV division recently to TP Vision - retaining just a 30 per cent stake in the brand - but it seems none of that has affected the company's will to be known for stylish and performance-orientated screens.
The DesignLine is, in essence, one of Philips high-end TVs put into a case that will suit those who care about aesthetics. And we have to say, having spent some time with it in the "flesh", we think it's really quite stunning.
The idea is simple: the usual TV gubbins is mounted at the top of a large sheet of glass. The top section, therefore, is the bit you gawp at during EastEnders, and the bottom bit keeps it suspended in the air. And, because it's glass, it really does look as if the stand fades into nothing. It sounds simple, but the minute we looked at it, we knew it worked as a design.
There's a three-sided ambilight too, and it contains the Philips speaker system that we've heard before and enjoyed a great deal. Philips is one of very few companies that handles sound well on its TVs, and that's a good thing indeed. The TV also contains the firm's smart TV functionality, which will be expanding this year.
There are some practical issues though. Reflections are bad, really bad, and we think there severe enough to make this a TV that you can watch only in a very dimly-lit room. Still, that's the same as a lot of TVs and laptops, and we think people will just get used to it.
The screen will come in two sizes in the UK, 46 and 55 inches. The 46-inch model will cost £2,000 with the 55-incher coming in at £2,800. Hardly cheap, but this is aimed at people who want a talking point as much as a TV, and in that, it's a roaring success.
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