The single most defining feature of video is motion. In fact, the whole idea of stitching lots of still frames together to make video is to create pictures that move.
Unfortunately for AV fans though, as well as being fundamental to the very definition of video, motion is also the single hardest thing for televisions to get right.
Well, most TVs anyway. Those with Philips' P5 Picture Engine, such as the Philips 9002 OLED TV, are designed to present smooth, accurate motion, maintaining sharpness in the process.
Why great motion is difficult for TVs to achieve
It's quite a magic act to do so. First, TVs are very different technologically to the sort of film projectors used in cinemas. So what might work at, say, 24 frames a second in a cinema doesn't look right at all when put through some TV screens, causing either distracting amounts of judder or sharpness-destroying blur.
TVs tend to be happier with the higher frame rates generally used by broadcasters, as that content will be the most commonly viewed. They are designed to natively deliver 50 or 60Hz images, complying with frame rates adopted by the vast majority of today's channels. On some premium TVs, you get a straight 100/120Hz doubling of 50/60Hz, which is equally compatible.
But even at the more "native" frame rates, various issues associated with all TV technologies can still cause significant motion problems, causing blurring or smearing behind moving objects.
Again, this is where the P5 Picture Engine comes into its own.
What is the Philips' P5 Picture Engine
The P5 Engine is by far Philips' most powerful video processing system to date, providing almost 50 per cent more horsepower than any previous Philips system in its bid to improve the 'five pillars' of killer picture quality: colour, contrast, sharpness, correct source detection and, of course, motion.
For the first time, the P5 engine manages to integrate all of Philips' picture processing onto a single chip. This enables it to apply its workings more efficiently and more effectively, since every processing step can now be applied to the image in the correct order.
In the P5's case, this means motion can now be managed at the very end of the picture processing chain, after everything else has done its work. This immediately gives the P5 system an advantage over many other motion processing systems, since it means it's able to apply its motion improvement calculations to already improved images.
As you would expect, the P5 engine's 'Perfect Natural Motion' element is focused squarely on tackling the twin enemies of image clarity and sharpness: judder and blur.
These problems have become particularly obvious and problematic in the 4K age, where anything that reduces the high levels of sharpness in a 4K picture stands out like a sore thumb. Ironically though, at the same time as making motion problems look more obvious, the sheer number of pixels contained in 4K pictures also make it vastly harder for TVs to deal with motion issues properly.
How the P5 Engine tackles motion
Thankfully, the P5 engine is so powerful it can continually and more or less instantaneously crunch through an astonishing four billion pixels at a time. Because of this it's able to use the real pixel information contained in images it receives to more accurately calculate what extra frames of picture would look like - a video technique known as frame interpolation.
Given the number of pixels involved in a 4K image, the amount of power you can throw at the real time calculations is critical. And nothing throws as much power at the issue as Philips' P5 TVs.
In fact, it's powerful enough to turn 24/25 frames a second sources not just into 50 frames a second video, but 100 fps, for crystal clear, judder-free motion playback. It can also calculate the addition of millions of extra pixels to turn a mere HD source into 4K at the same time, even if the source doesn't boast a native 4K resolution.
The reason to choose Philips
Of course, Philips isn't the only TV brand to try to tackle TV motion problems by calculating extra image frames. However, the P5's raw power together with Philips' exceptionally long experience with TV motion handling means that as well as making the extra calculated image frames look like a more natural 'mid point' to the real frames either side of them, motion appears clearer without being accompanied by the sort of unwanted processing side effects you get with rival systems.
Fast moving parts of the image don't flicker in and out, and the P5's cutting edge motion compensation algorithms mean you don't see shimmering halos around objects as they pass across the screen.
In short, Philips' 4K P5 TVs really do let you experience moving pictures with a clarity the like of which we've never seen before.