When setting up a brand new television, such as the Philips 9002 OLED TV, you have to be aware of where it will be placed. That's not just so that everyone gets a great view - with OLED's super wide viewing angles, that's less of an issue these days - but you have to consider ambient light, for good and bad reasons.
Bad because, even with the excellent anti-glare technologies of modern flatscreens, light spilling in from windows and ill-placed internal lamps can hamper your viewing experience.
But good because well thought-out lighting around your living room or viewing area can greatly improve the experience. And with a Philips TV with Ambilight, the ambient lighting effects cast around the rear of the television can make a significant difference to your enjoyment.
Here, we'll explain how to avoid bad ambient lighting pitfalls and give you some examples of why Ambilight and other external lighting effects can make your TV viewing that much better.
Room ambience tips
When placing a TV in a room there are some tips you should keep in mind, some obvious, some not so. Don't, for example, hang your TV on wall directly opposite a window. And, if that's not avoidable, buy some black-out blinds or curtains.
Similarly, do not place a standing lamp or lighting sconces opposite the TV. At night, when you want to watch a show you will be glaring light directly onto the screen and, even with an excellent screen diffuser, you will find the reflection distracting.
The best viewing room is something that can be blacked out or dimmed even during daytime, ensuring that the visuals on screen are displayed at their best. Daylight, for example, can make darker areas of a picture indistinguishable and you'll find yourself missing out on details if your room is too bright.
A room's ambience should always be considered when calibrating a TV. The pictures will look different at day and night, so consider two different setups per source; one for day, one for night, The day setup, for example, will have brightness turned up a notch to counter sunlight affecting the visible contrast of a set.
This is less relevant with an OLED TV, such as the Philips 55POS9002, thanks to its excellent, deep black levels and searing brightness, even in daylight conditions, but even then two picture setups are advised for the best experience.
How Ambilight can improve viewing
Even in daytime, casting light around a television that matches the on-screen action significantly draws you into the picture. Ambilight is unique to Philips' TVs and can be found on sets across a myriad of price ranges. Sometimes they sport LED lights along two sides, sometimes three (left, right and top), but they always give you a wider viewing experience you cannot get with any other brand.
The LEDs cast light onto the wall behind and change colour depending on the on-screen action, so rather than distract they turn your room into an extension of a show, sports event or movie. Alternatively, you can set them to a single colour to give your living space a designer, up-market feel while watching TV.
Ambient light, in this sense, heightens the overall effect, while naturally drawing your eyes to the screen itself. And if you use it in a darkened room, it is a completely immersive technology that has to be seen to be believed.
When combined with OLED screen technology, which allows for a super thin bezel like no other TV tech, the overall effect is spectacular. The screen bezel almost disappears, widening the visuals in spectacular form.
Plus, a 4K OLED TV with HDR displays colours with vibrancy and saturation never before seen in a consumer television, so when expanded with complementary lights from around the rear of the set, you get truly eye-popping results.
Add smart lighting to further the effect
A Philips Ambilight TV can also sync with a Philips Hue lighting system, so cleverly placed lamps and other interior lights can enhance the feeling of total immersion further. Imagine the room's bulbs fading to green during a jungle scene, or blue while underwater in an episode of Blue Planet II.
Light can be used to set a scene superbly, with Hue bulbs automatically matching the Ambilight LEDs on the set itself. That way, the whole room takes on different tones and moods depending on what you watch.
Gaming is improved, with on-screen graphics being represented around the entire room. Play Doom, for example, and your room will be turned into the reddish nightmares you'll see on screen. It's enough to make you feel like you really are a part of the action. And with an Ambilight TV controlling the technology, you can even set your Hue lights to a games mode to have them respond more quickly, in order to reflect the speed of play.
When combined, Hue lighting, Ambilight and well-considered placement of a Philips TV can provide incredible experiences you can't get with any other make or model. It really needs to be seen to be believed, but once you do you won't want to go back.