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(Pocket-lint) - Philips has made an art of sound and vision. The only TV manufacturer to combine Ambilight mood lighting with UHD visuals, its 4K screens occupy a unique position in the TV market. And with the 55OLED803, it’s produced its best UHD display yet. 

This new OLED flatscreen takes picture processing to another level. The 55OLED803 is the first TV to feature a second generation P5 image processor, designed to produce the sharpest, most realistic images ever.

It doesn’t just look jaw-dropping with 4K from UHD Blu-ray, UHD streaming services and next gen TV boxes. Advanced image processing makes regular HD sources look better than ever too - great news if you have a prized collection of Blu-ray discs.

Picture processing re-imagined

The 2nd Gen P5 processor is way more powerful than its predecessor, boasting with improvements in colour, contrast, noise reduction and motion handling - and the star of the show is an astonishing new feature called Perfect Natural Reality, which gives regular SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) programmes an authentic HDR (High Dynamic Range) glow.

The Perfect Natural Reality algorithm is intelligent, able to analyse specific areas of a picture on the fly, then contrast enhance them. As a result, highlights have more dazzle, reflections glint brighter, and detail is more obvious. It really makes the most of OLED panel technology. 

OLED explained

OLED (organic light-emitting diode), for those playing TV tech catch-up, is a transformative new TV display. Unlike LED-lit LCD TVs, the panel is self emissive. This means it doesn’t require a backlight and is able to present a perfect inky black, with immense contrast. Such black level perfection is the ultimate way to watch a letterbox movie - you literally can’t see the bars - and it really enhances colour vibrancy. Small wonder OLED has become a firm favourite with movie enthusiasts.

OLED also provides a great platform for HDR (High Dynamic Range), be it movies on UHD Blu-ray disc, streaming TV from Netflix or Amazon, or next gen games on PS4 and Xbox One. Its lush images are winning over legions of fans.

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Brighter HDR

HDR comes in various flavours. On the 55OLED803, there’s support for the mainstream HDR10 standard (on discs and by streaming services) and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), the broadcast TV standard. The set is also compatible with HDR10+, a more precise version of HDR10 that uses dynamic metadata to implement HDR on a scene-by-scene basis.

The 55OLED803 offers brighter HDR than we’ve seen from previous Philips OLED screens. A change in sub-pixel shape, coupled with a new anti-reflective screen coating, has resulted in a 10 per cent boost to its peak light output, compared to Philips previous 9002 OLED screen. Off axis viewing is also better than LCD TV, so wherever you sit you’ll see a colourful picture.

Of course, not all OLED benefits are picture based. The screen is extremely thin! The set looks absolutely spectacular with its minimalistic design.

Philips has also given the 803 a sound boost, with a significantly improved audio system. Single down firing drivers have evolved into a pair of units, with separate tweeters and midrange drivers. A triple ring woofer on the rear of the set is augmented by two passive radiators, for deeper bass.  

Ambilight immersion

Finally, Ambilight makes viewing even more immersive. A Philips speciality, Ambilight uses tiny LED lights on the rear of the set to cast mood lighting across the wall. Ambilight can be enjoyed in a number of ways: it can follow onscreen action, with colours mimicking the hues onscreen, creating a seemingly bigger picture. It can also be set to give a static colour wash.  Alternatively you can have Ambilight follow music, creating a real party atmosphere.

Ambilight can even be incorporated into, and controlled, as part of a larger Hue smart lighting system.

The 55OLED803 will also be one of the first TVs to run the new Android Oreo TV OS, with Google Assistant Built-in. And of course, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and a host of other streaming services are built in, so you’ll never run out of TV to watch, once the set is connected to the Internet (either via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi).

The future of TV has never looked so bright.