Philips’ ambilight plus is looking unmissable

2 min read

Mike Lowe discusses the OLED 959’s monolithic design, Ambilight Plus’ debut, and mega Bowers & Wilkins soundsystem

Gone are the days of all major TV brands launching their latest sets at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January. Instead there’s a staggered launch cycle to see what the future of TV is all about and Philips held back a few weeks before revealing its 2024 range.

The Philips OLED 909 and OLED 959 models both use the brightest consumer OLED panel out. That panel is supplied by LG, as the Korean maker is the key producer of such things, but Philips adds its own processing to give its images distinction when it comes to picture quality.

But it’s not actually the panel or the brightness or the processing that’s most caught my attention about Philips’ forthcoming OLED TVs. It’s Philips Ambilight – the rear-positioned LED lighting technology that expands an on-screen image beyond the panel and onto surrounding surfaces – that sees a real step-up in the 2024 range for a couple of reasons.

At a showcase in Europe last month, I was able to get a teaser preview of the forthcoming OLED 909, which is expected to launch this summer. It brings four-sided Ambilight back to the fore – which is perfect for wall-mounting because it offers all-encompassing lighting surround.

While that form of Ambilight is great to see, Philips isn’t stopping there: its flagship of flagships, the OLED 959 model – which is due to arrive much later in the year – is the very first model to feature Philips’ all-new Ambilight Plus.

Philips commented that the final product and level of control would likely differ

As its name suggests, Ambilight Plus takes things up a notch. It’s much more intelligent thanks to being ‘higher resolution’ and it ‘can project up to four different halos at different depths’ for a new, more dynamic Ambilight effect. It needs to be seen to be really appreciated though – any images you see might show off the pronounced halo effect, but in-person viewing

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