With TPVision now bossing Philips’ audio operation as well as its TV business, the company is exuding confidence as it heads into the new year.
As usual, we can expect new processors, improved AI, and even more attractive wall-mounted rectangles. And Philips' relationship with speaker buffs Bowers & Wilkins will ensure that said rectangles continue to sound as good as they look.
Away from tellies, Philips has plans to shake up the headphones market with a number of interesting products.
Here are five significant reasons why you should be excited about the company in 2020.
1) TV sound by Bowers & Wilkins, more affordable than ever
Having put a sonic rocket up some of Philips most expensive, highest-performing TVs last year, Bowers & Wilkins brings its audio expertise to more mainstream Philips televisions. For 2020 you can enjoy B&W sound on the 55in and 65in 9435-series LEDs as well as on pricier OLEDs - and also on the 43in 9235-series LED too. That’s the most affordable TV ever to feature B&W’s expert touch.
2) Smart TV gets smarter still
For 2020, Philips’ 805, 855 and 865 ranges of OLED TVs get the company’s brand-new 4th generation P5 picture processing engine. Which means a TV that uses a colossal database of images to establish the sort of content you’re watching, and then adjusts its settings in real time to maximise image quality. Artificial Intelligence? Machine Learning? Or just a TV that thinks it knows better than you do? Difficult to say…
3) Ambilight - a genuine point of difference
Philips’ remarkable Ambilight technology has always given it a unique selling point for its TVs - and, finally, the company seems ready to make an authentically Big Deal out of it. 'Ambilight Changes Everything’ is the strap-line, and Philips is organising a retailer-led ‘30-day free trial’ of any of its Ambilight-equipped TVs. So what are you waiting for?
4) Headphones (for layabouts...)
With Philips’ audio division now under TPVision’s control, the effort to re-establish ‘Fidelio’ as a range of audio products to be reckoned with is under way. The first evidence is Fidelio X3, a hard-wired, open-backed, Kvadrat-clad over-ear pair of headphones with balanced or unbalanced cabling options. An embodiment of Philips’ ‘European Design’ philosophy, at £349 they have their work cut out: they’re pitched right into the heart of the audiophile action.
5) (...and busybodies)
“If only my headphones didn’t heat up while I’m exercising” - here are the £69 Philips SH402 with cooling earpads. “If only I didn’t have to clean my own ear-gunk from my ear-buds” - check out the £199 ST702 true wireless in-ears with a charging case that also uses UV technology to clean the ear-buds. What a time to be alive.