Philips pimps your TV

Philips, Europe’s only consumer electronics giant, has used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to announce a range of new screen technologies.

Philips, Europe’s only consumer electronics giant, has used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to announce a range of new screen technologies. These include an update for the Ambilight technology and two retail versions of MiraVision, the plasma TV that’s hidden behind a mirror.

It’s easy to be sceptical about Philips’ Ambilight technology. After all, it’s just a fancy name for a light that sits behind your flat-panel TV and glows in complimentary colours to whatever is on your screen. It’s the audiovisual equivalent of the neon underlights that hang off pimped-up cars, right?

Well, maybe. But that hasn’t stopped Philips wowing the world with its flat-panel range. The Ambilight 32in LCD was named Stuff’s home cinema product of the year and What Hi-Fi?’s Television of the Year.

So what’s the next, award-winning step forward for Ambilight? Simple: instead of two lights – one on either side of the screen – the screens now have up to four, which means the top and bottom of your telly will glow too. We’re slightly embarrassed to report that we think it’s really cool. But then we’re suckers for bright lights.

The new technology is called Ambilight Full Surround, building on our favourite PR catchphrase of all time – “Ambilight is like surround sound for your eyes”. Woah.

Elsewhere on the Philips stand, a sleek new home cinema system was wowing the crowds with its wireless rear speakers, while the 32in and 42in MiraVision reflective displays simply confused people. Still, the MiraVision was made slightly more desirable by the celebrity endorsement of Demi Moore and Joey ‘Pants’ Pantoliano.

06/01/06 update: when we said 'MiraVision, the plasma TV...' we, of course, meant LCD TV. Tom, our writer, has subsequently been punished using the excellent new Marks & Spencer USB Missle Launcher.

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