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How to create the perfect home cinema in five steps

Philips Fidelio home AV system can start small and be built up over time - here's how

It’s the dream of every film fanatic, TV addict and golden-thumbed gamer: a home cinema system that provides the same sort of audiovisual thrills and spills as you get at your local multiplex.

Sharp, punchy widescreen images, directional sound effects that suck you into the middle of the on-screen action and deep, booming bass to serve up that low-end special sauce that makes you feel every punch, explosion and roaring engine. It’s all available with Philips’ flexible and easy-to-install new range of Fidelio home cinema products – and you don’t even have to get the whole kit and caboodle at once. Each of these products has been designed to work brilliantly either alone or as part of a system, with many different viable combinations available.

We’ve set out five steps to building the ideal home cinema setup, one stage at a time. Welcome to Home Cinema Made Easy.

1. Getting started

The centrepiece for all home cinema systems is the screen. So that’s almost certainly where you should start out on your home cinema journey, with the Philips Ambilight OLED807 TV – a beautifully immersive 4K television brimming with appeal and running on the popular Android TV platform.

Available in 48, 55, 65 and 77in screen sizes, this Ultra HD TV uses the latest OLED.EX panel* to offer a 30% higher peak light output than its predecessor (the award-winning OLED806), and now offers the powerful 6th Gen P5 processor with Ambient Intelligence to automatically adjust and optimise the screen’s SDR and HDR performance to your room’s current ambient lighting.

It also offers the widest support for all the major HDR formats and it’s also compatible with IMAX Enhanced content (what could be more cinematic than that?) while gamers can experience smooth, ultra-responsive graphics thanks to HDMI 2.1 and refresh rates of up to 120Hz.

It also carries Philips’ Next Gen version of its signature Ambilight technology, a four-side rear-mounted LED array that glows with the same colours currently on screen. This synced-up festival of light, dancing on the wall behind the screen, draws you right into the TV’s image, increasing your perception of contrast and colour. And it’s more accurate than ever here thanks to a wider palette and new ability for each individual LED to show its own colour.

Audio is handled by an onboard 2.1-channel 70W setup compatible with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital and DTS-HD, and each individual driver can be powered independently for improved timing, clarity and separation. The TV can also be used as a dedicated centre channel in a multi-speaker setup, if you do decide to add extra speakers later on.

2. Widen your sound field

Speaking of adding extra speakers, let’s give our burgeoning system’s front speakers a boost for the second step. It’s as easy as adding a pair of Philips Fidelio FS1 wireless speakers.

These versatile sonic workhorses can be used in a variety of ways (including as a single unit), but let’s keep it simple for now: a pair of them can be placed to the left and right of the TV, creating a wider three-speaker soundstage (the Philips TV acts as the centre speaker). The speakers even have their own LED lighting, stretching your Ambilight display across a wider stage.

The FS1 is a three-way speaker combining a woofer, tweeter and midrange driver for lush, wide-ranging and flexible audio that’s great for both movies and music. All the drivers are contained within a rigid ABS structure to keep their output tight and controlled. Each speaker offers 60W of power, with two passive radiators adding rich bass and depth to its sound.

As with all the Fidelio range, the Philips Sound App automatically detects the presence of all Philips products within a system, allowing for quick, easy wireless connection and sync between your two new speakers and your Philips TV.

3. Raising the bar

Want to take a step up and sprinkle some surround effects into the mix? We suggest moving to the Philips Fidelio FB1 soundbar, which sits beneath the TV and provides an ear-pleasing, room-filling audio boost from a single box. Like all the Fidelio products here, it integrates seamlessly into your existing Fidelio wireless system.

Slim and discrete, the FB1’s minimalist design complements your Ambilight TV, but its compact form is packed with potent audio magic: 15 bespoke drivers and 310W of power deliver a truly outstanding sonic experience.

The 7.1.2-channel speaker array includes two up-firing speakers that enable full Dolby Atmos, with viewers hearing sound effects coming from above up as well as from the front and rear. It’s also IMAX Enhanced certified, meaning it’s capable of delivering the scale of sound to match the epic scope of IMAX images.

4. Ready to rumble

The next step is simple but supplies a dramatic and drastic upgrade to your audio system. Adding the 210W Philips Fidelio FW1 subwoofer (again, a part of the DTS Play-Fi wireless system) will deliver spine-tingling bass to your already-impressive setup, transforming action sequences and music with rich, accurate low-end effects that’ll have you rumbling in your seat.

The FW1’s down-firing 8in bespoke woofer and two side-mounted passive radiators provide excellent low-frequency control, while its rigid, internally braced MDF cabinet prevents unwanted resonance from interfering with your overall audio experience.

The FW1 can be added to either a TV + FB1 soundbar or TV + 2 x FS1 speaker setup to provide that beautiful bass, but the true GOAT system combines everything we’ve mentioned thus far…

5. The full package

Here we go. This is the big enchilada: Ambilight TV, Fidelio soundbar, two rear satellite speakers and – if it takes your fancy – up to two subwoofers. Combine the whole lot and you have a full 7.2.4-channel wireless home cinema system with directional surround sound, Dolby Atmos, gorgeous HDR picture quality, immersive Ambilight and deep, rich bass to tie everything together. It’s stunning stuff that turns even the most normal of weeknight TV sessions into something truly special.

This is the pinnacle of home cinema, but the best part is that with the Philips Home Cinema Made Easy approach, you can approach it slowly, adding more to your system over time. As they say: a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

* The OLED.EX panel is not featured on the 48OLE807 model