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  1. #1
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    owners of Philips Cinema 21:9 TVs and Philips BD players, please help

    I'm currently considering buying a TV from the Philips Cinema 21:9 series, and would be grateful to anyone who could help me with precise answers to the following questions:

    1. In the manual, on p. 20, for the model

    Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum Series Smart LED TV with Ambilight Spectra 3 and Multi-view 147 cm (58") Ultra wide Full HD 3D Max 58PFL9956H,

    it reads:

    Picture format

    [...]

    • Unscaled
    Expert mode for HD or PC input. Pixel for pixel display. Blackbars may appear with pictures from a PC.

    (http://download.p4c.philips.com/file...12_dfu_eng.pdf)


    Does this mean, that particular model allows for a native rendering of content fed in 720p over HDMI? (i.e., the resultant image would be windowboxed = much smaller, with black bars on all four sides)

    2. How's the Ambilight for 16:9 or even 4:3 content? Since in those modes, there's a huge gap on the sides between the active picture and the casing edge where the colored Ambilight begins, what sensation does that evoke? Is it distracting, maybe even very annoying, or does it feel as natural as when watching 21:9 content?

    3. Will any unusual aspect ratio work, especially, are SmileBox BDs (How the West Was Won, Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich, ...) supported, i.e. will the image be scaled correctly, without cropping anything? (see postscriptum for how a 2.37:1 screen – the Philips Cinema 21:9 TVs' actual format, despite the misleading "21:9" in the name – would, for example, properly represent a SmileBox image)

    4. Does anybody know whether there's a version larger than 58'' in the works for European markets? (I do know about the Vizio XVT3D710CM 71'' 3D CinemaWide RAZOR LED Smart TV, but because of half-res 3D and for other reasons that one's not an option for me – also, that one's probably a bitch to get in Europe, anyway.) Maybe there was a recent tradeshow announcement or something?

    5. I'm aware there are some BD players by Philips (such as the Philips 7000 Series Blu-ray Disc Player CinemaPerfect HD Smart TV Plus 3D BDP7700/12) that feature some sort of "auto subtitle shift", but does it check out in real-world use with 21:9 (or thereabouts) content, i.e., is the shifting responsive enough? Are the fonts retained / is readability kept intact? And, most importantly, what about BDs that have [parts of the] subtitles placed in both the lower and the upper bar, will those be displayed correctly as well? If so, what do I have to look for (logo, marketing term) to be sure the support for shifting any kind of black-bar subs is there? (It doesn't matter what region the player is sold in.)

    Thanks a great bunch

    PS:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Hi Moufriot,

    Thanks for your questions, here are the answers:

    1. Indeed, this is correct…so dot-on-dot and black bars overall.

    2. Attached some snapshots of Ambilight behavior when video is not stretched to complete display area :
    - As in the case of 16:9 video on a 21:9 TV set
    - As in the case of 4:3 video on a 16:9 TV set

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In these cases, after a transition of around 1 sec, Ambilight is still shining accordingly to edge parts of active video.

    There is strictly speaking no visual difference between Ambilight in both steady-state cases.
    You can also see that Ambilight transition during change of picture format is very smooth, avoiding any flash/light abrupt change that could hurt consumer (keep in mind that during transition, side ambilight are still matching the physical edge of display, i.e black video, resulting in low white Ambilight).

    3. There are several fixed viewmodes available in the TV. Amongst others the ’16:9’ fixed viewmode, which doesn’t take away any video and doesn’t create deformation. Besides there are 8 more fixed viewmodes.
    In the automatic modes, the ‘Auto zoom’ mode will try to linearly zoom up untill one dimension is touching the display borders (so no deformation and no video loss).

    4. Unfortunately, we have stopped making 21:9 Televisions because of the fact that consumers did not understand the 21:9 format; while the people who understand it absolutely love the experience it gives them. It’s a pity, certainly because we were again the first starting such a category. We currently don’t have any knowledge of other 21:9 TV’s on the European market.

    5. Auto subtitle shift automatically adjust the position of the subtitles to the video, irrespectively whether the subtitles are partly or completely in the blackbars, the checking is done dynamicaly and cope with the “real-world” content, so supporting a wide range of aspect ratio’s.
    Subtitle shift does not have any influence on the fonts, so the readability is kept intact. The adjustment of the subtitles will take some time and does not work for JAVA type of BD discs.


    I hope this will help you in making the right decisions.
    One last tip: To be exactly sure that the TV is reacting in correspondence with what you are expecting on a 21:9, I would recommend that you check the TV with your own video clip(s) at a dealer.


    Kind regards,
    JuAn
    Last edited by Philips; 08-06-2012 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Update on questions 3 and 5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philips View Post

    4. Unfortunately, we have stopped making 21:9 Televisions because of the fact that consumers did not understand the 21:9 format; while the people who understand it absolutely love the experience it gives them. It’s a pity, certainly because we were again the first starting such a category. We currently don’t have any knowledge of other 21:9 TV’s on the European market.


    Kind regards,
    JuAn
    This is very sad as 21:9 TV's are fabulous! I personally enjoy the format of my 58PFL9956h/12 every day!

  4. #4
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    Hello JuAn

    Thanks very much for your great reply.

    With regard to 4., I agree with bluevoice, it's too bad you've decided to discontinue these types of TVs. Personally, if anything, I thought they weren't wide enough... (because of immersive gaming, dual-monitor setups, PiP applications and a general trend towards multi-tasking, I'm convinced a company or an association of companies with the right marketing savvy and clout could establish even a 2.78:1 TV, even today; wide films – and extra-wide ones à la Ben-Hur (1959) –, encoded via Folded Space[-like technology], would only be [an important] part of the puzzle)

    Re 5., what about films (like "Pillow Talk") that have subtitles in the TOP black bar? And what about those with subs in BOTH the top and the bottom bar AT THE SAME TIME?

    Also, forgive my ignorance, I don't understand what you mean by "does not work for JAVA type of BD discs". Isn't Java part of the core-specs (one of the reasons Microsoft refused to support the format) and therefore used in every BD?

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