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Philips 6606 review - FlatpanelsHD

Philips 6606 review
Philips 6606 review


By Rasmus Larsen (@flatpanels)
02 Aug 2011




Philips 6606 review

Philips 6000 range is one of the 2011 mid-range TVs from the Dutch manufacturer. It comes with the most essential TV features powered by Philips’ Pixel Plus HD engine. 3D is left out but the NET TV Internet platform has been integrated.

Can Philips 6606 compare with other mid-range TVs such as Panasonic G30 and Sony EX520? And is Philips’ 2011 NET TV platform a complete Smart TV solution? FlatpanelsHD intends to find out in this Philips 6606 review.

Philips 6606 is available in 32, 40, 46 and 55 inches in Europe called 32PFL6606, 40PFL6606, 46PFL6606 and 55PFL6606. The model number ends with “H”,” K” or “T” depending on tuners. In some regions 6626 and 6636 variants also exist.

Subscribe to our Newsletter, RSS feed or twitter to receive notice when new reviews are online. We’ll soon publish our Panasonic DT30, LG LW9800 Nano and LG ST600 reviews as well.



Size: 40" widescreen
Resolution: 1920x1080
Response time: 2 ms
Contrast ratio: 500.000:1 (dynamic)
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Color support: 16,7 million colors
Signal processing: 8 for each color
Viewing angles (H/V): Angle Free
Dot pitch:
Panel type: LCD-TV with Edge LED
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 63.1cm x 94.6cm x 4.0cm (without stand)
Weight 12.3 kg
Built-in speakers:
Input formats: 480p/i, 576p/i, 720p, 1080i & 1080p (50, 60 & 24p)
Inputs
VGA
DVI (but possible to convert through HDMI)
Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
SCART (1 input)
S-video
Composite
Component
HDMI (3 inputs, 1 HDMI 1.4)
Other
Outputs
Audio (type) (1 output, headphones)
SCART
S/PDIF (optical)
Other
Tuners
Analogue
DVB-T
DVB-T (MPEG4)
DVB-C
DVB-C (MPEG4)
DVB-S
DVB-S (MPEG4)
Other

Price and retailer:

40 inches 46 inches


Our first impressions

Philips’ TV has a gray plastic bezel with a brushed aluminum look. The edges are soft and rounded, which makes the design seem less industrial according to Philips.


Philips 6606 review


The stand is made from glass and has manual swivel function.


Philips 6606 review


Inputs are found on the back. Here, most of the inputs are facing to the side or down. Only a few analogue inputs are pointing out towards the wall.


Philips 6606 review



Test tools

Our TV signal is DVB-S (satellite) from Canal Digital and DVB-T (terrestrial). We also have an analogue TV connection. Testing is done with the DVE (digital video essentials) and Peter Finzel test DVD. Testing is also done with DVD, TV, Blu-Ray and Media center/PC.

We use our own monitorTest. The software supports some of the traditional test patterns used to evaluate displays as well as some new and unique test patterns developed by the people here on FlatpanelsHD.

Sony PlayStation 3 is our Blu-Ray player.

All contrast measurements are based on the ANSI methodology.

Functionality

Philips’ new remote control was introduced in 2010 and is now extended to this year’s range. It comes in two different variants; a plastic variant and the other being an aluminium variant that comes bundled with the high-end Philips TVs.


Philips 6606 review


Philips has aimed to include fewer buttons, allowing for a better and more user-friendly experience. The remote is also pretty easy to operate but the down side in my opinion is the new on-screen menu. The user interface is not very logical and even though navigation is faster and smoother than on the 2010 models, I personally still find it too slow. Every time you enter the menu you have to wait for the Home logo to disappear. This may sound like a minor issue but because of the new remote control with fewer buttons you have to rely heavily on the on-screen menu to do your navigation and setup. Say you want to access the NET TV platform; then you need to go through the menu.


Philips 6606 review


We looked at Philips’ NET TV platform last year but since then the platform has evolved in a number of ways. First of all Philips has set up an App Store, called the App Gallery. From here you can download new Apps and Philips has a small (around 15-20 Apps) selection online.


Philips 6606 review


The NET TV platform is shared with Sharp and Loewe and the appearance is also similar. It is built on an open-source web platform, which also means that developers can submit their Apps easily. Unfortunately the platform is not exactly delicate. The look and feel leaves something to be desired but the loading times are actually decent. The YouTube service starts in 4-6 seconds depending on your Internet connection and that is faster than on most TVs. At first YouTube videos would not load in full resolution but after a while our 6606 TV changed that automatically.

Philips 6606 also has a built-in web browser but it is not worth much. It has no Flash support and it generally scales web pages badly.


Philips 6606 review


The most interesting Apps on NET TV are (in the European Store):
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • iConcerts
  • Twitter
  • Picasa
  • Film2Home (not available in all countries)

    Philips has developed an iPhone / Android App called Philips MyRemote. The App also serves as a TV remote for the non-NET TV features such as channel selection, volume control and so on. But it also features a qwerty keyboard for searching YouTube.


    Film2Home App


    Check out this quick video, where we demonstrate the MyRemote App in action along with navigation through the NET TV menus.


    The App works well and is great as a second remote control (it cannot replace the actual remote control because it cannot turn on the TV). The slide show feature is also pretty cool.

    The App is a neat feature when combined with the NET TV platform that often requires you to type in text. But again, the platform lacks the proper “feel” and sometimes you need to press the buttons more than once because the TV has not finished loading.

    The DLNA platform has not changed much from previous generation of Philips TVs and it supports video, music and pictures. The video codec support is somewhat limited. I was able to playback some avi files but not all. MKV wouldn't load. Mpeg played without trouble.
    Lastly, there is a USB play mode enabling you to insert a USB stick or USB hard drive into the TV and playback content from the USB device.

    I am a bit disappointed with Philips’ Smart TV platform and offerings. Philips was actually one of the first TV manufacturers to incorporate Internet features into TVs but being first does not necessarily make you the best, obviously. Also, I actually think that Philips’ former NET TV platform – before they joined forces with Sharp and Loewe – was much more elegant and appealing. The new NET TV platform feels less polished and incomplete.
    I believe that LG and Samsung currently have better and more appealing Smart TV platforms with more content and smoother navigation. And after all that is half of the experience.

    Calibration settings
    In the menus Philips 6606 has these picture setting options: contrast, brightness, color, hue, sharpness, noise reduction, tint, custom tint (RGB), PC mode, and Light sensor.

    You can choose from these picture presets: Standard, Personal, Vivid, Natural, Cinema, Game, Energy, Photo and custom.

    In the advanced Pixel Plus HD menu you can adjust: HD Natural Motion, 100 Hz Clear LCD, Advanced sharpness, dynamic contrast, dynamic backlight, mpeg artefact reduction, colour enhancement and gamma.

    Energy consumption

    Compare power consumption measurements on different TVs and monitors with our interactive power consumption applet here


    Below I have measured energy consumption on the 40-inch Philips 6606.

    Standby 0.1 W 0.1 W
    SD+HD 74 W 44 W


    After calibration I measured power consumption to 44 W, which is quite impressive for a 40 inch TV.

    Calibration on Philips 6606

    Below you can see an out-of-box measurement on Philips 6606 in the Standard picture preset without Eco mode.


    The graph says this:

    The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors; here it’s the difference between the measured color on the panel and the actual color that is our target.

  • A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual color.
  • A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colors.
  • A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colors.
  • A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colors. The target is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.


  • The out-of-box picture settings are quite bad. The colors are very oversaturated and the color temperature was measured to over 12.000 Kelvin, meaning that pictures on the TV are much too cold / bluish.

    Gamma rises from 2.0 to 2.45 meaning that dark colors are too dark and bright colors are too bright.

    We want more accurate colors and we therefore tried the Cinema preset:


    The Cinema preset is better but still far from perfect. Colors are still oversaturated and gamma is now consistently too high, ranging from 2.4 to 2.5, which makes colors appear too dark.

    The color temperature is now closer to our target value of 6500 Kelvin but besides that the Cinema preset is not really close to “Cinema” color characteristics. We also noticed too much artificial sharpening. This is not shown in the graphs but see the picture below.


    Philips 6606 review


    I moved on to do a calibration on Philips 6606. Here’s my result.


    After calibration I managed to get a pretty decent result even though Philips does not provide advanced picture settings in the 6606 range. I got gamma close to our target value of 2.2 and the color temperature is very close to 6500 Kelvin.

    The color deviations are much lower than in the Standard and Cinema presets, resulting in more accurate and natural colors.

    Below are my calibrated settings.

    Picture preset: Personal
    Contrast 53
    Color: 50
    Brightness: 51
    Sharpness: 0
    Noise reduction Off
    Tint Custom
    HD Natural Motion Off
    100 Hz Clear LCD On
    Advanced sharpness Off
    Dynamic Contrast Off
    Dynamic backlight Off
    MPEG artefact reduction Off
    Color enhancement Off
    Gamma 0
    R Gain 119
    G Gain 84
    B Gain 42
    Light sensor On/Off


    I lowered the contrast setting (which is actually a backlight setting) to reduce backlight intensity. I also changed the gamma setting and the brightness setting to improve the gamma curve. Lastly, I changed RGB (6606 only has RGB gain settings) to improve color accuracy. Most dynamic circuits have been deactivated.

    Picture quality on Philips 6606

    In this section I go through picture quality with the calibrated settings.


    The panel used in Philips 6606 is matte and therefore reflections are minimized. Colors tend to get a bit washed out in a very bright room because of the matte panel but you can easily compensate by increasing the contrast (backlight) setting in the picture menu – or activate the light sensor.


    Philips 6606 review


    Color accuracy (that we measured in the calibration section) is one part of the equation but color gradation, which tells us how well a TV distinguishes different colors from each other, is equally important.


    Philips 6606 review


    Color gradation on Philips 6606 is above average and a pleasant surprise for a mid-range TV. We spotted a few problems in the darker end of our color gradient patterns but nothing critical. Color gradation leaves room for improvement – and before calibration color gradation was worse – but I certainly feel convinced.


    Philips 6606 review


    SD picture quality is average. Detailing is on par or slightly below mid-range TVs from Sony and Samsung. But as said earlier; there is a huge difference between the uncalibrated and calibrated result.

    HD picture quality on 6606 looks good but nowhere near as vivid and detailed as on high-end TVs. I also feel that the HD experience is considerably better on for example Panasonic G30.


    Philips 6606 review


    Philips 100 Hz system (HD Natural Motion) is too aggressive in my opinion. It ensures smooth picture movement but it also creates picture artifacts around moving object and it makes movies look like they were recorded with a handheld camera. I personally prefer to turn of the 100 Hz circuit (HD Natural Motion in the Pixel Plus HD menu) but we know that some people prefer this experience. However, if you seek correct picture reproduction you should turn it off.

    Response time on 6606 is above average. The 100 Hz circuit (frame interpolation) reduces blurring on fast motion but it does not greatly affect response time. I saw some purple overdrive trailing (overdrive trailing is a halo-like aura around moving objects), mostly in the darker areas of the picture, which might affect the console gaming experience. On the other hand; we did not experience overdrive trailing in typical SD and HD viewing.


    Philips 6606 review


    Philips 6606 also has a scanning backlight system that reduces blurring on fast motion. This system is called 100 Hz Clear LCD in the settings menu and it works pretty well.

    Input lag varies very much depending on which image systems that are activated. HD Natural Motion is the one system that adds most milliseconds to input lag measurements (more than 150 ms) and I suggest you deactivate HD Natural Motion. Without the many “picture enhancement” systems I measured input lag to around 40-50 ms.


    Philips 6606 review


    Below I have measured black level and contrast.

    Black level 0.06 cd/m2 0.03 cd/m2
    Brightness 306 cd/m2 125 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio 5100:1 4167:1
    Contrast ratio +/- 50


    After calibration measured black level to 0.03 cd/m2, which is very impressive for a mid-range Edge LED based TV. That is actually on par with some high-end plasma-TVs as well as Samsung’s high-end D8000 LED range.

    Before calibration the TV crushed most details in the darker areas of the picture. However, after calibration I managed to improve shadow detailing considerably to a better-than-average result. Once again that underlines the importance of correct picture settings.
    After calibration only the 2 darkest grey tones are impossible to distinguish from black - but that is very common on LCD/LED TVs.

    Below I have examined the Philips 6606 a completely dark room to see if it has clouding, backlight bleeding or floating black issues.


    Philips 6606 review


    Philips 6606 has a few clouding areas, but nothing critical. Clouding is present on most Edge LED based TVs today.

    PC and Media Center

    The TV supports 1:1 pixel mapping. In order to achieve 1:1 pixel mapping you need to select the aspect ratio called “Unscaled" in the picture menu.

    Viewing angles

    The viewing angles are average. Colors tend to get brighter and less intense from angles; partly because colors get washed out, partly because contrast (and therefore black depth) is reduced from wide angles.


    Philips 6606 review



    Philips 6606 review


    Sound quality

    The speakers in 6606 are decent and Philips is one of the few manufacturers that still care about speakers in TVs. The bass is weak but the mid tone reproduction is better than in most Edge LED based TVs, making them adequate for typical and casual TV watching.

    For movies, games and music I recommend separate speakers.

    Conclusion

    Philips 6606 (6606K, 6606H or 6606T) is a mid-range TVs without 3D but with Smart TV features. Philips’ Smart TV platform is called NET TV and is shared with Sharp and Loewe. Unfortunately we remain unconvinced with their efforts. The navigation feels sluggish even though navigation is pretty fast. The current selection of Apps is insufficient and there are too few video on demand services. Film2Home is a decent VOD service but we lack more choice. On the other hand Philips’ MyRemote iPhone / Android App is a nice addition.

    Given its mid-range status we did not expect much from Philips 6606 but in some areas the TV surprised us. 6606 has very deep black levels on par with high-end plasma TVs and Edge LED based TVs such as Samsung’s D8000 LED range. Shadow detailing is fair and so is color gradation and response time. Those factors add up to fairly good SD picture quality and HD picture quality.

    However, we also experienced some problems such as overdrive trailing and too high input lag, which might affect your console gaming experience. The out-of-box settings is my primary concern. The out-of-box settings gave us too oversaturated colors, and too much added sharpness, resulting in unnatural and artificial-looking pictures. Obviously we managed to improve picture quality a lot after calibration (use our suggested settings) but you need to take this into account.

    All in all Philips 6606 is a solid mid-range TV that competes with Sony and Samsung’s mid-range models for the fame. And after calibration we actually managed to get pretty decent results. But if you are looking for Internet and multimedia features, you need to look elsewhere. Philips’ NET TV platform is not ready for prime time.

    Price and retailer:

    40 inches 46 inches


    Decent picture quality for a mid-range TV Out-of-box settings Living room
    Black depth Not clouding-freeBed room
    Color gradation NE TV platform is not very good Children’s room
    Inputs facing down and to the side Input lag and overdrive trailing


    Subscribe to our Newsletter, RSS feed or twitter to receive notice when new reviews are online. We’ll soon publish our Panasonic DT30, LG LW9800 Nano and LG ST600 reviews as well.

    Philips 6606 debate

    For questions and comments please visits this thread in our forums: Philips 6606 debate



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