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Philips 8008

23 Jun 2013 | Flatpanels |


Philips 8008 is a European model and the 2013 version of Philips’ 8 series. It is positioned just below the flagship 9 series but still comes with Philips’ latest picture systems, Smart TV features, and Philips’ signature feature; Ambilight.

Philips ultra-slim 8008 looks gorgeous but can it compare with its competitors on performance? We will find out in this review.

We have the 55 inch version called 55PLF8008S. Philips 8008 is available in 46”. Philips’ TV are only available in Europe.

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Size:55" widescreen
Resolution:1920x1080
Response time:-
Contrast ratio:-
Brightness:-
Viewing angles (H/V):178/178
Panel type:LCD-TV with edge LED
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 72.3cm x 125.3cm x 3.3cm (without stand)
Weight19.5 kg
Built-in speakers:
Inputs
VGA
DVI (but possible to convert through HDMI)
Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
S-video
Composite
Component
HDMI (4 inputs, 1 HDMI 1.4)
Outputs
Audio (type) (1 output, headphones)
S/PDIF (optical)
Other

Price and retailer:


Our first impressions

With 8008, Philips follows the market trend. The bezel is extremely slim and there are very few visual distractions. The frame is made from a thin metal alloy. The base is made from a thin, metal bar. The choice of material makes the TV look very minimalistic and elegant.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


Last year, Philips had integrated the speakers in the base but with 8008 they have returned to the standard way of doing things. The speakers sit at the back and are actually a bit deeper than the rest of the TV – but not much. The base also allows us to turn the TV.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


At the bottom of the frame is a small bar with a built-n camera and a Philips logo.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


All inputs are located on the backside of the TV and most of them point either down or to the side. Only the Ethernet plug points out towards the back wall. Not the best solution if buyers want to mount the TV on a wall.

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

We were a bit disappointed when we found the remote control in the box. In the past, Philips has been one of the few TV makers to actually supply quality remotes. Not that there is anything wrong with this one but it is a standard plastic thing that looks and feels a bit too cheap – especially compared to what we have become accustomed to from Philips’ high-end TVs.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


The backside of the remote has a full QWERTY keyboard.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


Philips continues to promote its Smart TV platform as Smart TV Premium. From here you can access global and local apps, such as streaming services, news apps, social media and so on. The design is largely unchanged from last year but a faster processor that should speed up navigation and app loading. Still, most of our criticisms remain. The platform still feels like an extended web page and has very few apps to offer.

Philips has implemented a new Wii-like remote system in the remote control. When waving around the remote in front of the TV a cursor automatically pops up on the TV screen. By moving your hand you can control it. However, it is not very accurate and sometimes looses “sync” when the cursor gets too close to the edges.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


We tried playing around with a few of the other apps including YouTube and Cinetrailer.tv but for us, accessing the internet through an 8 Mbit/s business grade connection, video was choppy and sometimes streams just stopped for a few seconds with no notice about buffering or anything else. It practically feels like very sloppy work and not something that should be implemented in a consumer product.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


Navigation through menus also still feels slow and uneven. As mentioned before Philips’ Smart TV Premium platform feels more like navigating a slow web site than an actual app. In one instance we had to wait 8 seconds from clicking before the TV was finished loading the description of a TV show inside an app. When we wanted to return to the home screen of the app we had to wait for an addition 6 seconds.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


We do not want to spend more time talking about the TV app platform - but luckily there are other useful functions in the Philips 8008. Philips has expanded the USB recording system and streaming system in 8008. After connecting a USB hard drive you can pause, rewind and schedule future recordings. Philips now also offers a Multiroom streaming feature that lets you stream TV channels and recorded shows to a smartphone or tablet via Philips’ MyRemote app, and even another TV in your house (requires a TV with the latest DLNA version, typically 2013 TVs).

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


Philips has also modernized the TV guide.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


If you want to stream content to your mobile device you need the MyRemote app. From inside the MyRemote app you simply select Wi-Fi smart screen and the TV channel you are watching on the TV streams to the smartphone or tablet with a 1-2 seconds delay. You can control audio volume individually on the TV and smartphone, too. It worked without hiccups during our testing and it is a neat feature. However, it is not unique for Philips, as it exists in most high-end TVs today. Also, a big limitation is that you have to watch the same TV channel on both devices because there is only one TV tuner in 8008. We recently saw how Panasonic used a twin tuner in the VT60 and Samsung in the F8000 to greatly improve the cross-device experience. We wish Philips had done the same.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


Inside the MyRemote app there is also a SimplyShare section that allows you to stream photos, video and music from your smartphone or tablet onto the TV screen. It worked pretty seamlessly. Philips has improved the user interface and it is easy to start streaming. All our photos, music and videos streamed to the TV without issues. A nice, handy feature if you want to share some of your personal photos or videos with friends and family on the big living room screen.

Philips 8008 review
Philips 8008 review


Lastly the app allows you to control the TV like a remote. Unfortunately, Philips has just moved the remote buttons onto the touch screen without rethinking the experience. It would have been nice if it was possible to browse through for example the EPG or if we could start specific apps form inside the app but unfortunately this is not possible. It is not possible to turn on the TV from the app, either. Not a very clever implementation and therefore not a real alternative to the physical plastic remote. This should be possible in 2013. Come on, Philips…

8008 also has built-in DLNA and can playback media files form a USB hard drive or USB stick. It still has some limitations on file formats and codecs, as expected.

Ambilight is still a key feature of Philips’ TVs and one that is unique to Philips. It uses LED to illuminate the wall behind the TV. The Dynamic mode analyses pictures on the screen and emits matching light beams behind the TV, but Philips has also implemented an ISF certified profile that emits a white glow (with a warm tint) that has been documented to improve perception of contrast on the TV screen as well as it having a relaxing effect on the viewer’s eyes.

Energy consumption

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


Standby0.0 W0.0 W
SD+HD115 W106 W
3D145 W136 W (THX Day)


We measured power consumption to 106 W after calibration on the 55-inch version of 8008. Before calibration power consumption varies more due to the dynamic increase and decrease in the backlight. So bright, colorful movie scenes will consume more power than a dark, creepy movie scene.

Calibration on Philips 8008

Below you can see an out-of-box measurement in the Standard mode without the light sensor activated.

Philips 8008 review


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 higher than 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 accurate but not perfect colors.
  • A delta value lower than 1 results in almost perfect colors. The target is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.

  • This feels like repetition - probably because it is. All TV makers, without exception, seem to have accepted that TVs have to look horrible out-of-the-box. Oversaturated colors, crazy brightness levels and too high color temperature that makes everything appear too bluish and cool. The out-of-box result is like that on Philips 8008, too. As you can see colors are way off because the gamma curve is not following the 2.2 target. Instead it rises from 1.8 to 2.7, making dark colors too undersaturated and bright colors far too oversaturated.

    The only surprising element of our measurement was that the color temperature clocked in at “only” 7609 Kelvin. In the past, Philips has often used over 10,000 Kelvin color temperature in its standard settings. The correct value, as dictated by the industry standards, is 6500 Kelvin. On the other hand, there is still an absurd level of artificial sharpness added to the TV picture.

    There is no need to talk more about the Standard profile. Just avoid using it. So we quickly switched to the ISF Day profile that Philips started implemented in its high-end TVs last year. You can see the measurement below.

    Philips 8008 review


    Now, would you look at that. The ISF Day profile is great. It is much, much more accurate and pretty much in line with what we found last year. In fact, it is also pretty much in line with what we see from the THX profiles in Panasonic’s plasma TVs that have often received much praise for the accurate colors.

    If you also read our LG LA8600 review you might have noticed that it also offered similar ISF profiles. We found these to be fairly similar during testing and practical viewing, by the way. The only significant difference is that LG’s ISF Expert1 is a bit darker.

    Remaining are only minor issues such as the slightly too low colors temperature and to slightly too high brightness level of 250 cd/m2. But to be fair we should say that the light sensor has been deactivated, and we should also note that the ISF Day profile has been designed for use in during daytime, which means that 250 cd/m2 might not be so far off for a modern living room with huge windows.

    We took a similar measurement of the ISF Night profile and it also gave us very accurate colors and a lower brightness level at around 200 cd/m2, which is better suited for TV watching after sunset but still a bit too high for our liking. It can easily be adjusted so no need for concern here.

    The ISF profiles should be more than satisfying for most users but we wanted to squeeze out the last few drops so we calibrated the 8008.

    Philips 8008 review


    We made minor improvements to the ISF profile and improved color accuracy a bit. As always our calibration is aimed at TV viewing and a dimly lit room. For daytime watching you might prefer a slightly higher brightness level, which can be obtained by increasing “backlight contrast” in the picture menu.

    Below are our calibrated settings.


    Picture profile:ISF Day or ISF Night
    Backlight Contrast39
    Color50
    Sharpness:0
    Noise reduction:Off
    MPEG artifact reduction:Off
    Perfect Natural MotionOff
    Clear LCDOn/off
    Advanced sharpnessOff
    Perfect contrastOff
    Dynamic backlightOff
    Light sensorOn/Off
    Gamma0
    Color temperatureCustom
    Video contrast90
    Brightness50
    Red - WP126
    Green - WP79
    Blue - WP76
    Red - BL0
    Green - BL0
    Blue - BL0


    Note: The light sensor automatically adjusts picture brightness to the surroundings so if you watch TV in during the day and evening you might prefer to have the light sensor activated.

    Picture quality on Philips 8008

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

    Philips 8008 uses a semi-glossy panel like most recent LED models. It does a great job of rejecting ambient light by isolating the light beam from for example a lamp in your living room. Matte panels have often been considered best for daytime viewing but the problem with a matte panel is that light coming from windows or lamps is being dissolved across the panel (and not isolated), thus resulting in a loss of contrast. The semi-glossy panel is not such a bad solution as it also maintains black depth during daytime but it also depends very much on your viewing environment so we suggest you try to gather some experience yourself.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Color gradation on Philips 8008 is fairly good. We were able to distinguish most colors from our gradient patterns. However, Philips continues to have some issues in the dark colors range. It seems to be caused by some picture processing system that cannot be deactivated. We have seen this problem for years now so we hope Philips will address it in the future. Most colors are reproduced very nicely but the issues in the dark part were a bit distracting to our eyes.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Picture quality on SD sources such as many TV channels and DVD is great – at least after you disable most of the picture enhancement systems on the Philips 8008. TV channels are reproduced with clarity and details but the quality is obviously not better than the source and SD channels are not exactly top notch.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    HD pictures appear much richer in detail, which hardly comes as a surprise. There is plenty of potential in Philips’ TV and the accurate reproduction of colors creates pleasant static images as well as fast-motion video. 1080p24 from Blu-rays is handled correctly after calibration, too. Black appears relatively deep but it is evident from HD content that black is not pitch black. Unfortunately, we noticed some cases of light leaking in the corners, mostly visible in the top left corner. This was a quite distracting during movies with black bars on top and bottom. We will examine it in depth shortly.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Philips has been notorious for its heavy use of picture smoothening systems, such as the Perfect Natural Motion system. We are very strong opponents of such systems. We believe that a TV’s job is to produce a movie or TV shows as the producer of the content intended; not add smoothening effects, boost colors and so on. If the producer wanted a smoother picture, he should have filmed his movie that way or push for 48 or 60 fps movies instead of 24 fps. Philips has, for many years, been a proponent of the opposite view: that they want to “improve” a movie. That is a bit offending to the movie producer, we suspect, but anyways; 8008 is filled to the bursting point with these systems. Turn them off if you want the best possible picture. That is what Philips has done with the ISF modes, too.

    Even without these systems motion reproduction is fairly good. We did notice some overdrive trailing that provoked a blue / purple halo around moving object in some instances, mostly noticeable during gaming, but it is not a critical issue. Some blurring occurs but not more than on the typical LCD panel today.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Philips 8008 is a fairly good performer in terms of motion reproduction compared to other TVs in the LED camp. Plasma TVs are still way in front in motion reproduction and therefore better suited for sports watching and gaming, but 8008 is not a bad TV in this regard. We found even fast-paced motion quite enjoyable.

    However, we did notice some input lag that affected the gaming experience. With every dynamic picture system activated input lag skyrocketed to extreme levels but 8008 luckily has a game mode that lowers input lag to around 40-50 ms. That is not great but should be acceptable for casual gamers. More discerning gamers might see it as a problem but they should probably go for a plasma TV anyways.

    Below we have measured black level and contrast.

    Black level0.12 cd/m20.07 cd/m2
    Brightness299 cd/m2129 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio2491:11843:1
    Contrast ratio +/- 50


    After calibration we measured the black level to 0.07 cd/m2, which is a bit below average for a high-end LCD TV. We have seen lower – and higher - numbers from Philips in the past and 8008 is no improvement compared to last year’s model either. Still, the TV manages to reproduce a fairly deep black, even during daytime as the filter is quite effective in reducing in-panel reflections. In a dimly lit room you will probably notice that black is not 100 % black.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Shadow detailing was horrible in the Standard profile but the ISF Day and ISF Night profiles offer a significant improvement. As we have argued before, shadow detailing is a very important element of picture quality. Absolute black is too, but if a TV cannot reproduce the immediate grey scale steps then what is the point? Luckily, shadow detailing becomes fairly good on 8008 after calibration. Philips still has some picture systems that seem to suppress some details in dark areas but it is not as bad as on Philips’ TVs with local dimming (the 9 series).

    Below we have examined Philips 8008 in a completely dark to check for light homogeneity issues, such as clouding and bleeding.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    8008 has some uniformity issues and we had hoped for a better result here. There are some bright sports at especially the corners that were visible at times during movie watching.

    3D picture quality on Philips 8008

    We used the PlayStation 3 and a 3D Blu-ray player to test 3D movies and 3D games. In this test I want to examine 3D depth, 3D picture quality and 3D crosstalk.

    Philips 8008 utilizes the active 3D system with expensive 3D shutter glasses. Philips also sells TVs with the passive 3D technology, such as the new 7008 TV. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages but the active 3D system is disliked by many users due to the expensive 3D glasses that require batteries and tend to flicker heavily during daytime. You can learn more about the two 3D technologies here.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    3D picture quality has improved drastically compared to the first generation of active 3D TVs. 8008 still has some crosstalk issues but while watching a movie, such as Avatar, we would only see them in high-contrast scenes, and when we knew where to look. During gaming the crosstalk issues were a bit more pronounced but still low enough to enjoy the experience for the most part.

    However, LCDs are still not fast enough to offer an optimal 3D picture. We did some side-by-side comparisons with the Panasonic VT60 and it is easy to see how the VT60 has crisper 3D motion and maintain 3D depth better. In for example action sequences the 8008 tended to blur a bit which affected 3D depth perception negatively (as the two 3D images would blur together nullifying 3D depth).

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    The different color profiles are also accessible during 3D use so you can select for example the ISF Day and ISF Night profiles which improves color accuracy drastically. However, we suggest you increase the “Backlight Contrast” setting option to compensate for the loss of brightness caused by the 3D glasses.

    Still, in the end Philips 8008 is still not a TV we would recommend for its 3D picture quality. You can still get significantly better 3D picture quality and a more consistent 3D experience with the active 3D system from plasma TVs and a more pleasant 3D experience that is much easier on the eyes with LED/LCD TVs utilizing the passive 3D system.

    PC and Media Center

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

    Viewing angles

    The viewing angles are fairly wide. We did notice some color washout after 45-50 degrees and contrast and black depth also looks weaker when you move off-center but the issue was less pronounced that we had expected, given that we are looking at a VA panel in 8008.

    We have taken some photos to document the effect below.

    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Philips 8008 review
    Philips 8008 review


    Sound quality

    In last year’s TVs, Philips had moved the speakers into the base. It was a clever idea to utilize some of the volume inside but in 2013 Philips has abandoned the idea and returned to the traditional way. The speakers sit at the back and are a bit deeper than the TV.

    The sound system is by no means fantastic but the small subwoofer and the slightly more capable mid-tone and tweeters deliver a more full sound experience than most TVs manage today. Do not expect it to replace your stereo but for casual TV watching we felt that it was adequate.

    For movies, games and music we recommend separate speakers.

    Conclusion

    Philips’ Smart TV Premium platform is still close to useless in its current form. It works and acts more like a slow website than actual apps that you know from your smartphones and tablets. A few apps are available now but Netflix, for example, will not be available until later this summer. On the other hand, Philips has implemented some other useful features such as streaming of TV channels and content between mobile devices and the TV. The TV also has built-in USB recording features (but only one TV tuner).

    Picture quality on Philips 8008 is great in many ways. As soon as we moved away from the horrible Standard settings, Philips 8008 started to show its potential with rich, accurate colors, relatively high contrast and great reproduction of sports, movies and TV channels. We welcome the ISF color profiles in the TV, too. Gaming performance is probably not acceptable for discerning gamers but for mixed console use it is more than adequate. Our primary concerns with Philips 8008 are that too much bleeding occurred on our sample and that some of the dark colors were not distinguished correctly. 3D picture quality has improved compared to previous Philips’ TVs but Philips 8008 is still not a TV we would recommend for its 3D capabilities.

    All in all, Philips 8008 is a TV with a modern twist. Philips seems eager to keep up in the Smart TV race, but so far its efforts have failed hard. On the other hand, Philips 8008 is an elegant TV with other useful features and picture quality that is more than reasonable.

    Price and retailer:


    Good picture qualitySome bleedingLiving room
    Accurate colors in the ISF profilesSome issues in dark colorsHome cinema
    Streaming optionsSmart TV platform is very bad
    Elegant design / choice of materialsOut-of-box picture quality



    Philips 8008 debate

    For questions and comments please visits this thread in our forums: Philips 8008 debate



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