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Philips OLED903 has a built-in B&W soundbar

16 Aug 2018 | Rasmus Larsen |

TP Vision has unveiled the Philips OLED903 range, which is the first Philips TV with an integrated Bowers & Wilkins soundbar. It features 4K, HDR, Ambilight, and Android TV. It is also “compatible with Dolby Atmos”.

First Philips TV with B&W audio

TP Vision, the company behind Philips TVs in Europe, and Bowers & Wilkins recently announced a partnership. The collaboration will ensure that future Philips high-end TVs will be equipped with B&W speakers.

- ”For far too long, as an industry, we have allowed sound quality to be the poor relation when considering TV performance. A challenge that has been further exaggerated by the outstanding quality of our OLED sets,” Martijn Smelt, CMO for TP Vision, said at the time.

The first result of the collaboration will be the OLED903 range that will be available in 55 and 65-inch sizes. It comes equipped with a 2.1-channel B&W soundbar powered by two titanium dome tweeters, two midtone drivers, and two passive woofers.

Furthermore, the company said that OLED903 is “Dolby Atmos compatible” but refrained from adding detail. We assume that the company has more to say on the matter in two weeks’ time at the IFA show in Berlin. In addition, the TV can handle Dolby Digital (AC3), Dolby Digital Plus (EAC3) and AC4 (Dolby’s latest audio codec) as well as DTS-HD.

 Philips OLED903

4K and HDR – but no Dolby Vision

The TVs have 4K resolution and support for three HDR formats (HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG). OLED technology is a self-emitting display technology meaning that it can accurately control luminance on the pixel level from true black to bright white, which makes it ideal for HDR. The company said that peak brightness approaches 1000 nits.

TP Vision has still not warmed up to Dolby Vision. Together with Samsung and Panasonic, Philips TVs offer the competing HDR10+ format that also supports dynamic metadata for scene-by-scene picture optimization. However, there is almost no content available in HDR10+, which is in sharp contrast to Dolby Vision that is building strong momentum.

The brain of the system is an upgraded version of Philips’ P5 video processor, now in a second-generation version. One of the new features is an improved algorithm for SDR-to-HDR upscaling – if that is something you want. The TVs offer four HDMI inputs.

 Philips OLED903

Android TV and Ambilight

A Philips TV is not complete without Ambilight. OLED903 has the 3-sided version that illuminates top, left, and right. You can set up Ambilight to dynamically extend the colors on-screen or to a static tone – bias lighting. Ambilight can also integrate with Philips HUE, Spotify, console games, and more.

The partnership with Google will continue. Philips OLED903 is based on the Android TV platform but is running the aging version 7 (Nougat) that was released in 2016. Philips has promised to bring version 7 (Oreo) to its TVs but has yet to announce details and a timeline. Android 7 was released in 2017. The company said that the TVs will support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in the near future.

OLED903 comes bundled with two remote controls, including this new stick version.

Philips OLED903

There is a new technical platform under the hood. We will have to wait a little longer to examine whether it can improve Android performance. OLED903 has also gained a twin-tuner, just like the more affordable OLED803. Other Philips 2018 TVs feature a single tuner.

Philips OLED903 will be available in 55-inch (55OLED903) and 65-inch (65OLED903) sizes. The TVs will be officially unveiled at the IFA show in two weeks from now and launch in October. Pricing details were not announced.

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