Philips' official unveiling of their new Aurea line pulled out all the stops. From dancing to models to a new, very colorful/melodramatic short by filmmaker Wong Kar Wai—it was big. Here are the specs:
The displays themselves will be 1080p, 100Hz (likely 120Hz when these sets come Stateside), have a 3ms response time, come in 42-inch sizes, and use their Perfect Pixel HD Engine. In addition, there's "four trillion colors" and three HDMI 1.3 inputs. On the audio side, it has 26 speakers embedded inside, in a combination of 24 front mini drivers and 2 subwoofer/mid speaker boxes. As far as contrast and brightness goes, it's a 550cd/m2 display with a true and dynamic contrast ratio of 1200/8000 to one. That's the kind of contrast and brightness LCDs saw a few years ago, but the videophiles do still hold strong to the credo that accuracy of color is more critical than blinding lights. (My hunch says that consumers at BestBuy say differently, opting for the most powerful pictures, generally.) No price yet, but available September in Europe, but only in a 42-inch version.The ambilight frames in Philips TVs used to use CCFLs behind the bezel; this set uses 126 LEDs inside of the bezel, which is semi-translucent, for a supposedly more seamless glow effect. Seems like a trick, but those who know Ambilight do appreciate its ability to reduce eyestrain and make things like ocean and jungle scenes seem to end far beyond the edges of the panel's 1080p pixel count.
Have these LCDs improved in visual quality? Judging from the specs and history, it is unlikely that it can pace a new Samsung or Sharp, but we'll have to wait for reviews. The gallery is definitely worth a click-thru if you are interested in Philips, Goddard films, the Aurea or mammary glands. And more on most of those topics to come.