Innovations in 2021 Philips Line-Up: Ambilight & HDMI 2.1

At their own press conference shortly after CES 2021, the Dutch-Chinese TV manufacturer Philips presented their upcoming lineup for the year 2021. In addition to an improved chipset and the ever-popular Ambilight feature, HDMI 2.1 is now also supposed to be on board for most models. In the following article, you can find out which TVs these are and what else we can expect from the new TVs!

OLEDs with 4-sided Ambilight and HDMI 2.1 including all features

Philips OLED 806 © Philips

Unlike last year, there are many more manufacturers besides LG that are integrating the HDMI 2.1 interface into OLED and LED-LCD TVs this year.

In addition to LG, Sony and Panasonic, Philips is now also part of the game and uses the new standard for its lineup. This means that it will now be possible to use Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X with the excellent OLED picture quality and also enjoy Philips Ambilight.

Why Ambilight is so great? It immerses the room in the colors of the game or movie, creating an enveloping atmosphere for both gaming and home theater, which is difficult to achieve with other manufacturers. In addition, both OLED variants, i.e. the OLED 806 and 856 have 4-sided Ambilight installed, so that all four sides of the TV provide even illumination.

The 5th generation P5 AI chipset supports all important HDMI 2.1 features. Philips has also listed these specifically so that everyone can be on the safe side (Translation from the German press release):

“HDMI 2.1 capabilities on the new OLED 806/856 include e-ARC, VRR for 4K from 40 Hz to 120 Hz with a remarkably high bandwidth of 48 Gbps (4:4:4, 12-bit), FreeSync Premium Pro and Auto Game mode. Auto Low Latency mode, which was already used in the 2020 models, is also still part of the performance package.”

In addition, the P5 AI processor still brings all anti-burn-in features that were only available in the OLED+ 935 last year. Among other things, this means automatic logo detection with dimming in addition to the usual measures.

Unfortunately, Dolby Vision IQ will not be available. However, the TV supports Dolby Vision Bright Mode and has an integrated intelligent light sensor, which at least allows HDR10+ Adaptive to be used and both HDR and SDR material to be adjusted to the ambient brightness.

In addition, the new chipset also enables automatic movie detection and optimization, and thanks to the Calman Ready function, the TV can also be calibrated automatically – if you have the necessary hardware.

Philips has not slept in the sound formats either. The 806 and 856 both support Dolby Atmos as well as DTS.

Android 10 is used as the operating system, which also works with Amazon Alexa besides the integrated Google Assistant.

Now to the question of what the difference between the two models should be. The only apparent difference at the moment is the centered stand of the 856.

Less expensive OLED 706 / 705

Philips OLED 706 © Philips

Basically, the OLED 706 and OLED 806 are very similar. The 706 also comes with a 120Hz OLED panel and a fifth-generation P5 AI chipset.

This chipset allows it to use the same image enhancement algorithms and anti-burn-in techniques as the 806.

In addition, the 706 has also been equipped with an HDMI 2.1 cut clip, so it can take advantage of all the gaming features you need, according to Philips.

So a Variable Refresh Rate via FreeSync Premium Pro, [email protected], an Auto Low Latency Mode, and an HDMI eARC are all included, so you don’t have to miss anything for a great gaming experience.

But now the question arises what is actually different in the cheaper OLED than in the 806.

In contrast to the 806, the 706 only has 3-sided instead of 4-sided Ambilight and a not quite as high-quality remote control.

Thr remote does not have a backlight and microphone, which means that Google Assistant is not integrated. However, it can be used by a third-party device, just like Amazon Alexa.

The supported sound and picture formats are also identical. The 706 does not have Dolby Vision either, but at least the intelligent light sensor HDR10+ Adaptive does – but you can activate the Dolby Vision Bright mode in bright environments.

However, the 706 won’t be Philips’ affordable OLED in 2021. Since the OLED 705 didn’t make it into stores in 2020, it’s coming this year in addition to the 2021 lineup.

However, some compromises have to be made with this one. It comes with a weaker processor, HDMI 2.0, and Android 9 as the operating system – but it will probably be quite a bit cheaper than its “successor”.

MiniLED TV with the same features

Philips also unveiled two mini LED TVs in their press event, which will expand the 2021 lineup.

This is the premium LED-LCD segment, so to speak, which is located above the conventional LED-LCD TVs and has therefore also been equipped with a few more features.

Namely, these are the 4K models 9636 and 9506, both of which also use the fifth-generation P5 Ai processor and therefore also have access to all the features of the OLED series – including HDMI 2.1.

MiniLED 9636 with integrated soundbar

Philips miniLED 9636 © Philips

The 9636 is equipped with a sound system developed by Bowers & Wilkins and comes with a soundbar located on the stand.

It is mentioned that the TV uses a VA panel, which has a refresh rate of 120Hz, making it excellent for gaming with HDMI 2.1.

Furthermore, a local dimming feature is integrated, through which the advantages of the mini LEDs really come to bear. According to an English press release, the TV should have over 1000 dimming zones and should have a peak brightness of up to 2000 Nits, which is quite an announcement!

The stated color space coverage of 95% of the DCI-P3 color space is also impressive, even though this is also a manufacturer’s claim that has to be verified first.

Last but not least, Philips mentions a “wide viewing angle“. It remains to be seen whether this is an additional layer like Samsung’s Ultra Viewing Angle Layer or if it is just a marketing term.

MiniLED 9506

Philips miniLED 9506 © Philips

The MiniLED 9506 is, so to speak, a somewhat slimmed-down version of the 9636 without Bowers & Wilkens sound system.

Philips has not yet announced too much about this model, but it is supposed to have a peak brightness of “only” 1500 Nits and local dimming was not explicitly mentioned in the press release. Therefore, we cannot really say if and which local dimming feature will be used.

But this model also uses the fifth-generation P5 AI processor and thus has HDMI 2.1, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and DTS on board – all features that the OLEDs have integrated as well.

Of course, both 9506 and 9636 also have 4-sided Ambilight installed.

Premium DLED & Performance DLED Serie

Premium DLED 9206

Philips DLED PUS9206 © Philips

The Premium DLED 9206 is in the lower price range of conventional LED-LCD TVs, i.e. without mini LEDs. It has a 100 or 120 Hz VA panel and a direct LED backlight – therefore DLED.

Since it will not use mini LEDs, it is very likely to be more affordable than the ML9636 and ML9506 models, but can still come with great gaming features. The slightly weaker chipset also supports HDMI 2.1 with VRR at [email protected], eARC, FreeSync Premium and an Auto Low Latency Mode. Basically, the HDMI 2.1 specs read quite similar, but the data transfer rate is not mentioned for this chipset.

Still, gaming on this TV should be huge fun and the differences in HDMI 2.1 specs will probably not be noticeable.

One advantage over the other LED LCD models is that the 9206 will also be available in 55 inches – and 4-sided Ambilight is also included!

Performance DLED 8506 ” The One”

Philips DLED PUS8506 The One © Philips

Since the “The One” series has been wildly successful in recent years, it’s hardly surprising that it will be relaunched again in 2021.

However, there probably won’t be too many changes to “The One” 8506 this year. It will once again be sold in 43, 50, 58, 65, 70 and 75 inch sizes and Philips doesn’t provide any information on the panel type of the series, which could indicate that an IPS or VA panel will be integrated depending on the size of the TV.

One thing that is really new is that Philips is talking about the HDMI 2.1 features that will be added beside the already integrated ALLM feature of the 2020 model. Namely, these are the Variable Refresh Rate and an HDMI eARC.

However, there is no further information about the Variable Refresh Rate yet and since Philips does not mention the refresh rate, it will most likely be a 60Hz panel where VRR does not yet bring the huge added value.

In addition, the Dutch-Chinese manufacturer has presented a soundbar that was developed exactly for the 8506 and fits on the stand, so that you can have “the one” soundbar to “the one” TV, which harmonizes in design perfectly.

If you get the soundbar, which is placed directly under the TV, you will hardly notice that “The One” only has a 3-sided Ambilight, which could also create a great atmosphere in the previous versions of the TV!

Overview 2021 Philips Lineup

ModelSizesDisplayResolutionRefresh RateFeatures
OLED85655" & 65"OLED4K120Hz4-sided Ambilight
P5 AI Perfect Picture Engine
OLED80648", 55", 65'' & 77"OLED4K120Hz4-sided Ambilight
P5 AI Perfect Picture Engine
OLED70655" & 65"OLED4K120Hz3-sided Ambilight
P5 AI Perfect Picture Engine
Standard remote control
ML963965" & 75"Mini LED4K120HzMini LED
4-sided Ambilight
P5 AI Perfect Picture Engine
ML950665" & 75"Mini LED4K120HzMini LED
4-sided Ambilight
P5 AI Perfect Picture Engine
PUS920655" & 65"LCD4K120Hz4-sided Ambilight
P5 Perfect Picture Engine
Hight- adjustable stand
PUS850643", 50", 58", 65" & 70"LCD4K60Hz3-sided Ambilight
P5 Perfect Picture Engine

This post is also available in: Deutsch


* Approximate price incl. VAT, plus shipping costs. Please note that prices shown here may have changed in the meantime. All data without guarantee.
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