Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum (58PFL9955H) review

Philips second-generation 21:9 TV adds 3D and LED backlighting

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Philips cinema 21 9 platinum 58pfl9955h

The Cinema 21:9 Platinum's superfluous HD pictures are almost matched by its sonic performance. Even with Freeview broadcasts, the TV presents a clean, crisp sound with a warm inviting midrange, thanks to Philips' insistence on including two dome tweeters and two separate midbass woofers – the chunkier build necessitated by the backlit LED Pro obviously meant there was more real estate for the brand's audio engineers to play with.

Tweakers can dabble with the sound menus, if they're unhappy with their original audio choice from the setup wizard. Six other preset modes are offered, plus bass and treble boosters.

The only criticism is that the TV lacks genuine low-end presence, even with the bass level maximised, and that the Surround option really doesn't add much – it certainly doesn't come close to a genuine 5.1 experience, Even with those caveats, the Cinema 21:9 Platinum still ranks as one the best TVs around for audio.

Value

The Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum is good value, even at £4,000. Quality never comes cheap, and this screen is extraordinarily accomplished. Yes, you can get a 3D screen like Panasonic's P50VT20 for nearly half the price, but you don't get that unique 21:9 display.

Ease of use

Despite the technology lurking in the Cinema 21:9 Platinum, it's surprisingly easy to get to grips with, and shouldn't pose too many problems to technophobes.

For starters, the remote control is brilliantly designed. This curved, brushed aluminium handset sits snugly in the palm of your hand, and is intuitive to use. Philips has decided to limit its controls to the TV only – there are no transport controls for a Blu-ray player, but whoever uses their TV handset for that anyway? – and the result is an uncluttered, well laid out remote that most people will be comfortable with.

Another feature that improves ease of use is the TV's picture and sound setup wizard. Perhaps mindful of criticism that its previous TVs have been complicated to calibrate, this function gives owners a five-step walkthrough that adjusts the picture and sound to their preferences.

Hardcore AV fans will be appalled, as it doesn't explain what it's doing (you select which of two images you prefer, followed by a choice of three sound options) but it should go down well with a lot of buyers.

One area where the Cinema 21:9 Platinum is less than intuitive is its multiple selection of picture ratios. This, of course, is a by-product of its unique form factor, but we believe that the number and naming system could be simplified. Working out whether you want to use Auto Fill, Auto Zoom, Super Zoom, Unscaled or one of the other formats will take some time.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyCinema
3D Type3D Ready
Brand NamePhilips
Screen Size147.3 cm (58")
Aspect Ratio21:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Memory Card ReaderYes
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)29 kg
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 300
Operating Power Consumption147 W
Standby Power Consumption150 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio10,000,000:1
RMS Output Power30 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 1.4
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand735 mm
Width with Stand1459 mm
Depth with Stand260 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
3D TechnologyShutter
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate400 Hz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD)
Height668 mm
Width1459 mm
Depth71 mm
ColourBlack
Brightness500 cd/m²
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1080
FeaturesAmbient Lighting, Favorite Channel Selection, Teletext, Auto-off
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product Model58PFL9955H
Product NameCinema 58PFL9955H LED-LCD TV
Product LineCinema
Manufacturer Part Number58PFL9955H/12
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Marketing Information

Be blown away by movies the way they're meant to be seen on the Philips 58PFL9955 LED TV. The ultra-wide TV with Perfect Pixel HD engine and LED Pro matches the 21:9 movie format perfectly and comes to life with immersive Ambilight and 3D.

Response Time500 µs
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)26 kg