Philips unveils new OLED and MiniLED TVs – all with four-sided Ambilight

Philips TV 2021
(Image credit: Philips)

Philips TVs are embracing Mini LED TV technology, joining the likes of LG and Samsung in bringing the backlight tech to its 2021 TV range.

Philips has announced two Mini LED televisions to release this year, the 9636 and 9506, which will be the first sets from the electronics manufacturer to feature Mini LED, and come in both 65-inch and 75-inch sizes.

Mini LED is a backlight technology that makes use of tens of thousands of tiny LEDs for more precise brightness control and impressive contrast compared to tradition LCD-LED TVs. While it doesn't offer the self-emitting pixels of OLED or Micro LED panels, it should help LCD televisions continue to compete in the TV space, for those without the cash or desire for more premium technologies. You'll find Mini LED tech in both LG's new QNED range and the higher-end new Samsung TVs coming out this year.

Both the 9636 and 9506 will make use of Philips' fifth-generation P5 picture processor, too, which is also used in the TV maker's OLED models. The latest P5 chip has been upgraded to include "anti-burn-in" technology, a new "Film detection" category to help calibrate picture settings to the genre of content being watched, and support for the light-sensitive HDR10+ Adaptive mode unveiled by Samsung last year. 

The Mini LED models will be available in mid-2021, with the main difference between them being the 9636's inclusion of a 3.1.2 sound system from audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins.

OLED and Ambilight

That's not all, though: Philips has unveiled two new OLED TVs, the 806 and 856, to build on the success of last year's 805 / 855 models. The 806 will be available in 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch sizes, while the 856 will come in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes only.

Both sets will support HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision – and feature a "razor thin, zero bezel" design that's all the rage on premium TVs these days. They also offer a 50W 2.1 sound system and DTS Play-Fi support, and run the Android 10 smart TV platform. These OLED models will release in the first half of 2021, and pack in support for HDMI 2.1, with the eARC and VRR advantages that entails.

All the Mini LED and OLED TVs cited above will feature four-sided Ambilight too, meaning you can make use of Philips' unique color projection system in its very best form.

You can also expect some more standard mid-spec Ambilight TVs in the form of the 9206 (55-inch, 65-inch) and 8506 (43-75 inch sizes).

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.