Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum (58PFL9955H) review

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

Philips Cinema 21:9 Platinum (58PFL9955H)
With a true widescreen aspect ratio, this TV is one for home cinema enthusiasts

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Philips cinema 21:9 platinum (58pfl9955h)

Reading the features list for the Cinema 21:9 Platinum can be a bit exhausting. Philips has crammed its flagship screen with so many processing tricks and pixel-tweaking algorithms that it's a wonder it doesn't topple over.

First, though, the connections, of which there should be enough for all but the most gadget-obsessed buyers. They include four HDMIs (including one HDMI v1.4 for your 3D Blu-ray player), component, Scart and composite video inputs, PC D-Sub, Ethernet and a couple of USBs. Some of these are side-mounted for easier access. Not bad, then, although the original 21:9 TV carried five HDMI jacks, an extra Scart socket and an S-video input.

The Ethernet port gives you the options of both DLNA home networking, and hookup to Philips' impressive Net TV content portal. There's also built-in Wi-Fi for the cable-phobic.

A three-sided version of Philips' Ambilight system emits pools of coloured light corresponding to whatever is on screen from the left, right and top sides of the bezel to create a more immersive effect and subjectively improve contrast.

This familiar feature is now able to adjust its light output to compensate for the colour of your walls.
Also new to Philips' top-end TVs (including the regular 16:9 9705 series models) are some additional picture processing features to the Pixel Perfect HD engine, including 400HZ Clear LCD, Bright Pro and Super Resolution. Respectively, these claim to lower the TV's response time to just 0.5ms, improve brightness without affecting black levels and sharpen even HD sources.

These join forces with Perfect Natural Motion smoothing technology, Perfect Contrast (which aims to deliver a 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio) and LED Pro backlighting. This last feature describes the 1,000-plus LEDs that sit behind the LCD screen in more than 200 individually controllable sectors, an arrangement that should greatly improve contrast.

Other features worth noting are the TV's MultiView split screen function; music, video and photo playback from USB and surround sound hookup via the HDMI audio return channel.