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From edge to edge

india Updated: Mar 16, 2011 16:39 IST
Siddharth Basrur
Siddharth Basrur
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Apart from the width, this 3D LED TV by Philips has quite an ordinary design. It has a thick border with a matte, brushed-metal finish. The Philips logo at the bottom has neat-looking menu buttons that light up when the TV is switched on.

The rear panel of this Philips Cinema 21:9 TV has all the usual suspects for connectivity — four HDMI inputs, including one v1.4 port for 3D Blu-ray players.

The remote looks like an elliptical dish and fits nicely into hand. Nothing is marked though, so it may take you a little longer to figure out which button does what. The Cinema 21:9 has a bunch of features apart from its ‘cinemascope’ 21:9 aspect ratio. It supports 3D Blu-ray playback in addition to the side-by-side and top-and-bottom formats used in broadcast television. It also has an LED-backlit panel with local LED dimming for better black levels. But the icing on the cake is the Ambilight Spectra 3 feature that mirrors colours around the edges of the screen, giving it a halo of light.

Other features include Net TV, which allows you to download apps like YouTube. It also supports the playback of 1080p MKV files via wireless streaming from your computer known as DLNA.

Beautiful visuals
The colours on this TV are beyond incredible. We have never seen better colours on any other TV in the past. Everything, from the shadow details and black levels to the skin tones, was absolutely stellar. As for 3D performance, this is definitely the best we’ve seen so far, triumphing even LG’s Infinia 55LX9500. The perceived depth is believable, and the images are less blurry than those on other 3D TVs.

However, we noticed that the viewing experience is better when you’re sitting further away. We watched 3D content from various distances, and found that 10-12 feet away from the screen yielded the best experience. Coming to gaming, playing Left 4 Dead and Crysis was a treat, but there was a lot of lag in the movements. As for audio performance, the Cinema 21:9 has it covered well thanks to double woofers and twin dome tweeters coupled with a 30W amplifier. The dialogues are crisp and the bass is tight.

Verdict
The Cinema 21:9 is definitely one of the better TVs we’ve had the pleasure of testing. It has great picture reproduction capabilities, good sound and some nifty features. However, there are other things that Philips should’ve paid more attention to — like the 3D glasses, slow menus and the outrageous price of Rs 4,50,000.

Rating ***1/2

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