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TP Vision confirms 2015 Philips TV line-up for the UK: Android TV all the way

Tom Morgan
17 Mar 2015
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First half of 2015 shaping up to be a big step for Android TV, with Philips and TP Vision committing to the smart TV OS

TP Vision has officially confirmed its 2015 Philips TV line-up, revealing which models will be coming to the UK and exactly what we can expect in terms of smart TV functionality from the brand renowned for its Ambilight ambient lighting technology. The good news for Google fans is that the entire line-up will be powered by Android TV - Google's operating system adapted from smartphones and tablets for the big screen.

We knew back in January that Philips had planned for the majority of the 2015 range to be powered by Android, but now the company has confirmed which models will be available in Britain it turns out that the entire range (at least the ones with any smart features) will use Android TV. That means they will all support the Google Play Store, Google Cast streaming and a huge catalogue of apps, as soon as developers approve their use on TVs rather than handhelds. 

The standout entry-level model is arguably the 5500, which will be available in 32, 40, 48 and 55in screen sizes from July onwards. The first model in the range with Android TV, it's a world away from the clunky interface we were familiar with on old Philips TVs. It's bright, colourful and easy to navigate, with all the services you would expect from Google. It's still early days in terms of third party app support, as the Play Store looked a little bare during our brief demo session, but it has a huge amount of potential once developers get on board. Gamers will appreciate being able to play smartphone favourites like Asphalt 8 racing, NBA Jam and World of Goo using their TV remote or a dedicated controller, on the big screen at 1080p. Philips has partnered with EA and Gameloft to adapt some of the most popular titles specifically for TVs, meaning there should be a sizable line-up of games at launch.

Philips has tweaked its remote control to better suit Android TV, with larger QWERTY keys on the back, an integrated microphone on the front and a swipe touchpad for quick navigation. We could get around the UI quickly and search for content easily using our voice, but we'll need to spend a little more time with the remote to get our typing up to speed - we made quite a few errors during our demo. It's also rather chunky, especially compared to the slim remotes we've seen from Samsung and LG this year.

Gamers will appreciate being able to play smartphone favourites like Asphalt 8 racing, NBA Jam and World of Goo using their TV remote or a dedicated controller, on the big screen at 1080p. Philips has partnered with EA and Gameloft to adapt some of the most popular titles specifically for TVs, meaning there should be a sizable line-up of games at launch. Philips remains one of the only TV manufacturers with Onlive built-in as well, meaning you'll be able to play console games via the cloud using your internet connection. It will be interesting if gaming-specific features like this will set the Philips TVs apart from Sony's 2015 models, which are also set to use Android TV.

Of course, Smart TV isn't for everyone, so anyone looking for a simple set will be covered by the Full HD 4100 & 4200. Both will be launching from late April/early May in 32, 40 and 48in screen sizes.

Ultra HD resolutions start at a lower price than last year, with the 6400-series and higher all including 4K panels in addition to the image processing features found in the Full HD models. It only has a 50Hz panel, but Natural Motion frame interpolation should help smooth out fast-paced action sequences and panning shots. The 6400 should arrive in July, in a choice of 40, 50 and 55in screen sizes, although you'll miss out on any kind of Ambilight backlighting effects.

The Full HD 6510 and 6520 bring back two- and three-sided Ambilight respectively, and represent the best Philips has to offer in terms of picture quality without jumping up to 4K. A 100Hz panel, Perfect Pixel image engine, Micro Dimming Pro backlight and 800Hz Perfect Motion Rate frame interpolation should set them both apart from other mid-range sets. We'll know when they arrive in July, in a choice of 32, 40, 50 and 55in screen sizes for the 6510 and 65in for the 6520.

We're still waiting for confirmation as to which 7000-series model will be making its way to the UK, as the company was considering several options at the time of writing, but we're hopeful it will be the 7150. It has an integrated soundbar, which we think looks fantastic. Although the soundbar is very slim, it sounded pretty great too, with twin drivers complimenting the speakers built into the set itself with clear, precise audio.

The Ultra HD set has an edge-lit, 50Hz 4K panel with Micro Dimming Pro and 800Hz PMR motion control, a quad-core processor for running Android TV and of course, three-sided Amblight. Although we only had a brief session with the set, and picture quality presets weren't final, it's shaping up to be an exciting mid-range model.

There's currently no indication as to when a 7000-series set will arrive, nor what it will cost.

We're also still waiting to hear about the company's flagship 8000-series and 9000-series TVs, which are expected to be revealed at this year's IFA show in Berlin. If you can't wait until September, aren't interested in a top-end model or have a more limited budget, Philips expects the first half of the range to begin arriving in shops from June onwards. Official prices have yet to be announced, but we'll be sure to take a closer look a little closer to launch.

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