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Philips 6500 series review (55PFT6510/12)

Michael Passingham
10 Oct 2015
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
800
inc VAT

Take the time to perfect its picture settings and the Philips 6500 series will reward you handsomely

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Specifications

Screen size: 55in, Native resolution: 1,920x1,080, Video inputs: 4x HDMI, SCART, Component, Tuner: Freeview HD, Dimensions: 726x1239x279mm 

Ultra HD and OLED technology might be grabbing all the headlines, but for the next few months it's Full HD sets where you'll find the biggest bargains. The Philips 55PFT6510/12 from Philips' 6500 series is one such set, a 55in Full HD, Android-powered TV with a huge arsenal of features, all for just £800.

For this review we tested the 55in model in the 6500 series, but it's also available in 40in (40PFT6510/12) and 50in (50PFT6510/12) screen sizes. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.

Image quality and sound

It's one of the most user-friendly TVs I've come across, with a very simple quick setup guide that gives you a few options to pick from including basic colour saturation, contrast and audio tweaks. However, none of these choices were particularly satisfactory in the long run, pointing me towards the fine image adjustment controls found in the Advanced settings menus.

Beyond contrast and gamma settings, there are also individual colour tweaks, along with noise reduction and smooth motion controls. Out of the box, the TV displays 81% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is far from ideal – it leaves the brightest colours in colourful TV shows and films looking a little washed out. The first step was to activate ISF calibration, and with colour calibrating hardware in hand I set about improving colour accuracy. After switching to the ISF Day pre-set and tweaking colour levels, the sRGB gamut coverage was boosted to a much more impressive 97.5%, which did bright colours a lot of favours without making things looking unnatural.

Of course, most buyers won't have a colour calibrator to hand and will stick with the presets. This is fine, but I'd urge you to spend a little time adjusting settings while watching your favourite TV channel or movie when you first get the TV so you start off on the right foot; 20 minutes' preparation can dramatically improve your experience.

Away from colours, image quality elsewhere is good. Blacks are super dark and, as a result, contrast is sky-high at 4401:1. Even dark, space-based movies such as Gravity are easy to watch. The only real image quality concern is backlight uniformity, which is way off: the extreme right and left edges of the TV are around 15% darker than the centre at maximum brightness. Most of the time it isn't noticeable, but with very bright colours, a dark border is just about visible, which is disappointing.

Motion is handled exceptionally well for 24fps content, on which pans and moving objects can appear jerky. Philips' Natural Motion image interpolation creates its own frames between each video frame, making everything much smoother. The medium setting made everything look silky smooth without appearing unnatural.

With picture enhancements switched on, this is not a TV for anybody who wants to play games. Input lag was measured at a very high 138ms, which makes even fairly casual gaming nearly impossible. Philips does include a game mode, however, which switches off these enhancements and drops lag to a much more palatable 38ms, which will be fine for those playing on games consoles.

The 20W speakers in the TV are clear and fairly loud, although there are a number of preset audio options that will depend where your TV is positioned. You're given three options when you first switch on the TV, but it's never explained what each option is for. It'll be down to luck and personal taste as to whether you select the correct audio setup for your room. Continues on Page 2

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