Philips Cinema 21:9 LCD TV in the UK by June

Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 8:09 by Tech Correspondent

Home cinema viewers have always been irritated by the fact that they could not perfectly recreate a movie hall experience, visually, on their widescreen flat-panel TVs. HDTV sets can take you only so far. A lot of the movies produced now are in the 21:9 format that is suitable for movie theaters. When you watch such a movie on a 16:9 TV set, you get black bars at the top and bottom, wasting screen space. Something all of us have experienced while watching the latest movies from Hollywood.

Philips Cinema 21:9 TV will end all that. It won’t solve the probelm of content which is already in other formats, but for the latest ones, this should take care of the black bars. Dutch consumer electronics manufacturer Philips is all set to launch its Cinema 21:9 LCD in UK by June 2009.

Philips Cinema 21:9 widescreen HDTV photo

Philips Cinema 21:9 widescreen HDTV photo

The 56-inch screen with a three sided Ambilight Spectra (which helps the viewer to adjust ambient light according to his convenience) will support the 16:9 content through smart pixel mapping (we have no idea how they do that). However older content will display the horizontal bars on the Cinema 21:9 TV. Content on recent Blu-ray discs will support the 21:9 aspect ratio. The Philips Cinema 21:9 is a full HDTV system with 2560 x 1080p screen, offering 8.3 million pixels.

The television would not be ideal for watching TV unless the TV transmission is in HDTV; and old-style 4:3 transmissions would be shown only with huge black bars on the left and right.

Philips expect the Cinema 21:9 television to compete with the movie screens in the theatres. Des Power, Philips consumer lifestyle senior VP stated, “‘With our unique Cinema 21:9 we have developed a television which takes you as close to the experience that you enjoy at the cinema as you can get without buying a ticket.” The company aims to provide the consumers with the best viewing experience ever. “We believe that to really become absorbed in watching a film at home consumers are looking for a real cinematic viewing experience, so we have launched the world’s first cinema-proportioned TV screen perfectly complemented by our immersive Ambilight technology.”Des Power further added.

The price tag for the Philips Cinema 21:9 hangs at a handsome €4000 (£3535/$5044) in the UK, but with movie enthusiasts willing to make there movie experience better this should be the first attraction for them. That is surely expensive, but not something which would keep home theater fans away from it.

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