What is the Philips OLED754?
The Philips OLED754 is the entry point to the OLED TVs from the company, but it is still a fully-featured TV set with all the currently available HDR formats supported. It is available in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes and features the Saphi smart TV system instead of Android found on the higher models in the range, and is powered by a quadcore processor.
The 754 features the latest P5 Perfect Picture Engine, a powerful upscaler and video processor which can add features such as Perfect Natural Motion frame interpolation and other noise reduction and colour enhancing features. There is also Perfect Natural Reality processing that claims to turn SDR content into HDR-like images. Thankfully, for purists, there are also more accurate picture modes, although the 754 drops the ISFccc day and night modes as well as the colour management system (CMS) found on the higher models.
Just like the other OLED TV models from Philips this year, the OLED754 features both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision dynamic metadata HDR systems, as well as HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). This allows the 754 to display all the currently used HDR standards on TV, streaming and disc formats. It also supports Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) playback up to a claimed 99% of DCI-P3. The OLED754 also sports three-sided Ambilight that allows users to select a number of different programs for the lighting behind the TV. Obviously, as image purists, we support bias lighting behind a TV picture as it helps prevent eye fatigue. But this has to be a static light, preferably at D65 white point and not overly bright. The 754 does lack the ISF setting found on other OLED models from Philips, but you can still use a static light which is close enough to use as a bias light. All the other settings involve the lights following the action onscreen or the music or audio, so you could turn your living room into a 1970’s disco. And while the lights following the movie action are cool for a few minutes, it soon becomes distracting and tiring. So for us, the main positives are the static bias light mode with Ambilight.
Finally, as this is OLED TV, we should point out that if you view static images such as fixed logos or gaming HUDs in bright HDR picture modes or vivid mode with SDR content, you could introduce image retention or burn-in. If you use an OLED TV in the best out of the box settings as seen in this review and with a good mixture of varied content, as well as following the manufacturers' guides to using the various mitigation features such as standby wash routines, then image retention or burn-in should never be an issue for you. There is an information screen displayed the first time you set up the Philips explaining the correct steps to take to prevent any issues.
So on paper, the Philips OLED754 offers excellent features for the price point (£989 April 2020), but has dropping features and some accurate picture modes impacted on the overall performance? Let’s find out.
Philips OLED754 Video Review
Design, Connections and Control
The OLED754 is what you would expect design-wise from Philips and looks very much like the OLED804 model in that respect. It is a simple rectangular design with two small chrome 90-degree bars for a stand that lifts the screen a few millimetres above the mounting surface. It’s elegant and minimalist with a stylish feel and uses high-quality metals and plastics, giving it a sturdy and well-built feel.
There is no soundbar with the OLED754 but it does sport downward-firing stereo speakers with a subwoofer and two passive drivers positioned on the rear of the panel, with 40W total power for the sound system. While it doesn’t reach the same levels as the Bowers and Wilkins sound from the OLED+ models, it is perfectly functional for normal living room use.
It’s elegant and minimalist with a stylish feel
Around the back of the 754 are the three strips of LEDs for the three-sided Ambilight system and the connections are to the right when looking from the rear. They are split between sideways and downwards facing locations with a CI slot, USB 3.0 and 2.0 slots along with HDMI 3 and 4 and a headphone jack which are sideways facing. Downwards, we have HDMI 1 and 2 with ARC on HDMI 1, TV and Satellite antennas, breakouts for legacy audio and video connections with digital audio out and Ethernet sockets.
The remote control supplied with the OLED754 is a similar Philips design from previous models, although there is no QWERTY keyboard on the rear of this one. It’s a standard-sized plastic affair with the main directional and menu keys to the top and direct Netflix and Rakuten TV buttons next to the channel and volume rockers. Overall, it fits neatly in the hand and is intuitive to use.
Out of the box
As we always do within our reviews, we measured the out of the box picture presets to find those that get as close as possible to the industry standards. The idea is that a TV must get close to these standards in at least one of its picture modes so end users can see content as it was mastered and intended to be seen.
Overall, for an out of the box preset the greyscale results are very accurate.
There are no ISF picture modes on the OLED754 so the closest preset to match the industry standards is the Movie preset. We also set Colour Temperature to Warm and set the gamma slider to match 2.4 for dark room viewing. We switched off all the other picture processing modes which detract from presenting the image as intended.
Looking at the greyscale we can see that blue is constant with a slight rise in green as the scale gets brighter and red dips slightly. However, our DeltaE errors are under the visible threshold of three and we have no visible errors seen on screen with film and TV content. Gamma is also tracking close to 2.4 with slight dips here and there. Overall, for an out of the box preset the greyscale results are very accurate.
Moving to the Rec.709 HD colour gamut we are not as lucky and we have some major errors with the gamut being too wide. The issue we have is that the saturation tracking is actually following the wide colour gamut points and not those for Rec.709 HD content. There is no CMS on the OLED754 and this could point to why the tracking is so wide of the actually targets. As it is with on-screen film and TV content there are errors visible with colour, especially skin tones which can look a little too rosy and tanned in some content. If you are looking for accuracy to the Rec.709 gamut then the Philips misses this by some margin which is a shame.
This did have an effect on the colour performance with normal SDR HD material looking too ‘hot’ with colours
There are no ISF modes on the OLED754 and as such, we lose some of the ISFccc controls, namely the Colour Management System (CMS). This means that we will not be able to correct the Rec.709 colour gamut, but we still have two-point grayscale controls.
Looking at the greyscale we were able to flatten off the tracking perfectly and get DeltaE errors down to one and below which is well below the visible threshold of three. Gamma was also there or thereabouts at 2.4 with just a few dips in the tracking. So overall, very accurate indeed.
Sadly, as we have no CMS system on the Philips OLED754 we were unable to correct the wide tracking which was well over the Rec.709 standard and towards P3 wide colour. This did have an effect on the colour performance with normal SDR HD material looking too ‘hot’ with colours. We guess Philips had to cut corners and decided to go with wide colour over accuracy here.
The Philips OLED754 measured 610 nits at 1, 2 and 5% window sizes and 605 nits at the industry-standard 10% window size. It then dropped off sharply as more of the screen brightens up with an aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) circuit dropping brightness down to 97 nits on a full 100% white screen. This ABL drop is seen within some HDR content where there is a sudden change to an image with a large amount of brightness over a large section of the screen. Oddly, it also does the same with some SDR content.
Looking at the PQ EOTF results and the Philips OLED754 defaults to the HDR Perfect Minimum for HDR playback and this has a roll-off that is designed to display as much specular highlight detail as possible before it clips using dynamic tone mapping. As you can see it follows the ST.2084 standard before rolling off smoothly, trying to retain as much specular detail as possible given the capabilities of this TV.
While the colour gamut results for Rec.709 were disappointing, as they were too wide for that standard, it is clear to see that Philips was going for Wide Colour Gamut results here, as the tracking towards DCI-P3 within Rec.2020 is decent on the budget 754. It is not quite perfect with magenta hue errors and some undersaturation at other points, but, overall, it is a good attempt to cover as much of the wide gamut given the inherent colour volume deficiencies of OLED.
We measured BT2020 at 71% XY and 76% UV with P3 coming in at 96% XY and 98% UV.
Despite being a budget model, the OLED754 was able to put together an excellent performance that very few displays in the same price point would be able to match. It has all of the superb attributes of an OLED TV with deep blacks, superb shadow details and strong contrast. HDR does look incredibly dynamic and colourful on the 754.
Panel uniformity was good with no obvious panel banding at 5% stimulus and full white also looks clean with no signs of dirty screen effect at any brightness level. ABL is aggressive in both SDR and HDR image modes and this dip is noticeable when scenes change to large areas of brightness on the screen. The screen will also dim over time to a far less noticeable degree as it happens over a long time of watching the same content. There is also a screen saver which kicks in after 20 minutes when there is static content on the screen.
...the OLED754 was able to put together an excellent performance that very few displays in the same price point would be able to match
Motion performance is good with no obvious induced judder with 24fps material. Correct pulldown is applied when the Motion Style is set to Movie. You can also set this to off to achieve correct motion with most other viewing material. We measured around 350 lines on a moving pattern with no image smoothing applied and around 600 lines with frame interpolation added at full. Care should be taken when using the Motion settings as the higher the setting the more artefacts we observed. You can of course experiment with sports and fast-moving video content, but with film and drama, it is best set to Movie or off.
Thanks to the P5 image processing engine, upscaling is excellent with HD TV channels and HD Blu-ray, with streaming also looking nice and sharp with good line definition and no obvious signs of edge ringing within the content.
SDR content, for the most part, looks good with excellent black levels, good shadow detailing and decent motion. Colours are a little over-saturated with some content and this is noticeable in skin tones with a little too much red. It is also noticeable with sports pitches looking too green.
It is with HDR where the OLED754 excels in terms of picture quality with superb image dynamics and accurate looking colours and skin tones. HDR10 static metadata material looks good with excellent image depth, shadow details and good highlights. Some specular highlights are clipped in the extreme, but for the majority of 1000 and 4000 nit content the tone mapping is very good. Colours are also well saturated with skin tones looking natural.
The OLED754 also accepts HDR10+ content and will display that it is using the format on the screen. The same is true for Dolby Vision, which is best set to the dark preset to see content as intended. Dolby Vision Bright on the 754 adds in a lot of Philips P5 processing, including image smoothing which is against the creator’s intentions. Dolby Vision is the best current format being used on the 754 with superb detail retrieval in the specular highlights which are clipped away in the HDR10 and HDR10+ versions of the same content. Image brightness also remains strong with no overall dulling of the image in Dolby Vision dark mode, which should be viewed in a light-controlled environment.
It is with HDR where the OLED754 excels in terms of picture quality
HDR is the strong point for the Philips 754 OLED TV and it offers excellent value for money for those looking for such a display. Gaming performance is a little lacking on the Philips when compared to its rivals, especially LG. Input lag was measured on a Leo Bodnar tester at 33ms, which will be slow for those used to fast-paced games requiring fast inputs.
- Excellent back levels and shadow details
- Excellent HDR image quality
- HDR10+, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision onboard
- Very good colour for HDR
- Top-quality upscaling and motion from P5 chip
- Very good value for money
- SDR colour accuracy is poor for Rec.709
- Smart TV and OS is slow to operate
- Gaming input lag is slow compared to peers
Philips 754 (55OLED754) 4K OLED TV Review
The Philips OLED754 presents a lot of positives, including the price point, to make it appeal to many users. Those looking for absolute accuracy for SDR content and good gaming capabilities will be better looking elsewhere, but also at a higher price point. However, if image accuracy and fast gaming are not high on your agenda and you want to take advantage of the full-on P5 image processing, then the OLED754 offers superb value for money. There is no better image processing on the market at the moment that betters the P5 engine and you will be able to create bright, vivid and incredibly smooth images that have enhanced sharpness. It’s not for the purists but we know many readers who are happy enough to watch their TVs in the bright standard and vivid modes, and nobody does that better than Philips.
HDR is the strong point with the OLED754 at the price point with good peak brightness performance married to Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata and excellent dynamic tone mapping for HDR10 content. HLG is also supported for the odd broadcast item from the BBC in HDR. With HDR, the colour performance is a big step up in terms of accuracy from SDR and, although the ABL circuit is aggressive, the times this will make itself known are thankfully quite rare, so it shouldn’t impact on normal film and TV viewing in HDR.
The only other item to mention is the Saphi Smart TV system and the quadcore processing driving this. It is not as fast as higher-end TV models with WebOS and Tizen, or even the current Philips Android TVs. That lag in button press to something happening is a fraction longer in use, but everything does eventually work as it is supposed to. Apps are responsive once up and running and we had no technical issues at all with the system in daily use. But, it is noticeably laggy when compared to other current TV models. You have to accept that to hit this price point, items have to be cut back to save costs.
Overall, the Philips OLED754 will suit the larger general market and is a good buy at its current price point. If you’re looking for image accuracy for SDR or fast gaming response you will need to look elsewhere, but for everyone else, the TV certainly makes a compelling case for itself and the price tag will be appealing to some. It’s an OLED designed to hit a price point and offer the best possible performance, with that in mind it certainly succeeds. It comes recommended.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
SDR Picture Quality
HDR Picture Quality
Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease of Use
Value for Money
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