Philips 50pus8204 black friday deal, initial thoughts VS my 11 year old 37" Sony Bravia

original77

Standard Member
I've been using AV Forums for pre purchasing advise, and didn't want to end up with the often quoted worse picture than my old TV by buying the wrong size or panel type.

I eventually settled on the Philips 50pus8204 @ £500 on sale.
*wanted Ambilight which kept me with Philips,
*didn't want IPS after seeing lots of backlight bleed issues on reviews, and poorer darks, this pushed me to 50" instead of 55". I was tempted by 55pus8240 @ £600, but IPS.
*went 8 series for hopefully better software, colour gamut, sound, processor, smaller cleaner stand, VS 7 series £50 cheaper, VS 6 series £100 cheaper.


Thoughts after a few hours with it last night, and only turning off a couple of the ECO mode picture quality settings. Sound is deep, rich, nice bass, super clear, I wasn't expecting any dramatic improvements here, so thought a soundbar would instantly be on the wishlist, but it sounds incredible VS the old Sony Bravia. So much so i'll happily forgo a soundbar for the forseeable future.

Picture quality, on standard channels its very very sharp, there is some almost like motion blur on fast moving scenes, this is worse the older the program, the lower the quality of the footage, which i'm sure I can improve with the deeper settings menu. The manual talks about game mode etc and smooth motion blur, i've not messed with any of these settings yet, i'm also not sure if its that sharp a picture 1080 > 4k upscale, i'm just not used to it being so crisp and wouldn't have noticed this before on a smaller 720p TV?

Picture quality on HD freeview, which is the only other format i've tried, is absolutely top shelf, breathtaking VS the old Sony Bravia. No image issues whatsoever, so rich, detailed, smooth, and as I look at all the HD channels, I think this is bloody amazing, money well spent.

Ambilight, lots and lots of settings, it can follow video, follow audio, remain static with set colours, i've had it on the follow video relax mode in the below examples and in the flesh its perfect, really draws you in, gives the room a lovely ambiance. I don't tend to watch the TV in a pitch black room, tend to have a light on in the corner, ambilight is going to change that, pitch black viewing with the subtle colours and hues, just great.

Some videos :

HD freeview


SD freeview, phone wouldn't focus too well last night in this one, but shows off the Ambilight well


Overall 9/10, but i'd like to go through some guides to make sure i'm getting the best picture settings for completeness.
 
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Kyro08

Novice Member
Im really quite close to buying this TV. The one thing I cannot find anything at all about is the gaming mode. It's a big deal to me but there's next to no info at all on it.
 

original77

Standard Member
Gaming mode in the menus, or how it performs in games?

I've not got a console so can't test, but I can look at settings if it helps. Currently £450 @ currys now.
 

Kyro08

Novice Member
How it performs really. It would be used for gaming more than anything else so I'd want to know if there's any judder, ghosting, I put lag, if there's any form of motion Flow or if its just a straight 50hz. I'm not amazingly tech zavy with TVs. It's a minefield lol

Hopefully someone else will stumble upon this and have some results with a console
 

Tonye

Active Member
Like @Kyro08 I'm also looking to purchase this model for gaming but haven't come across any input lag details.

How are you finding the UI and tv guide? Does it have freeview play?

Thanks
 

original77

Standard Member
UI is great, very snappy, TV guide best i've used on a telly.

Freeview play not looked for that yet, i've got a cat 6 cable in an amazon locker I need to pick up and have a proper mess around with it. Want to try my plex server and run some proper HQ 4k content.
 

original77

Standard Member
Enjoy Tonye!

Some more footage now its tweaked to THX1234 settings



 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Is it only the 50" that has the VA panel as I can get a good deal on the 65"
They don't disclose the panel info, but if you can see one in a store you might be able to check:

Good thing about having ambilight is you also get bias lighting built in, so even if you do get an IPS panel having the light shining behind the TV raises perception of blacks.
 

Robothamster

Distinguished Member
Is it only the 50" that has the VA panel as I can get a good deal on the 65"
On the 7000 series, the 50" & 58" are VA, the 55" & 65" are IPS I think.

I'd imagine it's the same with 8000 series.

 

Dodgexander

Moderator
On the 7000 series, the 50" & 58" are VA, the 55" & 65" are IPS I think.

I'd imagine it's the same with 8000 series.

Unfortunately much the same as if we were to trawl the internet for reviews or specs that info is just user gathered info and isn't always correct. The 50" and 58" are for sure VA because there are no IPS panels produced at those sizes.

43/49/55/65 sizes is anyone's guess. Normally Philips use IPS type panels, but they sometimes use VA too and don't make it clear which is which...unfortunately.
 

Racy Jace

Active Member
I had this TV delivered yesterday. Considering it's meant to replace a 10yr old Sony 40w5l4500 TV I was a little disappointed with certain things. Im just glad I didn't pay more for it. My main Tv is an LG Oled C8 and previously had a pioneer kuro.

Motion isn't the best.
With all settings turned off Altered Carbon on Netflix has slight soap opera effect which is annoying. My eys may get used to it but it's obvious coming from all my other sets.

Sound isn't good.
The sound isn't as good as my Sony and my LG blows all of them out the water. That may be because the LG is on a wall with a 15" recess behind it. The LG has decent bass but the quality of the sound is like a hifi speaker which surprising. The wife even picked up on the quality of the sound. Philips is very boxy sounding so good for a bedroom but not as a main tv. I'll try adding a Rel sub and see what that's like as I've a few lying around.

Viewing angle.
You need to view the TV head on in the centre of the screen. Any slight movement makes the black go lighter in the corners.

Black's
Good when viewed head on. Only tested briefly late last night. Daytime viewing seems fine. Screen is bright enough even with the sun blaring through the window

Colour.
Absolutely brilliant in ISF modes.

Menu navigation.
Responsive and quick

Android TV.
Too new to say but so far seems fine.

Ambilight
Seems good at first but time will tell if it gets annoying. I think certain content makes it work really well like the Dolby demos.

TV frame.
The frame is a different thickness at the bottom. It would of been nice to have it even all the way round.

Dolby Atmos.
Unless there's a setting I don't know about I guess the TV has stereo speakers so Atmos is only enabled when a receiver or comparable sound bar is attatched?

Ill be testing the TV over the next few days but that's my initial brief thoughts.

In summary. You pay for what you get. Its good as a second tv. Enthusiasts wanting the best need to go OLED
 
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Racy Jace

Active Member
Kodi is only running in 1080p. Theres no option to select 4k. Any ideas?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
@Racy Jace typically everything you have found is related to the limitations of the panel type on the TV. It uses a VA type panel, so viewing angles are very narrow. Its a 60hz VA panel at that, so motion will have more than average blur, with little option to improve motion compared to models that come with 120hz panels.

Sound you need the step up 8 series that comes with the Bowers and Wilkins soundbar to get improved audio.

Dolby Atmos support is listed for external sound systems and has no bearing for the integrated sound. You can barely get atmos effects from a soundbar, let alone integrated audio. The TV will read a dolby atmos soundtrack but only pull the dolby digital stereo from it.

No idea with Kodi, it could be that you need to search for a customised fork of the app that works with Android TV.
 

Racy Jace

Active Member
I agree with what you've said. I knew the screen angle was an issue but I didn't realise how sensitive it was.

I have had to play about with the colour settings a bit because I found the animated film Sing a little dull with HDR. It didn't take much but the colours now pop like my OLED.

As for Kodi I'm still new to that. I've some 4k rips on a drive that I use it for that. I'll compare it with my Nvidia shield another day and see what's going on with it. The Philips inbuilt media player is rubbish as it kept trying to buffer but VLC works fine when you adjust the aspect ratio.

I installed that showtime box style app today which worked very well.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Theres very little hardware in the TV to display HDR without issue, it explains your need of having to tweak settings. Likley the next time you use a different HDR title, you'll be tweaking settings again.

There are key fundamentals that are needed to display HDR without issues, and whilst the Philips supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR it still lacks any form of local dimming or high peak brightness.

The most it can do, is display more colours within the range of its contrast ratio, which i small compared to higher end TVs. HDR format support helps a lot, but it doesn't complete negate that HDR is mastered to be displayed on high contrast displays, something that this Philips lacks.

Frankly, to compare this to an OLED is like comparing your economy Mini car to your Mercedes sports car, it doesn't come close and there's a reason its a lot cheaper. You'd have to compare a high end LCD instead, and although a high end LCD still has many caveats compared to an OLED, it at least should have less HDR issues if its equipped with high peak brightness and local dimming.
 

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