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Philips 903 (55OLED903) Review & Comments

michaelmoravian

Active Member
With Android 8 and Freeview Play, Philips would be the TVs to buy. Without them I think I would look elsewhere.
 

stevebk

Well-known Member
It's good to see quality sound in a TV now being recognized as important, as some of us are restricted for room for a true cinema set up.
 

addyeddy

Active Member
Interesting to hear a reviewer describing HDR as fake, this has been my argument for a while, surely it takes you further away from a natural looking picture which is surely the aim of a good TV?
 

Stinger69

Active Member
Interesting to hear a reviewer describing HDR as fake, this has been my argument for a while, surely it takes you further away from a natural looking picture which is surely the aim of a good TV?
Phil was talking about a feature on the tv that could apply fake hdr to material that was mastered in sdr, he wasn't calling hdr fake in itself.

Andy
 
About Perfect Natural Reality aka Fake HDR - it looks more convenient that what Rockstar did in Red Dead Redemption 2. On a minimum setting, that is.
 

MrStavros88

Standard Member
Has there been a fix yet for the ISF Night & ISF Day settings? When watching an external source SkyQ etc we set the tv to one of these ISF modes but when you turn the tv off and back on again the mode settings are all over the place until you select a preset picture mode ie standard then select ISF again it’s rather an annoyance having to do this each time we turn the tv back on.
 

vmagix

Member
Has there been a fix yet for the ISF Night & ISF Day settings? When watching an external source SkyQ etc we set the tv to one of these ISF modes but when you turn the tv off and back on again the mode settings are all over the place until you select a preset picture mode ie standard then select ISF again it’s rather an annoyance having to do this each time we turn the tv back on.
Copy the ISF settings to another mode and use that instead. I just copied them to Natural and the issue hasn't reoccurred... Seems like an issue specifically with both ISF modes.
 
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bogart99

Active Member
Is there any reason why they do not use 4 sided ambilight on high end models it cannot be a cost factor surely?
 

vmagix

Member
Is there any reason why they do not use 4 sided ambilight on high end models it cannot be a cost factor surely?
Probably partially cost, partially because most manufacturers don't seem to expect TVs to be wall mounted nowadays - and if it isn't wall mounted then bottom-sided Ambilight seems a bit pointless.

I'm still thinking about getting a hue play and seeing if I can set it up below the 903, but don't know if I need additional stuff like the hue hue bridge, or if it can connect directly to the TV
 

bogart99

Active Member
Probably partially cost, partially because most manufacturers don't seem to expect TVs to be wall mounted nowadays - and if it isn't wall mounted then bottom-sided Ambilight seems a bit pointless.

I'm still thinking about getting a hue play and seeing if I can set it up below the 903, but don't know if I need additional stuff like the hue hue bridge, or if it can connect directly to the TV
Be interesting to see the proportion of sets that are wall mounted.
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
Given the huge list of negatives this doesn't really look like a 9/10 product. Surely it can't be that hard at this point to get Dolby Vision on board and sort out the gaming latency.
 

vmagix

Member
Given the huge list of negatives this doesn't really look like a 9/10 product. Surely it can't be that hard at this point to get Dolby Vision on board and sort out the gaming latency.
A bunch of manufacturers are boycotting Dolby Vision due to the licensing cost, instead focusing on the Samsung-created HDR10+ (which this TV supports)... I wouldn't knock it due to the lack of Dolby Vision. Hell, SDR content on this TV looks better than Dolby Vision content on most LCD sets anyway IMO. Agree that 39ms latency is probably pushing it for a hardcore gamer, but I don't personally notice the difference between the lag on this panel and a 2018 LG 55SK8500PLA (which is in the low 20s IIRC).

Agree that it's not a 9/10 TV. Although it offers one of the most striking/vibrant OLED pictures around (thanks to the relatively high peak brightness and P5 processing engine) however I (and a number of other people) HAVE noticed colour banding/posterization with HDR content, especially when put put side-by-side with an LG C7. Why this review didn't pick that up I don't know. Apparently this has been improved with beta firmware, but I don't have access to that yet so I can't confirm.

The OS is sluggish and ill optimised for a TV (who needs a keyboard that covers 2/3 of the screen?!) - this might change with the Oreo update but I'm not massively hopeful.

Only 2 of the 4 HDMI ports are fully capable of UHD/HDR.

Also "out of the box" settings for the included sound bar, even in "wall mounted" mode are rather thin and lacking in the bass department, needing some equaliser tweaking under personal settings to get the best out of it.

It has a lot going for it though, mild vertical near-black streaking isn't at all noticeable during even the darkest HDR content. Panel uniformity is insanely good, and (once dialled in) the sound bar does a decent job compared to a midrange, standalone sound bar/sub combo. Ambilight also can't be overlooked as a somewhat transformative experience.

The 903 has enough to distinguish it from the other OLED TVs out there that share the same 2018 panel - Ambilight, amazing SDR upscaling, motion handling, and picture processing modes (if that's your thing), and a decent built in sound bar. It's refreshing to see a TV that does do something different, but still disappointing when it falls short in some areas.
 
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jaxione

Active Member
A bunch of manufacturers are boycotting Dolby Vision due to the licensing cost, instead focusing on the Samsung-created HDR10+ (which this TV supports)... I wouldn't knock it due to the lack of Dolby Vision. Hell, SDR content on this TV looks better than Dolby Vision content on most LCD sets anyway IMO. Agree that 39ms latency is probably pushing it for a hardcore gamer, but I don't personally notice the difference between the lag on this panel and a 2018 LG 55SK8500PLA (which is in the low 20s IIRC).

Agree that it's not a 9/10 TV. Although it offers one of the most striking/vibrant OLED pictures around (thanks to the relatively high peak brightness and P5 processing engine) however I (and a number of other people) HAVE noticed colour banding/posterization with HDR content, especially when put put side-by-side with an LG C7. Why this review didn't pick that up I don't know. Apparently this has been improved with beta firmware, but I don't have access to that yet so I can't confirm.

The OS is sluggish and ill optimised for a TV (who needs a keyboard that covers 2/3 of the screen?!) - this might change with the Oreo update but I'm not massively hopeful.

Only 2 of the 4 HDMI ports are fully capable of UHD/HDR.

Also "out of the box" settings for the included sound bar, even in "wall mounted" mode are rather thin and lacking in the bass department, needing some equaliser tweaking under personal settings to get the best out of it.

It has a lot going for it though, mild vertical near-black streaking isn't at all noticeable during even the darkest HDR content. Panel uniformity is insanely good, and (once dialled in) the sound bar does a decent job compared to a midrange, standalone sound bar/sub combo. Ambilight also can't be overlooked as a somewhat transformative experience.

The 903 has enough to distinguish it from the other OLED TVs out there that share the same 2018 panel - Ambilight, amazing SDR upscaling, motion handling, and picture processing modes (if that's your thing), and a decent built in sound bar. It's refreshing to see a TV that does do something different, but still disappointing when it falls short in some areas.
Whats special abouy Dolby vision anyways? Havent seen any DV content that looked any better than HDR10.
 

pamrit

Novice Member
A bunch of manufacturers are boycotting Dolby Vision due to the licensing cost, instead focusing on the Samsung-created HDR10+ (which this TV supports)... I wouldn't knock it due to the lack of Dolby Vision. Hell, SDR content on this TV looks better than Dolby Vision content on most LCD sets anyway IMO. Agree that 39ms latency is probably pushing it for a hardcore gamer, but I don't personally notice the difference between the lag on this panel and a 2018 LG 55SK8500PLA (which is in the low 20s IIRC).

Agree that it's not a 9/10 TV. Although it offers one of the most striking/vibrant OLED pictures around (thanks to the relatively high peak brightness and P5 processing engine) however I (and a number of other people) HAVE noticed colour banding/posterization with HDR content, especially when put put side-by-side with an LG C7. Why this review didn't pick that up I don't know. Apparently this has been improved with beta firmware, but I don't have access to that yet so I can't confirm.

The OS is sluggish and ill optimised for a TV (who needs a keyboard that covers 2/3 of the screen?!) - this might change with the Oreo update but I'm not massively hopeful.

Only 2 of the 4 HDMI ports are fully capable of UHD/HDR.

Also "out of the box" settings for the included sound bar, even in "wall mounted" mode are rather thin and lacking in the bass department, needing some equaliser tweaking under personal settings to get the best out of it.

It has a lot going for it though, mild vertical near-black streaking isn't at all noticeable during even the darkest HDR content. Panel uniformity is insanely good, and (once dialled in) the sound bar does a decent job compared to a midrange, standalone sound bar/sub combo. Ambilight also can't be overlooked as a somewhat transformative experience.

The 903 has enough to distinguish it from the other OLED TVs out there that share the same 2018 panel - Ambilight, amazing SDR upscaling, motion handling, and picture processing modes (if that's your thing), and a decent built in sound bar. It's refreshing to see a TV that does do something different, but still disappointing when it falls short in some areas.
Have to agree with you on this and have to say that the most difficult part is trying to set up the TV for the best picture settings. Would be interested in what you or others have.
 

vmagix

Member
Have to agree with you on this and have to say that the most difficult part is trying to set up the TV for the best picture settings. Would be interested in what you or others have.
There's not a hell of a lot of tweaking to do. I wasn't going for a reference white point, just something that was pleasing to myself and the missus without looking overly blown out/vibrant.

ISF day/night modes are a good starting point but there's a bug with those when coming out of sleep mode (colours can look strange and off balance) - instead try to copy those settings across to one of the other picture modes, I used "Natural" but it doesn't matter what you use.

1.) My RGB balance was around 126 RED, 127 GREEN, 95 BLUE (under custom colour temperature) but you can turn the blue down further to make it more of a warmer, reference colour. The default "warm" or ISF modes seem a bit too red for my liking but that could just be my panel.

2.) Go through and turn off all of the processing options to start with, that means no dynamic colour, light sensor off, anything "eco mode" off.

3.) In terms of the basic settings - "video contrast" is what you'd expect "contrast" to be on most sets... It's buried in advanced settings and you shouldn't need to change it from the default of 100. "Contrast" on this TV is really OLED light (or backlight) and can be set depending on how bright you need the image. On SDR in a relatively well lit room you won't need to go over 50. HDR modes should keep this at 100.

4.) From my testing, "neutral" sharpness setting should be 0 - but I've found raising it to 1 or 2 usually looks fine if you want a bit of additional clarity. It can exaggerate blocking on low quality video sources though. Keep the "ultra resolution" sharpening mode off.

5.) "Brightness" is fine left at 50, but you may need to raise this slightly on HDR sources if you find shadow detail being culled - I wouldn't go over 65 though otherwise blacks will appear grey.

6.) Back to advanced settings. Noise reduction off, MPEG noise reduction on minimum - this should help with posterization artifacts

7.) Motion style either "off" or "movie" - this is probably the only TV that I'd recommend a motion interpolation mode, as "Movie" does seem to introduce additional motion clarity without any soap opera effect (well done Philips!)

8.) The TV recognises a limited or full black level by default - there doesn't seem to be a manual toggle like on other TVs.

9.) "Perfect natural reality" can do a fairly good job of expanding an SDR range to feel a bit more like an HDR source - if that's your thing. "Minimum" looks pretty good.

Any other questions let me know.
 

pamrit

Novice Member
There's not a hell of a lot of tweaking to do. I wasn't going for a reference white point, just something that was pleasing to myself and the missus without looking overly blown out/vibrant.

ISF day/night modes are a good starting point but there's a bug with those when coming out of sleep mode (colours can look strange and off balance) - instead try to copy those settings across to one of the other picture modes, I used "Natural" but it doesn't matter what you use.

1.) My RGB balance was around 126 RED, 127 GREEN, 95 BLUE (under custom colour temperature) but you can turn the blue down further to make it more of a warmer, reference colour. The default "warm" or ISF modes seem a bit too red for my liking but that could just be my panel.

2.) Go through and turn off all of the processing options to start with, that means no dynamic colour, light sensor off, anything "eco mode" off.

3.) In terms of the basic settings - "video contrast" is what you'd expect "contrast" to be on most sets... It's buried in advanced settings and you shouldn't need to change it from the default of 100. "Contrast" on this TV is really OLED light (or backlight) and can be set depending on how bright you need the image. On SDR in a relatively well lit room you won't need to go over 50. HDR modes should keep this at 100.

4.) From my testing, "neutral" sharpness setting should be 0 - but I've found raising it to 1 or 2 usually looks fine if you want a bit of additional clarity. It can exaggerate blocking on low quality video sources though. Keep the "ultra resolution" sharpening mode off.

5.) "Brightness" is fine left at 50, but you may need to raise this slightly on HDR sources if you find shadow detail being culled - I wouldn't go over 65 though otherwise blacks will appear grey.

6.) Back to advanced settings. Noise reduction off, MPEG noise reduction on minimum - this should help with posterization artifacts

7.) Motion style either "off" or "movie" - this is probably the only TV that I'd recommend a motion interpolation mode, as "Movie" does seem to introduce additional motion clarity without any soap opera effect (well done Philips!)

8.) The TV recognises a limited or full black level by default - there doesn't seem to be a manual toggle like on other TVs.

9.) "Perfect natural reality" can do a fairly good job of expanding an SDR range to feel a bit more like an HDR source - if that's your thing. "Minimum" looks pretty good.

Any other questions let me know.
Thanks, will try your settings and let you know. Just one question, do I need to manually set the settings for the different sources or is there a way to copy to all
 

vmagix

Member
Thanks, will try your settings and let you know. Just one question, do I need to manually set the settings for the different sources or is there a way to copy to all
I believe all the standard picture settings are shared across all sources (although you can set a different mode per source) - so if you have two sources set on "Natural" they will both change as you make your adjustments on one source.
 

pamrit

Novice Member
I believe all the standard picture settings are shared across all sources (although you can set a different mode per source) - so if you have two sources set on "Natural" they will both change as you make your adjustments on one source.
Thank you so much for all your help. I have set my TV with your settings and have to say I am really impressed. Like you said you can tweek around to suit different conditions and basically the only adjustment i made was with the RGB balance to get the colours spot on. Also managed to get the best out of the BW audio by adjusting the equalizer under personal mode settings
 

vmagix

Member
Thank you so much for all your help. I have set my TV with your settings and have to say I am really impressed. Like you said you can tweek around to suit different conditions and basically the only adjustment i made was with the RGB balance to get the colours spot on. Also managed to get the best out of the BW audio by adjusting the equalizer under personal mode settings
No problem - I did the same initially with the equaliser (for the B&W soundbar) but it was too variable across different content. Some sources would sound well rounded with punchy (but not overwhelming) bass and then another source would shake the wall with bass!

Ended up keeping it on "original' sound style and chose the option for wall mounted. Seems to be the most neutral sounding mode that shines on all content. Wouldn't be a problem if the DTS TrueVolume (auto volume) option worked correctly but I'm convinced it bugs out when resuming from sleep mode and makes everything too quiet by default.

Glad you're happy with it though, there's a bit of a learning curve (especially after years using LG WebOS TVs) but once it's all dialled in I really can't fault the picture
 

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