Featured ! Promoted Philips OLED TV Shootout - The Results & Comments

Discussion in 'OLED TVs Forum' started by Goldorak, Nov 15, 2018.


    1. Goldorak

      Goldorak
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2011
      Messages:
      5,482
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Kent uk
      Ratings:
      +4,388
      Been a good night. I don’t regret going there. Met gadget obsessed and other members.
      Philips won the calibrated and vivid mode followed by Sony.
      We had a chance to hear the 903 sound.

      I will sleep on it and tell you what I think later. Safe to say, I wasn’t expecting some of the results ...(could not see the TV brands so the ones I liked weren’t the ones that won..)

      They also did a 903 versus a Q9fn which again was a real eye opener for me...but not at all what you expect.

      Still, can’t fault the organisation and host for the evening. Lots and lots of efforts put in and have to thank them for that.
       
      • Like Like x 5
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
      • List
      Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
    2. sergiup

      sergiup
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Apr 29, 2008
      Messages:
      7,601
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      SE London
      Ratings:
      +3,948
      Good to see such a sizeable turnout, and hats off for the organisation of the evening (even though the chicken ran out too quickly :rotfl: ). I have thoughts and impressions, but although I'd like them to be as fresh as possible, I need to get home and get some sleep, so the write up will have to wait until tomorrow. You might also see my mug saying sweet nothings to @Phil Hinton on camera :blush:
      Teaser: I used to think that Sony made good TVs...
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Funny Funny x 1
      • List
    3. richardsim7

      richardsim7
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Nov 19, 2014
      Messages:
      2,681
      Products Owned:
      2
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      London
      Ratings:
      +2,003
      Yeah, I want more :p Almost went to KFC on the way home :blush:
       
    4. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      I also noticed that on the 803, the biggest surprise was the 65AF9 now down to £3499 = £500 off.
       
    5. MAX1210

      MAX1210
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Mar 9, 2009
      Messages:
      4,523
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      3
      Trophy Points:
      136
      Ratings:
      +1,238
      I'm the one in the green T shirt at the back.
       
    6. MAX1210

      MAX1210
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Mar 9, 2009
      Messages:
      4,523
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      3
      Trophy Points:
      136
      Ratings:
      +1,238
      I may have stopped by at BK at Victoria
       
    7. nonsoloinglese

      nonsoloinglese
      Active Member

      Joined:
      May 9, 2006
      Messages:
      1,798
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +150
      Chick chick chick chick chicken, lay a little OLED for me! I had a little LG for Easter now it’s a Philips for me!

      Superb evening, dodged 5 guys at Charing Cross.

      Delighted I won the set, a superb set that I had voted for throughout the test.
       
      • Like Like x 7
      • Funny Funny x 2
      • List
    8. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      Glad it was good,
      Looking forward to the reports from you guys.
      Very interested to know what the sound on the 903 was like as the Sony was very good sound, I'm hoping the Phillips will be better with B&W speakers.
       
    9. desinho

      desinho
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Sep 22, 2014
      Messages:
      1,131
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      83
      Ratings:
      +251
      :laugh:judging tv's from 7 meters away? What charts?! :D
       
    10. O C D

      O C D
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 19, 2015
      Messages:
      68
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      21
      Location:
      N.Ireland
      Ratings:
      +44
      I was told David Attenborough was going to be there because the very rare and illusive 903 was allegedly going to make an appearance in public for the first time . :laugh:
       
      • Funny Funny x 7
      • Like Like x 1
      • List
    11. WhatTheManSaid

      WhatTheManSaid
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 19, 2007
      Messages:
      61
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      8
      Location:
      Reading
      Ratings:
      +14
      Great evening and was surprised how close things were in calibrated mode but that we were still able to pick a set slightly edging ahead.
      Vivid mode (yuk) was interesting for another reason since it showed how excellent the Philips was compared to all the competitors by a mile (IMHO) when enabling interpolation and other enhancements.
      The final review of Samsung LED/LCD vs Philips OLED was good but just highlighted what we probably already know about edge lit brightness being limited when only small areas of brightness are needed. So a calibrated Samsung QLED is visibly less bright and punchy than the OLED even though on paper it can be so much brighter.

      I was the shinny head guy in the centre of front row.
       
    12. Furnace Inferno

      Furnace Inferno
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2010
      Messages:
      3,216
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      136
      Location:
      Surrey
      Ratings:
      +1,206
      Hey guys,

      I was at the event last night, went along for a bit of fun and out of interest to see first hand the differences between sets. The Philips reps were really nice though the event was clearly a sales pitch on the greatness of Philips but their enthusiasm was welcome even if I didn’t agree. They were there setting it up from 8am so hats off to all who made it possible :thumbsup:.

      Now onto my thoughts; first thing full disclosure they cocked up right after the first clip and revealed to those of us that know what the Panasonic info bar looks like which was the Panasonic FZ802. It was also curious to see some people had negative bias against Panasonic for whatever reason and I’m not sure how that effected the results but it certainly effected my thinking but I’ll get to that later.

      For reference the TVs from left to right (A,B,C,D) LG C8, Philips 903, Sony AF8, Panasonic 802.

      I was sat in the 2nd row just off centre for both calibrated and movie mode, a bit further back than what I would from my own but had a pretty good view.

      How I rated them in calibrated mode:

      (A & D) LG C8 and Panasonic 802 looked very similar colour palette wise in both SDR and HDR, with the LG being marginally brighter in some scenes of The Lego Movie but then the Panasonic was slightly brighter on parts of the Planet Earth 2 clip. The first sharpness clip they looked about the same but were softer than both of the other two.

      (B) The Philips cut the middle ground out of the four, it had a slightly warmer picture than both the LG and Panasonic and HDR wasn’t quite as bright. Sharpness on the first test clip looked slightly below the Sony but better than the others.

      (D) Finally the Sony to me was the only standout from being so different to the rest. It had a lot of red push on skin tones, HDR especially in the Lego movie clip was by far the dimmest but it was the sharpest to my eyes on the first clip.

      Motion wise they were all pretty much identical, if I wasn’t looking directly at the TV then I was picking up judder on all four but as soon as I looked back it was smooth again which made that test impossible to work anything out for me.

      Vivid/Dynamic mode comparison:

      Here is where things got interesting!

      (A) The LG along with Philips created the least amount of artifacts when switching to dynamic mode but the colours were miles off.

      (B) As you would expect the Philips was the best in this mode colours and skin tones weren’t too crazy, no serious artifacts in moving content and it was the only one of the 4 that didn’t completely blow out the dynamic range of the picture and just up the brightness across the board which is all the P5 processing stuff going on and SDR to HDR. All was not perfect though, on the first static demo clip it had some really terrible ringing from all the sharpening with the grains of sand noticeably being larger than the Sony next to it. Also something which not many people seemed to pick up on was in Vivid mode on a blank screen the blacks were elevated and tinted towards blue which was odd.

      (C) The Sony absolutely fell apart in dynamic mode which was very amusing (even more so that it came 2nd in this test!) the motion interpolation system absolutely sh*t the bed in dynamic mode it was actually hilarious to see the picture warp and break up. Colours again had the worst red push but it went from the dimmest in HDR to one of the brightest but a lot of artifacts added with everything pumped.

      (D) like the Philips it had the most reserved colours in dynamic mode which to my eyes made it more pleasing than the other two but tons of artifacts added like the Sony.

      The motion interpolation of all but the Sony were pretty similar, different things caused picture artifacts, LG/Philips were the most similar in where they would fail with the Panasonic failing in other places and cleaner in others. A scene with a woman cycling last a fence in Life if Pi caused major artifacts around her on all of the sets though.

      So results ended up being:

      1. Philips
      2. Sony
      3. LG & Panasonic

      My personal ranking was:

      1. LG, Philips & Panasonic
      2. Sony

      The very noticeable red push on the Sony just ruined skin tones for me.

      Onto my real thoughts of the comparison, I would take the results with a huge pinch of salt. With the sets side by side a lot of the time it was unbelievably close, honestly the differences were generally so small it’s just a case of splitting hairs. Where the real disrepencies were coming up was certain colours/saturations were very different from set to set but without having them side by side you’d never know.

      The real issue was we had no reference monitor to compare to so people were just picking what they liked best not what was the most accurate and I suspect the Philips won because it was the middle ground out of the four sets colour wise. It does go to show though much as people say they know what a reference calibrated image looks like I don’t think they actually do, I certainly couldn’t say for sure.

      That brings me back to my comment earlier about accidentally knowing which was the Panasonic as soon as I knew that I was using that as the reference because all the reviews say it has the most accurate colours but I also made a conscious effort not to vote either way on that front because I didn’t know for sure.

      It was also curious to see how we were able to work out the TV’s just based on subtle differences in reviews. The only one that threw us was the Sony/LG because of how bad the motion interpolation was on the Sony like wow I was convinced that was the Sony or Philips until the dynamic mode switch and then I thought it had to be LG’s software because Sony always reviews well for motion.

      When it came to dynamic mode it was obvious which the Philips was as it was the only one that didn’t look awful but it was still an overly processed image and being closer it was much easier to spot, for those further back it probably looked much sharper than the rest but again the Philips and Sony were sharper in both Vivid and calibrated modes, is that because they are sharper or adding more processing somewhere in the chain? Without a reference it’s impossible for any of us to say.

      So final thoughts you can’t go wrong with any OLED from the top boys really, if you like the picture you see it really isn’t much different on another manufacturers. It basically comes down to who has your favourite ecosystem and customer support.

      QLED

      The last test of the Samsung QLED Q9FN was the most curious to see, after all the talk of how bright LCDs are seeing it in the flesh in calibrated mode made me realise it’s all bullsh*t. Like I was honestly shocked at how dim LCDs looked compared to the OLED.

      I’ve always thought LCDs looked washed out compared to plasma with something not quite right anytime it’s not a bright scene and to see it side by side proved I was right. I had assumed FALD improved things based on review but if anything it’s made it worse it was actually crazy to see how much dimmer bright objects on the Samsung were when calibrated. Blacks are a definite improvement though but actual ANSI contrast ratios didn’t look to have improved at all to my eyes.

      They do have their place though, when it was switched to dynamic mode holy fudge was that thing bright, it’s not for me but in very bright environments where there isn’t a lot of dark content being watched it does have more pop than the OLED and more importantly and that bright mode of you are gaming it won’t suffer burn-in.

      Anyway TL;DR you can use reviews as a guide but ultimately they do exaggerate subtle differences or in the case of some interject their own biases so you really need to go look for yourself as you’re the only one buying and watching it so if you like it who cares what anyone else says!
       
      • Like Like x 14
      • Useful Useful x 10
      • Thanks Thanks x 5
      • List
    13. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      Thanks for the feedback, sounds an interesting evening.
       
    14. John

      John
      Moderator

      Joined:
      Dec 13, 2002
      Messages:
      11,497
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,127
      It was indeed an interesting evening , with laugh out loud moments at some of the sets when in vivid mode. I genuinly had no idea what the sets were, but then wasn't looking at the sets between clips
      It was probably as good a comparison as any of us are going to see
      4 sets bezel to bezel
      Aĺl identically calibrated
      And in calibrated mode, the Philips shaded it, but as mentioned it was so close
      If you were to have any of those sets plopped in you lounge and calibrated, you would be happy
      Vivid mode , the Philips was defo the best of them, but seriously, if you run your set in vivid mode, you deserve the results you see.
       
    15. Lee33

      Lee33
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Dec 14, 2016
      Messages:
      286
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      43
      Location:
      Manchester
      Ratings:
      +108
      So was this test basically used to show which is the best set based on vivid mode?
      Would anyone about to buy a OLED now make the philips as there go to set as they are all roughly the same price
       
    16. John

      John
      Moderator

      Joined:
      Dec 13, 2002
      Messages:
      11,497
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,127
      Oh, and the LED v Oled at the end, both calibrated by @Phil Hinton . You buy the set you can see the cocker in
       
    17. John

      John
      Moderator

      Joined:
      Dec 13, 2002
      Messages:
      11,497
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,127
      I wouldn't buy any of the sets based on vivid mode, I would still be looking
       
    18. Lee33

      Lee33
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Dec 14, 2016
      Messages:
      286
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      43
      Location:
      Manchester
      Ratings:
      +108
      That's what i think, nobody on here would but will this now be used by Philips to say this is the best oled available.
      Iam looking to buy in the next week or so, I was deciding between the Panasonic which is renowned for having the best colours, or LG which has little extras like Dolby Vision, I did consider Sony A8 as motion is important to me and they are said to have the slight edge here but they don't have dynamic tone mapping, has more aggressive abl and is still £400 more expensive than the rest. I did look at the Sony and LG side by side and there was nothing between them from what I could see in the store demo motion wise
       
    19. Phil Hinton

      Phil Hinton
      Editor Staff Member

      Joined:
      Jan 18, 2001
      Messages:
      10,285
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      AVForums
      Ratings:
      +8,569
      Thanks to everyone who came up and spoke last night, thanks for your kind words about what we do at AVForums, it is always nice to get direct feedback.
      Obviously, we have been very transparent about the setup here - it was a Philips run event and the Vivid mode section was what Danny wanted to highlight so those attending could get a good look at their video processing. However, they genuinely did leave me to it when it came to the calibrated picture modes and the SDR tests in the first part. There was no interference from them, so the sets were calibrated to the best possible results on the day and in that environment.

      To clarify;
      The first part of the evening was calibrated to the standards SDR clips, then followed by best out of the box HDR settings (there are no calibration standards for HDR, so they were set to the most accurate PQ EOTF OOTB presets). All four sets looked as close as you will ever see them together and blind (obviously other shootouts do exist and also try to be fair, but you'll never get to demo OLEDs set up like this any other way, other than events like this). It was a shame that one of the TVs displayed it's input logo before the curtain was raised on one clip, but I don't think everyone saw this. Hopefully, those who attended can now see just how close these OLEDs are to each other and that the differences between them are very small. That is why reviews here are scored as they are and why we are really talking about very fine differences. (We compare directly here for TV reviews so always have a reference). It was close voting wise with not a lot in it and I was genuinely surprised the Philips edged it in this section as I thought it would have been a draw or no preference.

      I personally don't sign up to Vivid mode and that second part of the evening was entirely down to Danny showing off what he can do with processing. It was interesting and hopefully, attendees took something away from both parts.

      I also hope that the mantra we keep preaching here about there being no such thing as the perfect TV was also demonstrated properly. I think that was highlighted with the LED and OLED demo and again Philips made it clear that the evening was not about being down on any of the TVs present as they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. It's very easy for forum responders to jump to conclusions so I also hope that people read fully what happened on the evening and the opinions of the members who attended. Yes, it was a promoted marketing event, and that has been disclosed numerous times, but Philips also took some risks with complete blind testing and putting their screen up against the rest. In the calibrated test there wasn't much in it and it really comes down to other features like motion, Ambilight, design and sound when choosing an OLED, as we say on a regular basis in our reviews. In Vivid it was always going to win and was more about Philips highlighting their technology. Nobody should decide to buy a TV based on an event like this, the same way as you should never use just a review. It should add to your knowledge and help direct you to the right TV for you.

      It was a bit of fun and I hope everyone who took the time and effort to attend got something from it. Thanks again for your kind comments about the AVForums editorial, podcast and forums, it really is nice to get direct feedback.
       
      • Like Like x 14
      • Thanks Thanks x 7
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • List
      Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
    20. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      You must be telling the truth, i have just looked in the TV Classifieds section and you have not put it up for sale :p
       
    21. sergiup

      sergiup
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Apr 29, 2008
      Messages:
      7,601
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      SE London
      Ratings:
      +3,948
      So, the blurb...!

      I'll start with my thanks - it was very well organised, there was a lot of effort put into making it a blind test (making the TVs the same height, masking the edges & bottom, etc), and I think overall it was - in the words of Borat - great success! The one thing I would say is that having 35 people in a flat-seated room trying to view four TVs is kinda hard; I ended up semi-standing some of the time and I had to move for the second 'test' (sorry to whoever I displaced!), it was a bit difficult to keep moving/trying to get a decent opinion.

      Do I think the distance was an issue? Not really; yes it's further than we'd sit from a TV, but they're big sets, and I still think most qualities/issues showed through. There was one tiny glitch on account of the naughty Panasonic showing its "HDMI" on-screen indication pretty much in the first test, but personally I did my best to ignore that. Anyone who had or spent some time with a Panasonic would've recognised it...

      As you've probably gathered by now, the main part of the evening was split into two tests, each test using the same 11 clips. The first test was with all TVs in their isf / calibrated mode (big thanks to @Phil Hinton for the ridiculous amount of work), the second test was with all TVs in their Vivid (or similar) mode. The clips were a mixture of one still image, SD, HD, 4K, HDR, etc, from a media player and streaming sources. I feel that we got a fair spread of test material to cover all aspects of picture quality, though I think a bit more football or similar might've been appreciated by some.

      I can already hear the grumbles (again) about a Vivid mode test, so here's my opinion: even though most of us on here would calibrate these sets and not touch Vivid with a 10ft barge pole, it is nevertheless important because a some (maybe even a fair few) buyers won't calibrate them, and because it also shows what the TVs can do to 'show off', so to say. I don't think there's much point in talking about the individual tests, so on with the results. These are my personal opinions and results, the 'official' tally is different - and this is honestly the most important point, every person will have their own preferences, opinions and specific use cases for a TV, so the best thing to do is to buy the best TV FOR YOU, not what others think is best for them.

      A few things to keep in mind: the actual panels are all LG panels and you'd expect (hope?) them to be the same; what differs is the processing, circuitry etc, which each manufacturer does in their own way. One would hope this means that once calibrated they would all act the same, but it turns out that's not the case. You would find it a lot harder to see the differences if you only had one TV at a time, though of course it becomes a lot more obvious when they're side by side.

      As I said a few posts back, I used to think that Sony make good TVs. I felt it was overly saturated, the picture was too warm, and motion was sometimes almost frigthening. In Calibrated mode, it mostly behaved fine, though its tendency to make things too warm/red remained, and there was still motion problems. In Vivid mode, there was an SD clip of Friends where a blue-ish background turned into some bizarre mat of agitated insects, and one clip from The Crown where Claire Foy's face started resembling a deranged clown. Not a good look for QE II, nor Sony.

      I felt that the LG came next. I didn't think there were any obvious faults in this context, but in both Calibrated and Vivid I felt it could've done with a bit more contrast, things just didn't 'pop' enough for an OLED, and some details were lost due to that. This happened with shadow/light details as well, in both modes.

      In second place, I rated the Panasonic. Again there were no real faults, and I often struggled to decide between it and the next one up, it was usually down to small differences.

      In first place, I would choose the Philips. The colours seemed to be the most natural, motion was fine, HDR looked more natural than the others, and nothing weird happened when upscaling. There is one thing that I can think of which I preferred on the Panasonic, and that was edges - the Philips tried a bit too hard to make edges (especially where there is significant contrast/colour/brightness difference) look sharp, which wasn't quite right; but again, this wasn't a huge difference.

      Now, in terms of what I would buy... I most certainly wouldn't buy the Sony, the LG is the 'safe' choice if the price is right, and the best choice for me is between the Panasonic and the Philips; I think there isn't much between them, though if I had to rank them I'd put the Philips above in terms of overall performance. The deciding factors would be price and warranty - but there's a complication. If you step down to the Philips 803 because you don't have any use for the sound bar on the 903, you're looking at about £500 less, and that would be enough to sway me.

      We also saw the QLED vs Philips 903, and for me this is basically the short of it: if you're going to watch TV in a bright room and your material won't have those scenes with very dark bits and also bright bits at the same time (fireworks, a dark dog with details in its fur on a light background, etc) then the QLED wins, mostly because it can pump out a silly amount of light. The second you care more about details and bright + dark scenes and you want to watch something in not-bright-sunlight, the OLED wins. It's simply the natural limitation of LCDs, there's no real way around it.

      We also heard the Philips 903 in a rather large room; there was no way it was going to be able to pressurise that room, but I felt it did a very good job, and I would have no objections whatsoever to using it as a standalone set without an AVR/speakers etc for casual use, or if you don't really care for the full experience. If you do care about sound enough, the ~£500 (?) difference between the 803 and 903 could buy you a pretty good audio part.

      I'm sure I've omitted a few things, so do ask any questions if you want to. And no, I wasn't bribed, and I didn't win a TV :D

      Oh, and... me scary mug. It was good to see so many AVF'ers, though I've very little idea who was who!

      upload_2018-11-16_10-21-1.png
       
      • Like Like x 7
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
      • List
    22. GadgetObsessed

      GadgetObsessed
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jul 6, 2001
      Messages:
      2,397
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Ratings:
      +1,101
      I was at the shootout and thought that I would post my thoughts on the night. As an enthusiast it was an interesting event to attend. It was also a great opportunity to hear directly from a manufacturer (Philips’ Danny Tack) and to meet AV Forums very own Phil Hinton and fellow forum members.

      Essentially, this was a repeat of Philips’ 2017 shootout but this time with the latest 2018 models from each manufacturer.

      I want to start by thanking Philips and TP Vision for running this event. It is great to see a manufacturer directly engaging with enthusiasts. In this case, the group that would be voting on the shootout results were all AV Forums members. Running such an event is also a canny move by Philips/TP Vision, as these shootouts attract a lot of interest on the net - especially among the kind of TV enthusiasts that buy OLEDs.

      Disclaimer

      This comparison was called a shootout - and yes, we were comparing 4 calibrated sets from different manufacturers with the same test clips. However, the following points need to be kept in mind when interpreting the results of this event:

      Calibration - the TVs were independently calibrated in their Cinema/Movie mode by Phil. For the first half of the shootout this Cinema mode was used. However, for the second half of the test the displays were not in this calibrated mode. Instead they were all in Vivid/Dynamic mode.

      Philips chose the test clips - it is likely that Danny has used some of these same clips when refining Philips processing algorithms.​

      Given the above, the overall results of the shootout cannot be interpreted as meaning the winner is the best 2018 OLED TV overall. To answer that question all of the TVs would have been set up in the best way for the content shown for the whole test - and that is unlikely to have been using Vivid mode.

      Personally, I have no issue with Philips choosing to run the test in this way. Enthusiasts may want a completely independent test with each TV set to its own optimum combination of settings. However, no manufacturer is likely to sponsor such a test. In Philips defence, Vivid is often the default on the shop floor and so is the mode that most buyers see when actually choosing a TV. Given this, Vivid mode should be what manufacturers actually think is the “best” mode when trying to make their TV stand out in a shop display of many TVs.

      Now, with that disclaimer over, onto the test itself…..


      Test Setup
      The competing models in the test were all 65" sets as follows:

      Philips 803

      Sony AF9

      LG C8

      Panasonic FZ802

      Philips went to great lengths to ensure that the shootout was set up as a truly blind test. All of the displays were set up in a line, with their height adjusted so that the screens were all at the same level. The bezels on all 4 sides of the sets were covered so that it was not possible to identify which display was which. Philips even went as far as covering the screens when changing sources, to ensure that the display of the source signal on each TV wouldn’t give away the manufacturer.

      Each screen was identified with a letter below it, from A to D. We were told that we were to watch about a dozen clips and were to identify which we thought was the best display for each clip, according to our own personal preferences.

      Danny Tack, picture processing guru from Philips in Holland, lead the evening.

      Testing Methodology
      The viewing tests were split into two parts.

      The first part of the test was to compare the TVs as they would be set up for ideal movie watching. This meant displaying a calibrated image in Cinema/Movie mode, with all the image and motion processing turned off.

      The second part of the test was to compare the TVs with the same set of clips when set to Vivid.

      Content of the Clips
      The clips covered a broad range in terms of source quality and content. The sources varied between low quality Netflix, high quality Netflix and 4k SDR and HDR.

      Note on Comparing Sets
      Even when set up next to one another and showing with the same content, it is surprisingly hard to compare TVs. I found that in practice I could only really compare the sets one pair at a time. As the clips themselves were quite short, even though played twice, it was often difficult to spot significant differences. It didn't help that the clips generally had frequent scene changes. By the time you had got a good impression of how one TV displayed a scene it was too late to see the scene on one of the other sets.


      Calibrated Testing
      All four sets are based upon the same LG provided 2018 OLED panel. (Although, more on this later.) Therefore, the differentiating factor between the sets in terms of image quality is the image processing capabilities that each manufacturer can bring to the table.

      Comparing these sets when fully calibrated and with the image processing essentially disabled, was therefore an interesting proposition.

      One thing did stick out immediately. Even though all 4 sets were calibrated set C had a significantly warmer colour tone than the other three sets.

      Personally, I found myself generally putting B and C down as my preference for each clip although in many clips there was very little between the 4 sets. This did make me realise that as I was sat right at the front and off to the right, set A had a significant disadvantage from my viewing point. Even though OLED doesn’t have the same viewing angle issues of a VA LCD panel, a picture directly in-front of you will always look better than one at an angle.

      The first comparison was a still image of a woman with her sand covered palms up facing the camera. Set B was noticeably more sharp than all of the others. While I liked this for a still image I did feel that this level of sharpness would have been too much for a moving image.

      One noticeable test was one with the heavy use of vertical and horizontal panning of bright and detailed backgrounds - shown in 24p. The shooting of this test footage was commissioned by Philips and was specifically intended to highlight fast panning judder with 24p. Here all four sets juddered horribly. This shows that if you don’t like judder on such shots, you have to use some level of motion processing.

      The warmer colour tone of set C worked both for and against it. In the scene showing a Dutch music festival, to me the extra warmth improved the skin tones compared to the other sets, which seemed slightly blue in comparison. However, in the HDR bar scene from Passengers, the background had a lot of red and the skin tones were already quite red. In this case the extra warm colour tone made set C look unrealistically red. In the Planet Earth scene the extra warms made the grass that should have been green look a bit brown.

      In the HDR clip of the Lego movie, set B had the brightest specular highlights of any of the sets.

      Overall though the differences between the sets (other than the colour on set C) was subtle and in many cases it was really difficult to pick a best set.

      If you are a movie watcher, viewing a calibrated set with no motion processing, then there isn't a great deal to choose between the 4 sets.


      Vivid Testing
      The displays were then set to Vivid mode and the same test clips were shown.

      There is a valid question over how fair a test this is. The typical approach for a manufacturer is to set the Vivid mode up so that all the processing is cranked up to 11. This can often result in oversaturated colours, motion artefacts and haloes caused by over-sharpening.
      In many of the tests again there was not that much to choose between the sets. However, there were some of the tests showed significant differences.

      For example, one of the tests showed bright, shots of buildings and interiors with lots of fine detail. In this test sets C and D looked awful. Often they made the fine detail pulse in a very strange way. Sets A and B looked much better.

      However, this cannot be used as evidence that sets C and D had any issues with displaying fine detail. All it shows is that these sets increase sharpness far too much in their Vivid modes, resulting in some nasty side effects when displaying fine detail.

      For the scenes where the use of Vivid didn’t seem to particularly disadvantage any set, I again didn’t find any set being head and shoulders ahead of the others. However, generally sets A and B did seem slightly better.

      The motion tests were particularly significant. With the scene with horizontal and vertical panning the juddering was removed from all of the sets. I did notice occasional minor interpolation artefacts but these were far less of an issue to me than the horrible juddering seen previously.


      The Results


      Calibrated testing - Set B was the winner but by a small margin. The results were fairly mixed and “No preference” did well. Overall, I don’t think that the win for C was very significant (statistically speaking) - especially as it had the advantage of being one of the two central sets.

      Personally, I would call this phase of the testing too close to call and it would end up as a draw.

      Vivid Testing - B won this much more. It generally had a more pleasing and more natural image. Crucially, it didn’t have any scenes where the use of Vivid resulted in obvious issues, giving it an disadvantage.

      Combining the results from the two sets of test meant that the winner on the night was set B.


      The Reveal - which set was which?

      A - LG C8
      B - Philips 803
      C - Sony AF9
      D - Panasonic FZ802


      My View on the Results

      Calibrated Movie Viewing
      If you only watch a calibrated image with processing turned off then these tests did not show an obvious winner. (Although C stuck out as both good/bad depending upon the scene.) Go for the set that matches your budget and personal preference for brand, aesthetics or features - such as Ambilight or Dolby Vision.

      However, we didn’t get any chance to look at some of the features of the competing sets such as Sony’s and LG’s dynamic HDR tone mapping - that apply even when calibrated and could have made a difference in certain scenes.

      Vivid Mode Testing
      Philips has a Vivid mode that is more natural and pleasing across a wide range of sources.



      Surprise Activities

      After the results were announced there were two additional activities. The first was a comparison between a Philips 903 OLED and a Samsung Q9FN LCD with Full Array Local Dimming.

      Danny walked us through these tests and pointed out the key differences. The initial tests were in calibrated mode and used a different set of clips to those used in the main shootout.

      I was suprised that generally in calibrated mode the image had more saturation and contrast on the OLED than on the LCD.

      One of the main points of note in these tests was how poorly LCD FALD does when you have generally dark scenes with relatively small bright highlights, or large areas of just above black detail.

      For example, in scenes of fireworks and of a car’s bright instrument display against an almost black background, the highlights were much brighter and more impactful on the Philips than on the Samsung.

      To prevent blooming the Samsung was essentially keeping the zones of the bright areas relatively dim. Significantly reducing the brightness of those highlights.

      There was also a scene of a black glossy dog against an almost black background. In this case the low brightness level overall again caused the Samsung problems. It simply ended up being very dim overall and crushed away a lot of the detail to black.

      These tests were repeated in Vivid Mode again highlighting the same differences. There was also a scene from the Life of PI where there were some dimmer areas of the scene and a very bright area showing a window. The Samsung looked very poor in this bright scene as well. It blew out the detail in the bright areas while crushing detail in the dark areas.

      Again bear in mind that these are selective examples. OLED is always going to be significantly ahead of LCD when it comes to bright details against a dark background. An LCD with around 500 dimmable zones cannot compete against the 8.3 million dimmable zones of an OLED. FALD cannot help that much when trying to displaying a relatively small area of white pixels adjacent to black pixels. Even for a FLAD LCD the Samsung has a reputation for crushing black detail. However, it is a fair set to choose as it is pretty much the only FALD set available right now. (Sony’s ZD9 is discontinued and the ZF9 hasn’t hit the shops yet.)

      However, while the group were discussing the failings of the LCD the HDR clips started to play and watching these the LCD really did well and its extra brightness advantage started to show.

      Philips 903 Sound
      The second surprise activity was hearing Philips 903 in action. It was a difficult environment for the set in a very large room with a very high ceiling. Also the set was further away from the wall than would have been ideal - about 2 feet.

      Despite this the sound produced was really impressive. Bowers and Wilkins have done an excellent job in creating one of the best sounding TVs. Philips also said that there will be future sets that push the B&W aspect further i.e. giving B&W more freedom to make more significant changes to the physical design of the set to incorporate larger and even better sounding speakers. The aim being to move beyond a “TV with great sound” and toward “a truly audio-visual product.”

      Is the Philips Using a Different Panel?
      Officially all of these sets are using 2018 LG OLED panels.

      However, one review of the Philps 803/903 has shown that the sub-pixel structure of the Philips is not the same as that for all the other sets using 2018 panels. (Anyone with a decent macro lens and camera can photograph a screen close up and have a look at the pixel structure. I have tried it myself.)

      Also myself and the people I sat next to, noticed that when the sets were turned off the Philips (B) looked different. WHile the other three sets were completely black with black reflextions the Philips had a very slight tint. This was pretty subtle and I doubt that I would have noticed it other than by having all the sets next to one another.

      So it is possible that the Philips is the first manufacturer to start using a new LG panel.
       
      • Like Like x 5
      • Thanks Thanks x 2
      • Useful Useful x 2
      • List
    23. Furnace Inferno

      Furnace Inferno
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2010
      Messages:
      3,216
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      136
      Location:
      Surrey
      Ratings:
      +1,206
      Interesting, I think if I was buying and not getting a warranty replacement I’d have probably gone for the C8 because it does 1080p 120Hz, I don’t need a sound bar and it’s much cheaper than the others. Other than the Sony being too red I didn’t think there was enough in it to pick one definitively over the other. Then again I do have a Philips hue light strip stuck to the back of my Panasonic so perhaps the all-in one solution would be the better choice :facepalm:.
       
    24. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      Sergiup, thanks for the time explaining your view of the evening.
      Interesting points you have put to us.
      If you are after the 55"803 yesterday it did drop in price to £1499 at RS, but the 55"903 is still priced at £2499 but give it time that will soon be down £500 to be near the Pana FZ


       
    25. Lee33

      Lee33
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Dec 14, 2016
      Messages:
      286
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      43
      Location:
      Manchester
      Ratings:
      +108
      Another informative write up, thanks, interested in the end part when you speculate that the Philips may be using a new panel, would be good if Philips or someone in the know can confirm this
       
    26. Goldorak

      Goldorak
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2011
      Messages:
      5,482
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Kent uk
      Ratings:
      +4,388
      What can you say after this :)

      I would like to point out that we specifically asked Philips to play a random selection of contents we suggested. It didn’t happen on the night sadly.

      Jokes aside, i would have loved to check the tone mapping on Ben affleck shirt and other movie scenes...Philips choosing all clips and not introducing one or two random have a clear consequence.

      Rest for later. Pleasure to meet you all chaps. I am the bold guy blue shirt looking down, first row.
       
    27. GadgetObsessed

      GadgetObsessed
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jul 6, 2001
      Messages:
      2,397
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Ratings:
      +1,101
      Well if I could be bothered to trek over to Harrods with my camera then I could check myself.
      Can anyone remember if there were any Richer Sounds stores in Kent or London with the 803 or 903 on display?
       
    28. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      GadgetObsessed, You have covered so much that was very informative thank you..
      A lot of my questions have been answered now.
      Its good to know the competition is much closer now as there is not much difference in 2018 with these calibrated Oled's, as in previous years there have been big differences.

      For me, knowing that Phillips are yet again stepping up the game with trying to achieve as you put it “a truly audio-visual product” is what i have been wanting for.
      This is an area that TV manufactures need to focus on, as once they have all near reached the top limits of Oled picture performance "Fingers crossed in 2019", the selling point will be the sound quality.

      Some of us appreciate quality audio, yet just don't have the room for additional speakers in our home. To have a quality manufacture like B&W working along side Phillips is very exciting. The other day i listened to the new Sony AF9 audio, that was very impressive over the previous years model, I am now very much looking forward to listening to this 903.
       
    29. GadgetObsessed

      GadgetObsessed
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Jul 6, 2001
      Messages:
      2,397
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Ratings:
      +1,101
      @Philips TV PQ
      Could you please let us know which shops have the 803/903 on display. (I know that harrods was one.)

      A list of Richer Sounds stores was read out last night, so there are places around the country where forum members can go to see the 803 or 903 in action.

      To everyone else, Philips are discussing with other stores getting their TVs on display but it appeared that they would not be arriving in stores till early next year.
       
    30. stevebk

      stevebk
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 14, 2013
      Messages:
      564
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Dorset
      Ratings:
      +454
      Just a bit of fun here guys.. :D I think i have got everyone correct in the Picture,

      Event.jpg

      So we have Sergiup 2nd row saying, "i wish that bold chap in front of me would keep his bloody head still so i can see the TV's"
      We have that Bold guy in the front I believe is WhatTheManSaid, saying, " I wish i didn't put that bloody needle in my arm"
      We have MAX1210 at the back having a chuckle and saying " I wonder if WhatTheManSaid put that needle in the wrong arm, or did I because mine also hurts ??
      And we have Goldorak in the front Thinking, " Is this pencil in my hand really a deadly weapon like in the John Wick films ? if so i will be keeping my eye out for the winner tonight's Oled TV..

      :) Like i say just a bit of fun guys :D
       
      • Funny Funny x 6
      • Like Like x 1
      • List

    Share This Page

    Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice