Philips PixelPlus 2 and Ambilight - Worth the premium?

Eoin

Standard Member
Hi Everyone,

I’m new to the forum and a relative novice on these matters, so apologies in advance if I annoy anyone by opening a new thread. I've been searching recently for opinions on LCD televisions, and the information available so far is excellent.

I’m in the market for an LCD television in the 37” to 40” size bracket. I’ve narrowed my choices to the Sharp LC-37P50, the Samsung LE40M61B and the Philips 37PF9830. I’m slightly biased towards the Philips as we have a three year old 32” Philips CRT which is remaining in a smaller room; it was one of the first models with PixelPlus and is an excellent set.

I’ll be watching mainly broadcast SD material through NTL’s digital service here in Ireland, and the occasional DVD (perhaps one a month). I would, however, like the option of watching HD in as high a PQ as possible in the future. Viewing distance is 4.5 metres (15 feet).

All three sets are nicely designed in their own way, in my opinion - the Philips in a bold sort of way and the Samsung and Sharp in a more understated fashion. At the moment the Philips is edging it but I’m hesitating due to its hefty price compared to the others (€4,000 compared to €3,000 for the Samsung (on-line) and €1,900 for the Sharp).

My question to owners of the 9830 is: are PixelPlus 2 and Ambilight worth the extra premium for the 9830? Any posts relating to Ambilight I’ve read suggest that it does add significantly to the viewing experience, but opinions on PixelPlus 2 seem to be mixed.

To owners of the Samsung: how does it handle broadcast SD material? The previous models seem not to handle broadcast SD very well but perhaps this newer model is an improvement.

Thanks.

Eoin
 

damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
Hi Eoin,

I was in a similar position to you around March time and was looking at what I think is the predecessor to the current generation, the 37PF9986 if memory serves me right. I really liked Pixel Plus II- when it didn't screw things up! It looked great for studio type stuff but in the end proved pretty useless for watching movies or TV with action in particular (motion was completetly destroyed at times, PPII had to be turned off and then the image looked poor, IMO). The latest generation has what Philips call PPII-HD, so that may have improved things but I suspect it just means that the processing can now be performed on 720P and 1080i material.
If it's 37" your after then a better solution may be a Panasonic 500 series plasma with a Lumagen Vision DVI video processor and professional ISF. All for a similar price as the Philips LCD.
As for Ambilight, I'm sure it does make a difference- LCD's have poor contrast, pixels are always lit to some degree and a light behind the screen hides that to some extent. A lamp behind the telly does an effective job also.

Cheers,

Damo
 
M

mkoehler

Guest
In my humble opinion absolutely yes!! Pixel Plus is a matter of taste though. Some like ist, some like it not. In high quality signlas like DVD and HD its stunning and excellant also with heavy motion. In SD signals its better to chose Movie Plus because it reduces the Pixel Plus effect to a minimum but remains sharp with high contrasts and fluid with motions. The 37PF9830 produces a stunnng picture also with good SD signals through cable TV.
Ambilight is absolutely marvellous!! It inhances the ambiance in the room to a great extent and transports the action in the room...
 

damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
mkoehler said:
In my humble opinion absolutely yes!! Pixel Plus is a matter of taste though. Some like ist, some like it not. In high quality signlas like DVD and HD its stunning and excellant also with heavy motion. In SD signals its better to chose Movie Plus because it reduces the Pixel Plus effect to a minimum but remains sharp with high contrasts and fluid with motions. The 37PF9830 produces a stunnng picture also with good SD signals through cable TV.
Ambilight is absolutely marvellous!! It inhances the ambiance in the room to a great extent and transports the action in the room...
Hi mate, great you like it :) But dont you find heavy motion to be severely messed up with PPII? I certainly did on the 9986.
 

ACMErubberDuck

Standard Member
I would have to agree about the ambilight being great. The picture quality on SD material is good too. I also am in Ireland and if I can convince NTL to improve the quality of their signal (not on digital) then it would be better.
 

Eoin

Standard Member
Hi damo in sale, mkoehler, ACMErubberDuck :hiya:,

Thanks for all your advice. I've seen some of the Panasonic plasmas on display locally; although they are tempting, I think I'll stick to LCD as I don't want any screen-burn issues (or even worrying about imaginary screen-burn!)

I've yet to see Ambilight in action in real life, but it does sound like a great feature. The other minor issue I might have with the 37PH9830 is the overall size of the set relative to its screen size; other sets up to 43" come in with a smaller 'footprint', but I suppose that's the price to pay for such an interesting design!

Regards,

Eoin
 

damo_in_sale

Well-known Member
Eoin said:
Hi damo in sale, mkoehler, ACMErubberDuck :hiya:,

Thanks for all your advice. I've seen some of the Panasonic plasmas on display locally; although they are tempting, I think I'll stick to LCD as I don't want any screen-burn issues (or even worrying about imaginary screen-burn!)
Eoin
Ok, I'll duck out of this discussion then. Best of luck with your purchase.
 
M

mkoehler

Guest
Please remember, that on the 9830 series you have Pixel Plus 2 HD. The deficiencies of PP2 have been a bit optimized. The so called Halo effect is still visible with SD signals but in much weaker form than on its predecessor 9986. But I still advise to use Movie Plus on SD because the halo is merely eliminated when heavy motion takes place. (Its also advised by Philips itself!)
Concerning the size of the set. That really can bee a drawback in crowded places. But the frame is used intirely by the speakers. And they sound truly remarkable in my opinion.
 

Eoin

Standard Member
No problem Damo; thanks again for the advice.

Mkoehler - do you have a home cinema system with your 9830 or is the sound from the speakers so good that you can do without?

With the Samsung LE40M61B I'm also considering, you get 3" more screen size with about 12cm less in width; but if the extra size in the Philips relative to screen size means brilliant sound, then it's probably worth it.

Eoin
 
A

Alan D

Guest
I've got the 37" 9986 and it should be pointed out that using PP2 while watching via DVI produces no visible artifacts (no halo effect on any material). I believe this is because the PP2 effect runs at a lower strength via DVI. I would guess that this thinking would apply to the newer models. On the subject of Ambilight, mine has version 1 and apart from a quiet-ish buzzing, it is most effective and I usually have it switched on. I hope they have addressed the "buzzing" issue with the new models.
 

ACMErubberDuck

Standard Member
I get no buzzing whatsoever.
 
M

mkoehler

Guest
Yes, Ambilight 2 is completely quiet on the 9830. Alan D is right with PP2. The higher the quality the better PP2 works (the same for PP2 HD).
@Eoin
No, I don't have a surround system connected to my 32PF9830. You cannot compare the speakers with a 200£ surround system! :devil: But they give a really full sound, loud without hissing. Voices are clear, music sounds really good. I'm real pleased with them. :hiya:
 

RockySpieler

Novice Member
Pimp my LCD.............

Check out these babies on fleabay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-UFO-15-LED-INTERIOR-TUBE-Neon-Undercar-Light-kit_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33713QQitemZ8010348036

They are 15" LCD tubes, and can have random, fixed or music matched colours.

There is a better picture of the multi coloured display here:-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/UFO-Undercar-LED-Kit-with-Remote-Control_W0QQitemZ8010783704QQcategoryZ48445QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

So just got to wait for a version with video matching, not just music.

How long are the Philips ambilight tubes?

There's even a video link looks cool"ish":-

http://www.nbcode.com/videos.aspx
 

Eoin

Standard Member
machinehead said:
iv'e just purchased a 37 9830 and i can't hear any buzzing at all.ambilight works a treat.
Machinehead: How do you find the set overall? Is PP2 annoying as some other people have stated? How do you find it with SD broadcast material? Any other problems?, like the tv powering off by itself - a problem experienced by others. :)

Regards,

Eoin
 

machinehead

Active Member
hi Eoin,so far so good.my advice about pp2 is this.everybodys eyes are different,what i might like you could hate.the overall general view of the 9830 the pictures are superb and natural.i would recomend it.it has lots of settings to try out.so there will be one there that you will like.buy with confidence.it's a superb addition to my home.
 
P

Peritas

Guest
OK. I've made my mind up and I am going to buy the 32" version of the Philips.

But my next problem is do I buy it from my local TV shop for about £1740 delivered, which I don't think is a bad price. Or go for an internet one which I've seen for about £1575 delivered (homediscount from ebay)...
 

FoooManChu

Novice Member
IMHO you've made a good choice which ever outlet you buy from.

This may stray a little but I didn't want to start a new thread. I'm currently playing around with my 32pf9830 on the (rather cool) rotating stand. Eventually I would like to wall mount it but am concerned on the limitations this will put on the ambilight function. Has anyone any thoughts/experience of this..?
 

Eoin

Standard Member
machinehead said:
hi Eoin,so far so good.my advice about pp2 is this.everybodys eyes are different,what i might like you could hate.the overall general view of the 9830 the pictures are superb and natural.i would recomend it.it has lots of settings to try out.so there will be one there that you will like.buy with confidence.it's a superb addition to my home.
Sounds good Machinehead. Best of luck with your 9830 and I hope it gives you many years of enjoyable viewing! :thumbsup:
 

machinehead

Active Member
willo that's what my thoughts are too.i like the ambilight so much i think it would detract from the tv if it was wallmounted.i think a new shelf is in order soon instead.the ambilight is really sensational,especially when the main lights in the room are switched off.i have really warmed[no pun intended] to this feature.when i borrow a digi camera photos will be taken.
 
D

Deleted member 49876

Guest
its not just pp2 & ambilight- I saw the 37pf9830 against the sharp 37gd7e on saturady and the extra resolution afforded by the 1080 lines on the philips model was a clear advantage.
 

alexcord

Standard Member
Ambilight 2 is the dog's bits! I liked the idea of it but my first experience was after I bought the 37. Wow! I did not imagine Ambilight would be so responsive (in the movie and action modes). My only fear now is that Ambilight does not exist on future tvs. Going back to a tv without Ambilight is unimaginable!

I have seen the issues mentioned previously with PP2 although it is a small price to pay for such a good picture.

Cheers

Alex :smashin:
 

Eoin

Standard Member
I find myself being pulled more and more towards the 9830 the more I read the glowing ;) remarks on Ambilight. It sounds really cool. Any pictures of Ambilight in action anybody?
 

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