Philips has unveiled its latest 7000, 8000 and 9000 Series TVs for 2010. Although the series offer varying degrees of technological goodness they do share some things in common. All the new sets employ LEDs for improved energy efficiency and contrast ratios, plus a version of Philips’ Ambilight Spectra that projects ambient light onto the wall behind the TV to match the dominant color onscreen. Also common across the series is Net TV for accessing Video on Demand content on the Internet.

9000 Series

Starting at the top of the line and weeding out features as we go the 9000 Series includes Ambilight Spectra 3 that can now identify the color of the wall and adjusts the hues of the rear projected light accordingly. It also sees the number of spectra segments per screen size increase (left/right/top) to deliver better alignment to onscreen color for more seamless continuation of onscreen motion.

The 2010 Perfect Pixel HD Engine included in the 9000’s boasts 500 million pixels per second processing power and Full HD display for sharper images. To ensure fast moving action stays sharp the 9000 Series uses 400Hz Clear LCD with a 0.5-millisecond response time, while Philips’ Perfect Natural Motion helps to minimize judder.

The LED Pro adds energy efficiency and features 2,250 trillion colors, while the intelligent LED backlighting with Bright Pro ensures blacker blacks and brighter whites for a screen contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1.

On the sound front the 9000 Series has two high-efficiency dome tweeters integrated into the front of the TV and large volume bass and speaker boxes integrated into the back with 30W RMS output. All this is enhanced by Clear Sound technology to enhance dialogue.

Wireless connectivity is enabled through integrated DLNA and 802.11n Wi-Fi that allows connection to a home network and Net TV for access to sites such as YouTube and video on demand services from a number of European suppliers. Catch-up TV services from some of Europe’s leading broadcast companies that allows users to catch up with any shows they might have missed on a PC can also now be accessed directly via the TV.

The 9000 Series are Full 3D Ready but require a 3D upgrade pack sold separately. The pack uses Active 3D technology that uses a wireless transmitter to communicate between the TV and the Active 3D glasses. This synchronizes the shutters with the images onscreen and allows each eye to get the full 1080p experience. The pack includes two pairs of LCD Active Shutter glasses and a wireless adapter.

The 9000 Series comes in 32-, 40- and 46-inch screen sizes and features a full, dark brush aluminum frame and base, touch control stainless steel leading edge, and matching aluminum remote control with chrome highlights.

8000 Series

One step down we find the 8000 Series, which retains the 3D readiness and Pixel Perfect HD Engine of the 9000’s, but takes a step down on just about everything else. There’s Ambilight Spectra 2 instead of 3, which sees the spectra segments relegated to the left and right sides of the screen. The series is 200Hz instead of 400Hz, with 1-millisecond response time instead of 0.5, and the sound is provided by 2x10W speakers with Surround.

The 8000 Series is still connected, but a Wi-Fi dongle is required if you want to go wireless. If not the TVs do come with an Ethernet connection. LED backlighting is retained, but LED Pro is not, so the 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 2250 trillion color palette of the 9000 Series is unlikely.

The 8000 Series sees a bump in screen sizes though coming in 37-, 40-, 46- and 52-inch varieties. It features a full glass front and stand base with touch control stainless steel leading edge.

7000 Series

Which brings us to the 7000 Series, which also features the same Ambilight Spectra 2 and online connectivity capabilities of the 8000 Series. Again, there’s a drop in speed to 100Hz and 2-millisecond response time, which means the 7000 Series isn’t 3D capable. And unlike the 8000 and 9000 Series the 7000’s aren’t touted as LED backlit, which suggests they are edge-lit. The processing engine also takes a step back to the Pixel Precise HD engine with four trillion colors.

Two front firing speakers and two rear firing woofers adding up to 20W RMS provide the sound. Curiously, there was no mention of any rear-firing woofers in relation to the 8000 Series so the fact they rear their head again on the 7000’s makes us wonder whether they are actually missing from the 8000’s or it was an oversight by Philip’s press office.

The 7000 Series comes in 40-, 46- and 55-inch screen sizes and features a brushed metallic frame, glass stand base and steel neck.

Philips unveiled the new lines at the annual Winter Media Event in Barcelona and they will be available this year. No concrete word on pricing, but expect the 40-inch 7000 Series to start at around US$1,500 and climb from there.

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