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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am in the market for a LCD TV. I was wondering if anyone could comment on the Philips Ambilight 32" 16:9 HDTV-Ready Model #: 32PF9996/37. I have been doing some Google searches on it, but I was hoping to get some feedback on people who either own or have some experience with it. Thanks.
 

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I haven't tested it myself, but I can give you my honest opinion regarding the "ambilight" technology.


I've done some training for professionally calibrating TVs and projectors, and when I saw the Philips "ambilight" ad on TV, I almost choke on my drink. From a calibrator's point of view, I think this has to be one of the worst ideas ever devised.


Let me explain: Ambiant light isn't a bad idea by itself. But in my class, I've learned that you try to keep the environment (lighting, paint color, drapes, etc...) as neutral as possible not to affect the viewing experience. The environment is also why it's impossible for calibrators to do their job at the shop, they have to do it with the surrounding environment.


So you can imagine that if you dynamically change the color of the ambient light dynamically depending on the content, you're modifying the environment in a way that's impossible to control, hence nullifying any effort of fine-tuned calibration.


The TV itself isn't necessarilly bad... but personally, I wouldn't be paying one penny for that ambilight technology, since the first thing I would do is turning it off.


That's my personal opinion... but I could be totally wrong about it. There are many ISF calibrators in AVSForum. Maybe one of them could comment on that technology...


-eric
 

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Chip -- I just brought home the new Sony S32A10. MSRP is $1999, I got mine for $200 less. The set is flawlessly crafted, built and deisiged. easily the best looking cabinet on the market and the easiest most intuitive to navigate and set-up.


The picture? It has no equal for definition and response. The color accuracy and black level is not quite the equal of Sharp, but very close, IMO. But, factoring in the aesthetics and razor-sharp definition, Sony is clearly the LCD leader right now.


Double L
 

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Chip718,


I have not had access to a sample of a Philips Ambilight model yet. Kevin Miller of ISFTV.com and an ISF instructor commented in a CNet review of one sample that the 6500K mode (the only legitimately useful option) on his review unit was noticably orange-ish. Another review in one of the magazines stated that the 6500K mode was "close" to correct, whatever that means. The reviewer didn't note any specific colorimetry measurement.


The back light function will help with eye strain and will enhance the perceived black level of the display, regardless of the color performance of the lights used. Your wall would have to be a neutral color (white to gray) to take full advantage of precise light colorimetry. It's nice that the lights are on each end of the panel, for more even light distribution around the TV.


Ignore Philips' other options that make the light to change with the level of illumination in the room or on the screen. The correct way to use back lighting is to set it for dark room viewing at one level. That level is less than 10% of the peak white of the image on the screen. It should be set once and left alone. The user manual helps very little to educate the owner how to correctly use the feature.


The engineers at Philips surely know what the proper purpose of the feature should be. However, their marketing department has taken the principle and turned it into a ridiculous gizmo that will actually induce eye strain and pervert an accurate image on the screen. You can learn the fundamentals of correct back light usage by going to: www.ideal-lume.com .


Best regards and beautiful pictures,

G. Alan Brown, President

CinemaQuest, Inc.


"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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Well I own an ambilight panel and let me tell you it makes the picture look great. More immersive and easier on the eyes. Plus it adds drama to the picture just not available without it. Not just my opinion but literally everyone who has come to see it. Theres a link on here about backlighting you should read it , seems like many must have picked up on Philips idea and incorporated it to some extent. I know my family complained to me when we were watching a flick and I shut off the ambilight to see the reaction. They wanted it back on, and so did I. Honestly if all sets came with it, you would here from everyone thats its great. In the end forget what anyone says be your own judge!Just my 2 cents!
 

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It's Philips who's the late comer. TV back lighting has been around since the '50s. Joe Kane has been an advocate of 6500K back lighting for consumers since he served as chair of the SMPTE broadcast monitor working group in the '80s. Every home theater set up DVD includes a test pattern for setting back light level properly. The technique has been in use in video post production facilities for decades. Every participant in the Imaging Science Foundation's classes has been instructed in its value.


Best regards and beautiful pictures,

G. Alan Brown, President

CinemaQuest, Inc.


"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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We have a 50" Philips Ambilight set up right next to the 50" Panasonic PX50 and I will say that the Philips definately draws more attention because of the backlight, but when you stand there and look at the two sets side by side the Panasonic definately beats the Philips in black levels and overall picture quality. It's not that the Philips is a bad set (it's not); it's just that the Panasonic looks so much nicer than the Philips, LG, and Hitachi (non-Ultravision) sitting next to it.
 

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In my previous post I referenced a thread where other avs members had adapted existing panels with a backlighting feature . When I look at the B&M's and internet stores I dont see any other manufacturers that offer it as part of the unit other than Philips. Am I incorrect? If so who? Really doesnt matter what came first the chicken or the egg I am talking about now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all your replies. I am still at a crossroads on which LCD to buy. I am still kicking myself for not pulling the trigger when Costco.com had the 32" Sharp Aqous . By the time I decided to get it it was OOS.


I am leaning to buy whichever TV from Costco due to their return policy. Bestbuy want $340 for there extended warranty alone. I will keep on researching.


Thanks again
 

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Casey Jones,


I'm not aware of any other display manufacturer offering such a feature integrated into their TVs. Joel Silver has told me of rumors that other manufacturers have considered it in recent years. Maybe that day will come when they finally get serious about giving us image fidelity, in addition to all their "pop and sizzle" features and options. I don't mind that they insist on serving spiced up baloney for the masses, just let me also have filet mignon as an option.


Best regards and beautiful pictures,

G. Alan Brown, President

CinemaQuest, Inc.


"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 
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