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Review: Philips 55OLED934 – oled TV with Bowers & Wilkins soundbar

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What if you could combine the audio quality of the Philips OLED984 with the image performance of the OLED804 ? The Philips 55OLED934 is aimed perfectly at people who want to pay a little more attention to sound, but who also want to keep an eye on their budget.

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD oled TV
  • Screen size: 55 inch (139 cm), flat
  • Connections: 4x HDMI (v2.0, 2ARC, ALLM), 1x component video, 1x stereo cinch, 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 1x headphones, 1x SUB pre out, 3x antenna, Bluetooth
  • Extras: HDR10, HDR10 +, Dolby Vision, HLG, WiFi (802.11ac 2 × 2) built-in, Android TV (9.0 Pie), USB / DLNA media player, dual DVB-T2 / C / S2, CI + slot, 3rd gen P5 processor, three-sided Ambilight
  • Dimensions: 1,228 x 770 x 252 mm (incl. Base)
  • Weight: 25.5 kg (incl. Base)
  • Consumption: 144 / 0.3 watt (Energy rating B)
  • Recommended retail price: 2,499 euros

A complete overview of all OLED models that Philips launched in 2019 can be found in the 2019 Philips TV line-up . Here you will also find the complete specifications per model.

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – design

Combining a television with a soundbar, it always results in a remarkable result. That is all the more true if you start from the super slim profile of an OLED screen. The screen has a beautiful brushed metal back that seamlessly folds around the screen, creating a fine frame. At the rear are the connections, electronics and the Ambilight LEDs in the black plastic housing.

The eye-catcher of the design of the OLED934 is of course the Bowers & Wilkins soundbar. It is quite short, has a parallelogram profile and is covered with Kvadrat speaker fabric. A clear trend break with the otherwise minimalist-looking OLED TVs. This has a soundbar and that can be seen.

The OLED934 also comes with an extra neck specifically for wall mounting. It still protrudes a part behind the device, but less far than the neck for the standing arrangement. Really super-tight wall mounting is therefore not possible.

Connections

The four HDMI connections of this Philips OLED934 are all v2.0 versions, with support for ARC and ALLM. They are also all ready for Ultra HD and HDR. Three of the four HDMI connections, the USB connections and the headphone output are on the side of the device.

The remaining connections at the back point to the bottom. Those who want to give their soundbar some extra oomph can connect a subwoofer to the subwoofer pre-out.

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – ease of use and smart TV

The Android chipset of the OLED934 is based on the MT5887, but uses it the same quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 with 2.5 GB RAM as last year. It is now equipped with the Mali G51 GPU. The new GPU, together with the new Android version, provides a smoother experience, but the latest Sony models work just a little smoother.

The interface of Android 9 (Pie) organizes all content in channels that occupy horizontal rows on the screen. You can adjust or remove these channels yourself. For a complete overview of the possibilities of Android TV 9, please refer to our Android TV 9 overview article .

We find the same remote on the 55OLED934 as on other Philips OLED models. It is very light and the layout looks somewhat busy. The dark inscriptions on the silver background are not always easy to read, but it is better than the white inscriptions that we found on the OLED804. A remote with a somewhat more premium look would certainly not look out of place with this device.

It looks a bit cheap to our taste, but this remote is not too bad in daily use. It fits well in the hand, and the low profile keys are easy to press. The play keys are close to your thumb, and there is a shortcut for Netflix, Rakuten TV and the Philips TV apps. The Android Home key (centrally under the d-pad) could have been indicated a little more clearly. The remote has a keyboard at the back, and uses Bluetooth for voice commands, but also works completely via infrared. So good alignment remains required.

Via the shortcut menu button at the top left you get an alternative way to select inputs, to call up the channel list, or to go to the frequently used settings.

[19659027] The 55OLED934 is equipped with a dual tuner and single CI + slot. Recording can be done to a USB hard disk, but recording and simultaneously watching another channel is only possible if one of the two channels is not encrypted (Free to Air). Via the Amazon app you can view HDR10 + content, via Netflix Dolby Vision, and via YouTube HLG and HDR10.

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – Image processing

The OLED934 is equipped with the third generation P5 image processor from Philips. The results can therefore be compared perfectly with those of the OLED804 or OLED984 . Good detection of film and video frame rates and excellent deinterlacing make jagged line edges or moire effects very rare (often still important for those who watch TV with a set-top box.)

The third generation P5 processor received improved noise reduction , which does a great job of random noise. Compression noise (block formation) is a bit more difficult, but is also tackled well. Leave these two settings in the “Low” position, a good compromise that has little impact on detail. Set sharpness to 1 and activate Ultra Resolution for some extra detail, which is also improved in the new processor. Where Philips still has some work: getting rid of color bands. In low quality dark content where clear banding effects are visible you have to switch “MPEG noise reduction” to the “middle” position. That provides good, but certainly not perfect, results. “High” provides even better results, but then you hide a considerable amount of detail.

Fast moving images retain a lot of detail on an OLED screen. Hold Motionstyle in the “Films” mode for films, and switch to Clear for other content at least. This way you lose as little detail as possible. If you want smooth pan images, switch to Standard or Smooth, although the latter choice continues to create some small visible image artifacts in complex scenes.

Perfect Natural Reality is a clever image technique that gives all SDR content a nice HDR look . It is nothing for the purists, but definitely give it a try. The new P5 chip gives a little more color and contrast, and better respects the original tint of the image, especially for skin colors. Those who want to read about it again can do so in our review of the 55OLED803 .

Main settings

In our article about professional calibration of a TV you can read all about it the possibilities to achieve the best image settings with a professional. If you want to get started yourself, go through our home cinema information guide . Here you will find an explanation of the most important picture settings and tips for setting up your TV. With the basic settings we have come to the settings below for this TV.

Image Image Advanced Image Advanced
Image Mode: Movies

Color: 50
Contrast: 70
Sharpness: 1-2
Brightness: 50

Color / Color improvement: Off
Color / Color range: Normal
Color / Color temperature: Warm
Contrast / Contrast Mode: Optimized for Images
Contrast / Perfect Natural Reality: Off / Minimum
Contrast / HDR Perfect: Minimum
Contrast / Perfect Contrast: Off
Contrast / Video Contrast: 100
Contrast / light sensor: Off
Contrast / Gamma: 0
Sharpness / Ultra Resolution: Off / On
Sharp Image / Noise reduction: Minimum
Sharp Image / MPEG Artifact reduction: Minimum
Motion / Motion style : Films / Standard

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – Image quality

The OLED934 series is equipped with the new 2019 LG OLED panel. The panel has a slightly changed layout, but performs in terms of brightness and color range identical to the previous generation. According to Philips, the new generation has a better fill-rate (ratio between total pixel area and actual luminous surface), and that would reduce the risk of burn-in. (read more about the risk of burn-in .)

The screen of the OLED934 has good uniformity, although we saw something in the darkest test images on the right and at the bottom brighter and minimal vertical stripes were visible. It remains dependent on panel to panel, but in practice there was no visible impact on our screen.

The OLED934 is fantastically calibrated in the “Films” image preset. The errors are small enough to function as a studio monitor. The setting has a gamma value of 2.2 and a reasonably high maximum brightness. So she is aiming for a typical living room with some lighting.

If you regularly look at darkening, activate the light sensor and pull up “Gamma” to + 1 / + 2. The ISF presets are an alternative for those who want day and night versions. Philips has improved the appearance of black detail so that there is hardly any shadow nuance hidden. The color reproduction is vivid and accurate, with perfect skin colors.

HDR

Like Panasonic, Philips has decided to offer universal HDR support. This means that the OLED934 can handle not only HDR10 and HLG, but also dynamic metadata formats such as HDR10 + and Dolby Vision.

The screen of the OLED934 scores for brightness and color range in line with the other Philips OLED models. That means you get one of the brightest OLED models. In the ‘HDR film’ preset, with the contrast mode ‘optimized for image’, the maximum brightness is around 742 nits on a 10% window and 920 nits on a 2% window. The peak is 164 nits on a completely white field. The color range is no surprise, 94% DCI-P3, and 69% Rec.2020.

The “HDR Films” image preset is perfectly calibrated. The color reproduction is very good. Philips ignores metadata in the video and you choose how much white detail you trade in for extra clarity using the HDR Perfect setting. The default setting is “Minimum” and we also recommend it. With that you see all white details up to well over 3,000 nits. In the maximum position, the image is clearer, but the clip is everything above 2,000 nits. That is still a pretty good choice if you want more impact.

For Dolby Vision content, choose Dolby Vision Dark if you want pure Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision Clear for a naturally clearer image that also uses certain improvements to the P5 processor (noise reduction, sharpness and sharpness of motion)

Philips 55OLED934 – Gaming, Reflections, Viewing Angle

OLED provides a very wide viewing angle, an advantage that is found in many living rooms can prove to be a real asset. The screen handles reflections very well. In film mode we measure a lag of 73.3 ms, a bit high anyway, maybe ok for casual gamers. In game mode the lag drops to 33.3 ms which is a good result, but scores slightly less than a number of competitors.

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – Sound quality

The Bowers & Wilkins soundbar below the OLED934 looks might look a little less impressive than that of the OLED984, but it offers 50 watts of power output (compared to the 60 watts of the OLED984). So powerful sound is still on the menu. Moreover, there is also a functional reason for the striking parallelogram design. In addition to a woofer and two speakers for the front channels, two “upfiring” drivers are hidden under the speaker material. These provide the height effects for Atmos soundtracks by bouncing sound into the room through the ceiling. The entire soundbar was designed and tuned by B&W.

And the result is impressive. The sound is fine and detailed, and continues to sound well-controlled on all volumes. There is hardly any audible upset, and you can get a lot of volume from the soundbar. Although the basses sound a little less than on their bigger brother (OLED984), the OLED934 is also not out there. The Apollo440 Krupa drums give a big bang. Only with the really wild work such as Temple Of Love by Sisters of Mercy does the layer rendering fall short. Those who find that really insurmountable can connect a subwoofer.

But what about the famous Atmos reproduction on the OLED934? The menus were a bit clearer. When a Dolby Vision image comes in, it is clearly signaled. Not so for Dolby Atmos and the sound settings let you guess whether Dolby Atmos is active or not. Only those who choose the “Personal” sound style can clearly set that you want Atmos playback. For films with Atmos you better choose AI-mode or Films. Where we initially had some doubts about the Atmos capacity of this device, we were convinced after a longer listening session. Yes, you can hear the surround very well, the sound is very spatial, and there is a good portion of sound coming from above, although that depends on the soundtrack in question. The Philips also offers no ‘tuning’ options for the room (as was the case with the Panasonic GZ2000). It is difficult to say whether you will hear that equally well in all rooms.

Review equipment

For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements, we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze possible HDR problems.

Philips 55OLED934 / 12 – Conclusion

The Philips 55OLED934 seems to us to be an excellent successor to the OLED903 with which the manufacturer highlighted its collaboration with B&W last year. The 65OLED984 may be the absolute top, the 55OLED934 brings that excellent sound to a more affordable level. In essence you get a OLED804 and you pay an extra 500 euros for the Bowers & Wilkins soundbar. Is it worth the extra price? We think so, at least if audio is more important to you. Unfortunately, the weaknesses have remained: a somewhat cheap-looking remote, and an Android chipset that could still be better. Whether or not you like the design is of course a personal choice, the device catches the eye in any case.

The 55OLED934 delivers a very nice sound performance, with clear dialogues, sufficient muscle power for a good dash of music or a powerful soundtrack and an excellent Atmos result thanks to the upfiring speakers. In that respect he seems to us to succeed better in his task than the Panasonic GZW2004 . The OLED screen and the P5 image processor ensure excellent image results, and thanks to support for HDR10 + and Dolby Vision you are assured of the best HDR content. Ambilight and Android TV nicely complete the offer.

Cons

  • Improved Android chipset, but a bit too weak for top model
  • Remote feels a bit cheap

Advantages

  • Excellent B&W sound with Atmos experience [19659094] Third generation P5 image processing
  • Perfect Natural Reality
  • Color rendering
  • Contrast, black value and shadow detail
  • Ambilight

Homecinema Magazine
Rating
9.5 10 Eric Beeckmans [19659106] product

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Source: kieskeurig.nl

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Source: kieskeurig.nl

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