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Review: Philips 65OLED984 with Bowers & Wilkins soundbar

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The Philips 65OLED984 combines the image quality of Philips' third generation P5 processor with the audio technology of Bowers & Wilkins and four-sided Ambilight. The result is an impressive OLED television with a powerful soundbar, in a striking design. A premium option for the home theater enthusiast.

Philips 65OLED984 – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD OLED TV
  • Screen size: 65 inch (165 cm), flat
  • Connections: 4x HDMI (ARC, ALLM) , 1x component video, 1x stereo cinch, 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 1x headphone, 1x SUB pre-out, 3x antenna, Bluetooth
  • Extras: HDR10, HDR10 +, Dolby Vision, HLG, WiFi (802.11ac 2 × 2) built-in, Android TV (9.0 Nougat), USB / DLNA media player, Multiroom (Client / server), dual DVB-T2 / C / S2, CI + slot, 3rd gen P5 processor, four-sided Ambilight
  • Dimensions: 1,449 x 1338 x 382 mm (incl. base)
  • Weight: 47.3 kg (incl. base)
  • Consumption: 195 / 0.3 watts (Energy rating B)
  • List price: 4,999 euros

A 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 65OLED984 – design

A permanent set-up on a floor stand, a huge soundbar with the Bowers & Wilkins logo and the characteristic wafer-thin OLED screen, no, this Philips is no average high-end model. It exudes luxury from head to toe, and more than any other TV you should see it as a lifestyle object.

The screen of the 65OLED984 has, just like most other OLED TVs, just that little metal edge that blends seamlessly in the back. The foot / soundbar combination is mounted centrally behind the screen. The entire construction is particularly strong. We cannot deny that we secretly hoped for a swivel base.

Under the screen hangs the huge soundbar, with the striking “tweeter-on-top”. The soundbar is covered with Kvadrat speaker fabric, also on the side, and has a strip at the top made of the same brushed metal material as the base. The tweeter is protected with a decorative grid.

The vertical position is at the back of the base plate, and is finished with a mirror finish. It has a key shape with a flat line at the front. Because of the mirror finish, the key shape disappears as it were and you only see that narrow frontal line, that is very beautiful.

A very nice setup, but one with some challenges. Where do you put your peripherals, for example? The device itself is on the floor, it is not intended to stand on furniture. Long cables will therefore be a necessity.

Wall mounting is possible. The lower support and the foot plate can be released. You then mount the television and soundbar on the wall. Provide a sturdy support, because even without a foot the whole weighs 38 kg!

Connections

All connections are still on the screen. A clip is provided to tie the cables together, and you can lead them down through a hole in the central position. The device is equipped with four HDMI connections, all ready for Ultra HD and HDR. Just like the other Philips models this year, they are only equipped with ARC and ALLM. There are also two USB connections, wireless and wired network, and Bluetooth (for wireless keyboards and the remote). In addition to the headphone output and digital optical output, there is also a subwoofer pre-out. Ideal if you really want to make it thunder.

Three of the four HDMI connections, the USB connections and the headphone output are set aside. All connections at the back point downwards.

Philips 65OLED984 – ease of use

In terms of ease of use and features, the 65OLED984 is identical to the OLED804 and so we repeat that part of the review here. The 65OLED984 uses Android TV (9 Pie). Installation is now even easier, linking to a google account is easy by entering a code on your smartphone on androidtv.com/setup. blonde19659016__0919459014′091919909014'0919 Remote9016199090Philips chose a new remote with silver finish on the 65OLED984. It is very light and the layout of the keys looks pretty busy. He therefore looks a bit cheap. The white inscriptions can sometimes not be read on that silver background under certain lighting conditions.

The keys have a very low profile, but are clearly noticeable and do not require too much pressure. During use, the layout turned out to be less problematic than it looks. At the top you will find buttons for Ambilight, with the quick menu, Google Assistant and the sources from left to right. The Home key is at the center of the d-pad. He was allowed to get an accent so that he stands out more. The Back key and Options key are left and right of it. There are buttons for Netflix, Rakuten TV and the Philips TV apps. The play keys are close to your thumb for easy use. At the rear it has a keyboard.

In short, the remote is not an outstanding player, but it is sufficiently handy. It works entirely via IR, except of course for the voice commands, which are sent via Bluetooth. More than with the OLED804, we had expected a premium remote with this premium OLED.

Philips 65OLED984 – features

Smart TV platform

The 2019 models received a new Android chipset based on the MT5887, but used the same quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 with 2.5 GB RAM. It is now equipped with the Mali G51 GPU. Together with the new Android version, the new GPU provides a smoother experience, but the newest Sony models work just a little smoother.

The interface of Android 9 (Pie) is identical to that of Android 8 (Oreo). Content is organized in channels that occupy horizontal rows on the screen. You can adjust or remove these channels yourself. For a complete overview of the options, please refer to this article .

Via the shortcut menu button at the top left, you get an alternative way to select inputs, the channel list

The 55OLED804 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.

The media player is very complete and played all our video test files, including HDR video. The music player only fails with ALAC, Apple's lossless format. All other popular formats, including tags, are played correctly.

Ambilight

On this top model, Philips once again comes out with a four-sided Ambilight. This means that the light from the small LEDs now illuminates the rear wall to the left, right, above and below the image. You can let the Ambilight LEDs follow the picture, quickly or relaxed. You can use them as mood lighting, or have them respond to the music.

Philips 65OLED984 – Image quality

Like the OLED804, the OLED984 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.

Bear in mind that OLED- panels may be sensitive to burn-in. According to Philips, that would not be a problem with normal use. Never switch off the power completely, but leave the television in standby so that it can do the necessary work behind the scenes to prevent any visible effects.

Main settings

In our article about professional calibration from a TV you can read all about 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 enhancement: Off
Color / Color range: Normal
Color / Color temperature: Warm
Contrast / Contrast mode: Optimized for images
Contrast / Perfect Natural Reality: Off / Minimum *
Contrast: HDR Perfect: Off-Medium *
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

Explanation of the most important settings;

  • The Films setting provides the best start. The ISF presets are an alternative for those who want day and night versions.
  • If you want to see the effect of Ultra Resolution, you have to set sharpness at least to 1, but we also found 2 very good.
  • HDR Perfect Natural Reality: gives a very good HDR effect. We usually left it activated in the minimum position, but experiment with what you prefer.
  • HDR Perfect: This influences the tone mapping of HDR images. You trade brightness for white detail. Personal taste and viewing conditions may guide you here, but at least leave Minimum activated.
  • Ultra Resolution: gives a slight boost to detail without false contours. Feel free to activate it, but don't forget to set sharpness at least to 1. In this case also activate noise reduction.
  • Noise Reduction and MPEG artefact reduction is best activated when you start from a bad source (old DVDs or low quality YouTube). We left it at a minimum to achieve a softer image.
  • Motion style: Off for purists, but the “films” mode remains advised for extra detail, and getting rid of judder. From 'standard' you can also see smooth pan images.

General image properties and image processing

The OLED984 and OLED804 are absolutely identical in terms of image quality. That means that in addition to the 2019 OLED panel you also get the third generation P5 processor. This third generation has been improved in terms of noise reduction, detail and Perfect Natural Reality. The excellent deinterlacing and detection of film and video frame rates has remained, making serrated lines or moire effect a rare phenomenon.

Random noise is well eliminated and the Philips 65OLED984 manages to retain much detail . You can sharpen that extra detail by setting sharpness to 1 or 2 and activating Ultra Resolution. Blocking in highly compressed videos remains a challenge. You can prevent strong banding by activating “MPEG noise reduction”. Our toughest test for color bands, a dark Game Of Thrones scene from season 8 also proves to be a difficult task for this device. A slight flicker is sometimes noticeable in the darkest parts of the image, but the effect is less severe than on the AG9. “MPEG Noise Suppression” provides solid results, but real elimination is not possible. In the highest position, the setting hides quite a lot of detail and the image becomes too soft. We therefore recommend that the Minimum position is activated so that color bands are lightly concealed, but you do not lose any detail.

Perfect Natural Motion remains one of the best algorithms to guarantee sharpness of movement. Nothing has changed, so together with the excellent motion sharpness of the OLED screen you get great results that are only improved by the very best LCDs. For movie viewing, choose “Film” to avoid judder, but leave at least “Clear” activated to certainly not lose any detail. The motion compensation algorithm from Philips is excellent, so we even recommend setting motion style to “Standard”. The “Flowing” setting creates just too many visible artifacts.

The OLED984 is perfectly calibrated in the “Films” image preset. With a gamma value of 2.2 and a reasonably high maximum brightness, this setting is aiming for a nice film experience in a little ambient light. To look at darkening, lower the “Contrast” to 30 (or activate the light sensor) and raise the “Gamma” to +2. Again we see that the display of shadow nuances is well improved. The color reproduction is excellent and flirts with the reference level. Skin tones are perfect. The OLED panel showed slight vertical banding in the very darkest test images (1% and 2%), which can vary from device to device. In practice, this never bothered.

Perfect Natural Reality

This imaging technique was introduced on the second generation P5 last year. Whoever wants to read about it again can do that in our review of the 55OLED803 . The algorithm gives a particularly handsome HDR tint to all your SDR images, with improved white detail, contrast, and color.

The third generation P5 has improved Perfect Natural Reality. This way, images now get a little more color and contrast. The new chip also succeeds better in adjusting contrast without affecting specific color tones, so that the overall impression of the image remains more natural. The best improvement is that skin colors are now spared from adaptation, that was a downside in the previous generation.

Ultimately, Perfect Natural Reality remains a choice that you make yourself. For purists this is of course taboo, but those who want to give their image some extra punch are not in doubt. The Minimum position already gives a clear difference, and is a very safe choice.

HDR

If you choose HDR10 + or Dolby Vision, that is already a question that Philips, like Panasonic, has made superfluous. All major HDR formats are supported: HDR10, HLG, HDR10 + and Dolby Vision.

In the 'HDR film' preset, with the contrast mode 'optimized for image', we achieve a maximum brightness of approximately 790 nits on a 10% window and 1024 nits on a 2% window. That is similar to the performance of the OLED804, but this makes the Philips the first OLED TV that just exceeds 1,000 nits. It is therefore one of the brightest OLED screens on the market. On a completely white field, the peak is 172 nits, which is also higher than average. The color range is no surprise, 94% DCI-P3, and 67% Rec.2020.

The 'HDR Films' image preset is well calibrated although we also see the typical choices Philips makes on this device . It ignores all metadata, and you can lightly manipulate the brightness curve using the “HDR Perfect” setting, which is set to Minimum by default. In that position, dark to mid tones (0 – 200 nits) are correctly displayed, and the brightness curve softly rolls down to the maximum with all white detail visible up to around 3,000 nits, an excellent performance close to the reference level. By adjusting ‘HDR Perfect’ you essentially exchange the brightness of the image for more white detail. In the “Off” position you see all the white detail up to 4,000 nits, but the image is somewhat darker. In the higher positions, the image becomes a bit clearer, but you lose white detail, for example, in the maximum position everything above 2,000 nits is clipped away. “Minimum” therefore seems to us to be the best position.

The biggest improvement for HDR is in the color reproduction, where the new P5 chip goes for clearly more accurate color reproduction. The device should only be ahead of the LG and the Panasonic in that respect. Dolby Vision Dark is the reference for Dolby Vision, but anyone who wants some of the P5 improvements (noise reduction, sharpness and motion) can choose Dolby Vision Bright.

Reflections and viewing angles

OLED provides a very wide viewing angle , an advantage that can prove to be a real asset in many living rooms. The screen of the 65OLED984 handles reflections very well.

Gaming

In film mode we measure a lag of 73.3 ms, which is quite decent, and is perfectly ok for a casual gamer. In lag game mode the lag drops to 33.3 ms which is a great result. The screen is a decent choice for gamers.

Philips 65OLED984 – Audio quality

Bowers & Wilkins designed the full soundbar under this television. Most striking is the “tweeter-on-top”, a typical B&W feature that you can find on their best speaker solutions. This arrangement, whereby the tweeter has been removed from the speaker cabinet and has its own housing, ensures a more pure, clear sound, because diffraction of the sound in the cabinet is avoided. The 19 mm tweeter is made of titanium, a material with superior rigidity, and is equipped with a protective grid. The entire construction is also mechanically disconnected from the housing to achieve the purest sound.

The soundbar itself consists of three modules. The left and right modules have an extra tweeter in addition to a 100mm mid / bass driver to create the widest possible sound image, the center speaker is linked to the tweeter-on-top. Finally, the sound in every sound mode is tuned by B&W.

Brace yourself! The sound from this soundbar on the 65OLED984 is fantastic. The impressive bass reproduction, for example in Apollo 440's Krupa or our test scene from Star Wars Ep II or House of Flying Daggers, sound full and even succeed in making that bass really rolling effect. Dialogues, screaming guitars, sharpening lasers or flying daggers sound pure and crystal clear. And yes, this soundbar produces enough volume to fill a large room. Anyone who wants to do more in the living room can also connect an external subwoofer.

The “music” preset places a little more emphasis on the stereo image. The “film” sound preset clearly places dialogues in the center and adds some extra dimensionality to the sound. A true surround effect remains the area of ​​arrangements with more speakers, but you do indeed hear a good spatial placement. The soundbar supports Dolby Atmos but creating a real height effect is very difficult, even from this handsome setup.

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 65OLED984 – Conclusion

Where Philips worked out very well last year with the OLED903 it does a big boost this year . The Philips 65OLED984 combines all the good things of the 55OLED805 with a fantastic B&W soundbar, four-sided Ambilight and a striking design. Yes, it also takes over the weak points of the OLED804: a moderately improved chipset, and a somewhat cheap remote. Such a premium device deserves a more premium remote and a more powerful chipset. The design is very striking, and it takes up space. It makes this TV a real lifestyle object, and with the foot it will not just find a place in every living room. We do not want to put that downside, design is an integral part of why you choose this model. And the price, although it is hard to ignore that, but those who want the cream of the crop must take it in.

What a beautiful sound from the B&W soundbar! We are quite impressed with the performance. Lively music, spatial film sounds, this soundbar is a great example of technology. And a perfect addition to the fantastic images. If you want a reference image, the Philips must tolerate the Panasonic OLEDs, but it delivers top performance in all other respects. The new P5 chip makes Perfect Natural Reality even better, so that you can now put that HDR look on all your SDR images. The color reproduction is excellent, and the improved black detail solves one of the latest OLED problems. In HDR he now supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 +. As icing on the cake, the latest new Android TV version and four-sided Ambilight. In short, the Philips 65OLED984 is a reference for excellent image and sound. Fantastic B&W sound

  • Third generation P5 image processing
  • Perfect Natural Reality
  • Color rendering
  • Contrast, black value and shadow detail
  • Ambilight
  • Homecinema Magazine
    Rating
    9.5 19659120] Eric Beeckmans product

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