IFA: Philips: A monitor revolves around the me, a TV around the us

With the Philips brand, TP Vision is one of the most important brands in the consumer electronics market. During the IFA we had the opportunity to catch up with the people behind this company about the developments in the television market. What will the television of the future look like and what is the difference between a monitor and a TV.

We presented it to Danny Tack, responsible for the brand’s television strategy, Benoit Burette, who is responsible for audio, and the person responsible for design: Rod White.

We kick off with White. What are the key drivers for designing a television?

White responds: “If you look at the television market, the most important drivers for the design are the panel specifications. If you don’t have a certain new technology or specification in a certain year, the bottom line is that you won’t sell the product in the end.

For example, in certain categories you must have Atmos: you either have that or you don’t. These are examples of things that are important for the development of new products. From the brand perspective, sustainability is very important for us to take with us. We also try to take into account that as the European Philips brand, we can be recognizable in a store in a distinctive way. We want to entice consumers to look at our products and there must be elements that fascinate and make you enthusiastic about purchasing one of our products.

Rod White is responsible for design at Philips (TPV)

Philips has always been committed to using materials correctly. For example, we try to reduce the use of new plastic and switch to recycled and natural materials. For example, with our latest devices we supply a remote control with a Murhead leather finish. That leather is also used in our headphones and soundbars, it comes from Scottish cows, cows that are bred and raised in a responsible, certified way.

The great thing about this material is that it not only feels nice and it ages beautifully over time. We also make responsible choices for the metal we use, as well as the Kvadrat speaker finish, which is made of one hundred percent wool. Of course that also comes from sheep, in this case coincidentally not from Scotland like our cows. We try to combine these materials so that they fit into the homes of the consumers who buy our products.”

The television changes. You used to get away with a few buttons for the television channels, nowadays we watch a lot of streaming services and we also play games on a TV. What does this mean for the design?

The designer continues: “An important difference is that the size of televisions has increased enormously in recent years and that the edges have virtually disappeared, especially with OLED. Meanwhile, 65 or 77 inches has become a common size. A few years ago you really could not imagine that this format would appear in European households.

A TV is a large, flat panel. The consequence of this is that there is no room left for speakers and good audio. That led us to partner with Bowers and Wilkins. In addition, we also have Ambilight with which it seems that the huge screen seems to float in space.

If you look at the remote control, in the past you sometimes saw as many as fifty buttons. Now the buttons where you switch directly to the streaming providers are more important and those other buttons are decreasing in importance.

We also often build in voice control, but people in Europe remain a bit shy about using it. It is used more in China and there you often find better microphones in televisions, European consumers are a little more suspicious of devices that listen in or watch in the living room. “

At Gamescom, Corsair introduced a bendable monitor and LG introduced a bendable TV at IFA. Is bendable the new curved?

White: “We did introduce curved monitors, but we didn’t quite compete with TVs. It hasn’t quite worked in the television market, but curved is a good solution for monitors. With a monitor you are closer than a TV and then a curved screen works well.

It’s the same with bendable: it really has to offer a benefit to the consumer. If it has no real benefit, then it is just a gimmick.”

Does that also apply to roll-up screens?

Rod continues quickly: “Rollable solves a problem. The screen is there when you need it and it’s not there when you don’t. Then you get into the discussion about the price and sustainability of such a product. People are afraid that if it is cheap it will break or that it will be too expensive and they will not be able to buy it. I find this a much more interesting solution than a bendable television.”

Televisions are getting bigger and bigger. You previously indicated that the trend towards 65 and 77 inches has started, will it soon be 84 inches?

He continues: “Yes, we are already looking at much larger sizes such as 150 inches in our development centers in China. Your house must of course be suitable and it can be quite a challenge to deliver such a television in Amsterdam, for example.

Looking into the future, I see televisions that adapt according to your wishes. If you watch a movie, you watch it at an impressive size of 150 inches, if you’re watching the news, it adjusts to 32 inches. That flexibility is the ultimate goal, how we are going to achieve this technically is not yet clear.

Is there still a difference between a monitor and a television? With the arrival of more and more streaming services, you no longer need a tuner. Without a tuner, the difference between the two is only small.

White: “That tuner remains an important difference, even if you look at the import duties. Another difference is the use. You usually use a monitor on your own, while a television is used by several people at the same time. Most televisions also contain a speaker. built-in, while the sound with a monitor is usually controlled by other peripherals. A monitor is more about the me, a TV more about us.”

Danny Tack is responsible for the television strategy at Philips (TPV)

Danny Tack, responsible for the televisions, adds the designer: “Gamers want increasingly larger screens and gaming features such as HDMI 2.1 are becoming increasingly important. When you look at the image quality of a monitor, you want a one-to-one representation of the pixels, as accurate as possible. All image enhancements are disabled there to achieve the lowest possible latency. With a television you have a number of image settings: such as cinema mode, vivid or crystal clear, for example. This allows you to achieve a much better image experience. For streams, we are adding a NetFlix-certified mode on televisions, where certain improvements are turned on and off for optimal playback of that content. “

How do you look at sound for gamers, at soundbars?

Sound expert Benoit starts off: “We still have a long way to go in terms of spatial sound. We can now realize quite decent spatial sound, but despite the fact that more than a decade of research has been invested in this technique, it is still difficult to reproduce well in front and back in spatial sound. Dolby now has the option to display virtual height, which more or less works. What still remains very difficult is to estimate the distance of sound, which is more than sound that gets louder or softer. A lot happens then, the spectrum of the sound is different if it is close by or further. For our brain this is very simple, but for us it is complicated to process this in algorithms. A lot still needs to be done to achieve a truly realistic 3D sound for gaming.”

Benoit Burette deals with audio strategy.

It is also important for gamers to communicate. How do you view the possibilities for communication with the soundbar? Benoit: That’s challenging, the problem is having enough bandwidth available for the spatial sound and also the return channel of the microphone.”

Source: Hardware Info Compleet by nl.hardware.info.

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