Hello guys! Just before the new review season begins, I want to share my experience with Philips 6550 series TV from last year. Main reason for this is to list anomalies which I’ve encountered during the test.
I am sure this will be useful for all of you who are considering this particular model. I will focus on picture quality in this review since design, setup and menu overview is already covered in the unboxing video – check description for the link.
As Full HD TVs slowly fade away from the market, people are looking for the best non-UHD models that are still available. PFT6550 is the highest ranked Full HD model in Philips 2015 lineup, featuring company’s well known Perfect Pixel HD engine, 800 Hz Perfect Motion Rate and Micro Dimming Pro technologies.
Active 3D is also supported, though there were no 3D glasses in the packaging. Until the advent of UHD, Philips’s Perfect Pixel HD engine was one of the best picture processors out there. A few years back it was reserved only for the high end models and delivered stunning picture quality when combined with high contrast 100 Hz plus panels.
Its focus is on color, sharpness and noise of the picture, regardless of its resolution or type. In short, you could be watching noisy interlaced SD content and still experience solid picture. Since PFT6550 is equipped with this high quality processor, I expected nothing but great picture coming out of this TV.
Philips has selected VA panel with ANSI contrast of 3700:1 and Rec.709 coverage of about 97.6% to make sure that this quality processing is done on the solid ground. However, things were not looking so great when I actually started watching the content.
Here are top 5 problems I’ve experienced during the test: Problem #1: sharpness This is the first TV for which it took me more then 10 seconds to adjust sharpness properly. What do I mean by that? Well, I want to look at the original image, not overprocessed one with yellow halos around the objects.
On the other side, I do not want picture to be less sharp than it is supposed to be. With PFT6550, it seems that there is no ideal value, just bigger or smaller compromise. Sharpness set at 0 will make image look blurry.
Sharpness at 1 will bring it closer to the original image, but will introduce slight halo effect. Sharpness at 2 will increase processing even more and this will keep increasing as we reach max value of 10.
Part of the solution is to enable Game or Computer mode, but this is not valid for all types of signal. Problem #2: blurry image This is not related with problematic sharpness, but seems to be something else.
During watching content over digital tuner or USB, I saw image I can best describe as faint 2D-to-3D conversion even though 3D was disabled. Image looked as if it had crosstalk in it which could be observed from 2 to 3 meters away from the TV quite easily.
Part of this problem was solved with new software update, but I still could see it on some content. Problem #3: Gamma fluctuations Even though local dimming and dynamic contrast were disabled, TV was often activating something similar to dynamic contrast which was crushing details in the dark areas of the picture.
In this video this is clearly shown on the port side of the ship. Look how strip is dark and details are hard to see. To fix this you need to go to the menu and play with Contrast control. Immediately after doing this, gamma will normalize and exposure will come closer to the original image.
Problem #4: Motion interpolation You know that I am not a big fan of soap opera effect when watching movies. I like the original 24 frames per second pace without judder reduction. Well, someone at Philips thinks that this is not the correct approach and makes judder reduction constantly kick in.
So even if Perfect Natural Motion is disabled, tempo of the movies is not right and artifacts show up when scene gets complex. To correct this you again have to play with picture options or if source permits, activate PC or Computer mode.
Problem #5: Upside down picture I’ve tested over a hundred TVs in my career from low to high end and I’ve never seen anything like this. When I was checking input lag on all 4 HDMIs this TV has, I noticed that on HDMI number 3 picture is upside down.
I tried all different picture presets, exchanged cables and inputs, but problem remained. The only good thing is that I managed to measure the input lag… So how to conclude? I find it very disapointing that technology which was proven so many times in the past is now so unstable and problematic.
Yes, there are certain strenghts like high contrast and true 100 Hz panel, but it is really annoying to constantly fight with the TV on how it is handling picture. This is the 4th Philips series 6 TV in the past 4 years which is very unstable in terms of picture quality and it looks like we are not making any progress in solving it.
I don’t know if Android has anything to do with it, but this is a clear example how TV should not work and be set for home usage. If this was only happening in Standard or Natural modes I would understand, but all of these problems were visible in Movie and ISF modes as well.
The only positive item related to the software is Android platform, which was crashing significantly less than the one on more expensive PUS7600 model. I really hope that Philips will correct these issues in the upcoming software updates.
If they provide me with a review sample, I would be happy to retest it and share the results in a new video. Until then, I do not recommend this TV and suggest Panasonic, Samsung or LG in the same price range for more stable result and overall better video experience.
Thank you for watching.