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P&F’s Philips Expands 4K Blu-ray, Chromecast, Dolby Vision

P&F USA is expanding its selection of Philips-brand Ultra HD Blu-ray players, Chromecast-based 4K TVs, and TVs equipped with the HDR 10 and Dolby Vision high-dynamic range technologies.

The company’s two new 4K Blu-ray players will include the first Philips 4K player with Dolby Vision, which will be enabled through a software update later in the year. P&F said it expects the first Dolby Vision-enabled 4K Blu-ray discs to be available in early 2017.

In all, P&F is launching 14 4K TVs, up from nine launched in 2016, and adding larger screen sizes at 86 and 98 inches, up from a maximum 75 inches in 2016. The 98-inch model will retail for $19,999 and features Dolby Vision.

Ten models will support Dolby Vision, up from two in 2016. Dolby Vision content consists of more than 80 studio titles and more than 100 hours of original content from OTT streaming services, Philips noted.

Like last year, all new 4K TVs support HDR 10.

The number of 4K TVs with wide color gamut goes to three from two, all delivering 75 percent of the BT.2020 color-space standard. And the number of 4K TV SKUs with the Chromecast built-in smart-TV OS goes to seven from the four launched in 2016.

TVs with Chromecast built-in, formerly called Google Cast, aren’t like traditional smart TVs, which come with embedded apps. Instead, consumers use Cast-enabled apps running on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or Chromebook to select a streaming service that streams content directly from the Cloud to a Chromecast-equipped TV over the Internet. The mobile device can be used to search, queue and control the content that’s streaming to the TV. The TVs can also be controlled by voice through Google’s Google Home speaker with Google Assistant.

More than 1,000 apps are Cast-enabled, accessing more than 200,000 TV shows and movies and 30 million songs, P&F said.

Here’s what’s coming from P&F:

4K Blu-ray: The $299 BDP7502 and $249 BDP5502 are due in the spring, with the $299 model stepping up to Dolby Vision when a software upgrade becomes available later this year. The $299 model also steps up to add built-in HEVC and VP9 decoding to stream Netflix and YouTube 4K content. It also features 4K upscaling of non-4K sources, Dolby TrueHD and DTSHD Master Audio decoding, HDMI 2.0a HDR video output, and a separate HDMI 1.4a audio output to send audio to older audio/video receivers. It also features Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Ethernet and USB Multimedia.

The $249 player is positioned as a mainstream player for people who already own smart TVs.

Last year’s 4K player was launched at $399 in two finishes.

Also due in the spring is a $99 4K-upscaling Blu-ray player.

5000 series 4K TVs: Positioned as affordable 4K smart TVs, the four models in the 5000 series feature the Chromecast built-in smart-TV OS, 120Hz refresh rate, 4K upscaling, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO, USB multimedia, HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP 2.2, and HEVC and VP9 hardware decoders for playback of 4K Blu-ray and 4K streaming sources.

The four models, due in April, come in 43-, 50-, 55-, and 65-inch screen sizes at $529, $599, $699, and $1,199, respectively.

6000 series 4K TVs: The six premium 4K smart TVs run on the Philips NetTV smart-TV platform and steps up to Dolby Vision. The lineup consists of a $649 43-inch model, a $799 50-inch model, a $899 55-inch SKU, a $1,399 65-inch SKU, a $2,799 75-inch model, and a $6,999 86-inch model. The first four are due in the spring, and the latter two arrive in the summer.

Philips’s NetTV platform features such built-in apps as Netflix, YouTube, Vudu and Pandora. It also includes the Hotlist and Xumo app portals for free access to more than 100 channels of digital content, including content from Bloomberg, CBS News, Time, Condé Nast Entertainment, BuzzFeed, and PopSugar.

All 6000-series models also feature BrightPro backlighting to boost brighter areas by up to twice as much as a regular LED backlights, the company said. They also feature macro dimming to change back-light levels by frame, 120Hz refresh rate, 4K upscaling, wireless screencasting, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO, USB multimedia, HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2, and HEVC and VP9 hardware decoders.

7000 series 4K TV: The series consists of a 98-inch TV that offers the features of the 6000 series, including Dolby Vision, but steps up to a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s due in the summer at $19,999.

8000 series 4K TVs: The three-SKU series, due in the fall, also features Dolby Vision but steps up to a wide color gamut that displays 75 percent of the BT.2020 color space. They also feature Chromecast built-in smart-TV OS.

A 49-inch model is $999, with 55 inches at $1,199 and 65 inches at $1,699.

All come with BrightPro Plus, micro dimming (multizone LED backlighting), 240Hz refresh, 4K upscaling, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO, USB multimedia, HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2, and HEVC and VP9 hardware decoders.

P&F USA, a subsidiary of Funai Electric Co., is the exclusive North American licensee for Philips TVs and home video products.