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Philips Sends Off ’09 LCD TV, Blu-ray Lines

New York — Philips-branded TVs and Blu-ray Disc players once again appeared at the company’s Christmas in June press event staged Tuesday by the traditional Philips Consumer Lifestyles company, even though sales and marketing of the categories is now the responsibility of the Funai-owned P&F USA.

The annual press event included representative LCD TV models from P&F USA’s Philips 6000 and 7000

series — a 32-inch piece and 47-inch model, respectively. The former was placed in a bedroom setting, while the latter was centrally seated in the main living portion of the posh multi-level suite in The London Hotel.

In all, Philips is offering four TV series this year, including the entry 3504/3704 series, the 5704 series, the 6000 series and the 7000 series. All but the 7000 series, which is due later this month, are shipping to retailers now.

The 3504/3704 series, which ships in various sizes to mass merchants including Wal-Mart, Target, Meijer’s, BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club, includes the 19-inch ($249 suggested retail), 22-inch ($299), 32-inch ($449), 42-inch ($799), 47-inch ($1,049) and 52-inch ($1,599) screen sizes.

The 5704 series, which ships in various sizes to Wal-Mart, Meijer’s, Fred Meyer, Dell, Amazon and various distributors, includes the 42-inch ($999), 47-inch ($1,199) and 52-inch ($1,699) screen sizes.

The 6000 series, which is shipping primarily to warehouse clubs, Fry’s, Amazon and various distributors, also just received price cuts of $100 on the 32-inch model ($699), and $200 price cuts each on the 42-inch ($1,199) and 47-inch ($1,499) models.

The 7000 series, for which distribution is still under negotiations, just received an across-the-board $200 price cut, and includes the 42-inch ($1,299), 47-inch ($1,599) and 52-inch ($2,099) screen sizes.

All 6000 and 7000 Series models offer FullHD 1080p resolution and 120Hz ClearLCD motion-compensation processing for a 2ms refresh rate, four HDMI inputs, and an ultra-thin bezel design using a rounded acrylic edge.

The 7000-series models add Philips’ proprietary Halo-Free technology that removes the faint halo accompanying fast-moving action, and Perfect Pixel HD processing, vs. the step-down Pixel Precise HD technology in the 6000 series.

Models in the 7000, 6000 and 5704 series all incorporate a proprietary dimming technology that lowers the LCD panel backlight to reduce power consumption while maintaining acceptable performance levels for the surrounding light levels.

A built-in light sensor automatically measures the viewing room’s ambient lighting and adjusts the television’s backlight for power efficiency. The sets were also said to exceed the EnergyStar 3.0 guidelines, even in standby mode.

Philips said its new technology will reduce standby power up to 80 percent from last year’s models and up to 59 percent when the sets are in use. Depending on the model, Philips estimates the combined power reduction will save users an average of up to $60 a year.

Philips’ LCD TVs also include Perfect Natural Motion technology, which eliminates juddering effects that appear with recorded movie content, such as DVD and Blu-ray Discs.

The new series features an invisible speaker system that is said to emit big sound from the slim TV cabinet.

The new sets also simplify set up, using a new Settings Assistant feature that requires only a few steps to select onscreen preferences with the left and right cursor buttons. An included onscreen chart helps step viewers through the selection of what they perceive as the best picture and sound quality levels.

As for Blu-ray players, P&F also demonstrated the Philips BDP7310 ($299 suggested retail) stand-alone player that is shipping this now with 1080p at 24 fps output, BD-Live capability, and support for Bonus View and Deep Color technology. The unit also up-scales DVDs to 1080p and supports DivX and WMV file formats.

The company will also ship this month the Philips HD home-theater system — HTS 5100B ($599) — with 1080p/24 fps Blu-ray playback, and Bonus View support.