Hands-on: Philips’ AmbiLux is TV plus fireworks

Philips has created a most mesmeric televisual experience; the company debuted a new television set, the Philips AmbiLux, at IFA in Berlin, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Philips has been playing with surrounding its TVs with ambient light (AmbiLight… get it?) to complement on-screen colours for several years now, but the AmbiLux takes it to a whole new level. This television set has nine pico-projectors on its rear that cast ambient light in just the right colour shades, and extends the image onto the wall.

The 4K Ultra HD image itself is sharp and pops with colour, and thanks to the strength of projector bulbs and the thin bezel, the illusion is mostly uninterrupted.

WIRED spent some time sitting in front of the television in a dark room, watching colours and scenes extend and flicker over the walls, and can confirm that it is extremely impressive — a little bit like watching fireworks in your lounge. The aim is to add an immersive element to watching TV, which it does indeed achieve.

With screens in every direction we look, we are used to focusing these days solely on what is inside the box, but when it comes to entertainment, Philips has shown that is doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be that way. A gaming demo we observed saw the reverberations of exploding asteroids ripple off the screen and across the wall. It creates more space within whatever world you are looking into and swaps the blunt edges of that world for a more subtle, more ambiguous slow fade.

 

We’re used to seeing TVs shown off at technology shows that are far away from heading to market — not so with this 65-inch set, which will go on sale within the next few months for an as-yet unknown sum. On board you will find everything that you might want from a high-end telly, including Android TV and the piercing pixel density of 4K.

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