- Reproduces color with naturalness and richness
- Its level of detail in dark areas is very high, despite not using backlighting FALD
- Its sound is convincing, especially given the limitations of these televisions
- The full keyboard of your remote control is very practical
- The base is bulky and not very stylized
- Android TV does not "run" smoothly
- HDR worthy, but not spectacular
Philips 8503: technical specifications
The main signal of identity of this television is, without a doubt, the Ambilight technology. We just have to realize that there is an innovation in audio and video to realize that this innovation has detractors, but also many followers who trumpet their loyalty to the Dutch brand, precisely because of this benefit. As you would expect a high-end model, the version implemented in this television is the three-sided, and therefore, it is on the role that offers the experience of immersion in the most successful content.
The LCD panel chosen by Philips in this model is IPS type, a technology that largely prevents color degradation when the angle from which the image is observed is not optimal. Interestingly, this is the same strategy used in their LED LCD TVs by LG, but not by Samsung and Sony, which tend to opt for VA type panels, which usually offer us a shorter response time, and, therefore, also less motion blur, but they suffer from more limited viewing angles.
Another component of this “TV” in which it is worthwhile to notice is its image processor. This chip, known as the P5 Perfect Picture Engine, is the most sophisticated processing engine Philips currently has. Even so, it is not relegated only to the OLED TVs of the highest range, but also assumes the responsibility of processing the images of less ambitious OLED models, and also a good part of the LED LCD catalog of this brand. We will deepen their benefits a little later in this article
On the other hand, the nanoparticle technology implemented in the panel of this television works “side by side” with the 17-bit color processing carried out by the P5 image chip to enable the reproduction of a wider color gamut . On paper, this model works with a range of 2,250 trillion different shades, a feature that, according to Philips, allows it to cover 90% of the DCI-P3 color space. Later, in the section dedicated to our test bench, we will see if our subjective perception of color is in line with the theoretical potential of this model in this field.
Design and finishing
Many of the Asian TV brands have been striving for years to reduce the thickness of both the frames and the main chassis of their proposals, but Philips in this area is on other tracks (although pedigree is currently not only European, but also Chinese). As you can see in the images that illustrate this analysis, the frames of this model are not at all exaggerated, but they are not as fine as those of some televisions of the South Korean and Japanese manufacturers, a sensation reinforced by the presence of a sound bar attached to the lower frame.
Of course, the finish of the front profile of this TV in brushed aluminum is not only visually attractive, but also gives a “premium touch”. In addition, its machining is impeccable, so in this matter I can’t say anything wrong.
Largely responsible for the chassis of this TV is not as fine as some of its competitors is the Ambilight technology, which requires space on the rear panel to house the LEDs that are responsible for the ambient lighting. Also, space within the chassis itself for the control circuitry (although in principle the size of this printed circuit board should not be greater than that of a Raspberry Pi). The backlighting, as I anticipated at the beginning of the analysis, is Edge LED type, and, therefore, peripheral. Probably having been of type FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) would have added a few millimeters more to the thickness of this “tv”.
Another section in which Philips seems to go to some extent against the current is the derivative of the design of the base that gives stability to the main chassis of the television. While other brands strive to design stylized and unobtrusive supports, this model is distinguished by a rather voluminous aluminum base that, however, confers a very remarkable stability to the whole. In his defense, it is easy for me to recognize that his machining, like that of the chassis, is great.
The soul of this television? Without a doubt, the P5 image processor
During my participation in the event that Philips carried out at the end of last January in Amsterdam, and in which I was able to “taste” this TV for the first time, I had the opportunity to talk to Danny Tack, Director of Planning and Strategy of Product of Philips, and one of the technicians of the brand with a deeper knowledge of everything that has to do with the processing of the image. A true guru. Precisely it was Tack who explained to me a good part of the peculiarities of the P5 image processor, which is largely responsible for the images that is capable of restoring this television.
The P5 chip has a processing algorithm designed specifically to detect the presence or not of HDR metadata in the incoming signal in order to carry out a meticulous analysis of its contrast, color and sharpness, thus adapting the processing to the characteristics of the video signal that needs to be restored. This model satisfies the HDR10 + standard, and, therefore, is capable of reading dynamic metadata and adjusting the level of brightness and color during the reproduction of the contents, and not only prior to the start of the visualization.
Although the design and engineering of Philips televisions is carried out in the Netherlands, the TP Vision support and the Chinese DNA of the latter company are noted in the price at which this model has reached the market, which is something more moderate that the LED LCD TVs comparable performance of some of its rivals. There is no doubt that it is an option with an attractive price / performance ratio, but if we stick strictly to its image quality, the 8503 goes well.
Its overall image quality is high, but it shines especially for its ability to reproduce color naturally, and also for the level of detail it throws in dark areas, which is very close to that of the solutions with backlighting FALD. Their blacks, too, are deep. Not as much as the models with OLED panel, as expected, but of the most successful with LED LCD technology. And its sound is surprisingly convincing, especially if we take into account that the audio of modern televisions does not usually bring us many joys.
On the one hand, its HDR is not as spectacular as that of some of its competitors, such as the Sony XF90 series or Samsung Q7F and Q8F. In addition, it is not a specially stylized television, especially if you look at its base, which is much more bulky and “rough” than other options that we can find on the market today. And, finally, it suffers from the same as almost all TVs that make up Android TV: this operating system does not “run” with the lightness that users would like. In any case, these shortcomings are not critical, so I firmly believe that it is worth taking into account if we look for a latest TV and its price fits us.