Hit All The Right Notes With Their 7100 4K UHD TV

SmartHouse - - CONTENTS - Writ­ten by Fer­gus Hal­l­i­day

For a lot of man­u­fac­tur­ers, the jump to 4K res­o­lu­tion and ul­tra high-def­i­ni­tion is more-or-less its own end. If you’re look­ing to up­grad­ing your home theatre ex­pe­ri­ence from high def­i­ni­tion, 4K is the bul­let point on the box that sells the TV on a tech­ni­cal level, and if you’ve al­ready made the jump once be­fore, it’s the place you start at be­fore work­ing up to the TV you want.

Go­ing into 2017, of­fer­ing 4K likely won’t be enough on its own. To stand out in the face of those expectations, a TV needs to go beyond that bul­let point. Philips’ new 7100 Se­ries Ul­tra Slim UHD is ex­actly that. It doesn’t just go above and beyond the min­i­mum re­quire­ments, it does so with both style and flour­ish. It’s a TV that’s not just nice to look at, it’s one that great to look and one that de­serves praise.

The 7100 touts over 8 mil­lion pix­els and the 55-inch dis­play makes great use of ev­ery sin­gle one of them. Edges look sharp, de­tails more dis­tinct and colours pop with a lively vi­brancy. Even com­pared to the other 4K TVs we have in the of­fice we ob­served a no­table im­prove­ment in the vis­ual qual­ity. On the broader curve of pic­ture qual­ity, it’s not nec­es­sar­ily “the best” in the business but it’s cer­tainly to­wards the top-end.

It cer­tainly helps that ac­cess­ing such con­tent – no mat­ter the source – is made easy by the 7100’s com­mend­able and in­tu­itive in­te­gra­tion of An­droid TV. Nav­i­ga­tion is swift on all lev­els and it’s easy to switch be­tween dif­fer­ent ser­vices like Net­flix (which has its own ded­i­cated but­ton on the re­mote). More im­por­tantly, it’s easy to in­stall new stream­ing ap­pli­ca­tions through the Google Play store. This small, but im­por­tant fea­ture, is just an­other notch that dis­tin­guishes the Philips 7100 as a solid pack­age. Where other TVs just think of Net­flix, this TV has thought about its place in a fu­ture where maybe the ser­vice doesn’t hold the same dom­i­nance and pre­pared ac­cord­ingly. As such, it’s that much more ver­sa­tile a de­vice.

Even when it comes to the re­mote, it feels like Philips have gone the ex­tra mile. It’s well-weighted and but­tons feel re­spon­sive when pressed. A key­board on the re­verse side of the re­mote of­fers up stan­dard typ­ing func­tion­al­ity. How­ever, un­like plenty of sim­i­lar of­fer­ings, it ac­tu­ally feels sur­pris­ingly nice to type on. Plenty of other smart TVs make it pos­si­ble to watch YouTube and nav­i­gate ap­pli­ca­tions, the 7100 makes it a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence you ac­tu­ally ap­pre­ci­ate and en­joy.

An­other way that the 7100 goes above and beyond can be seen in its unique back­light­ing. An am­bi­ent back­drop set to ac­com­pany your next binge-watch­ing ses­sion, the TV emits an ex­tra wide glow that changes colours to match the im­age on the screen. Though it’s easy to write this fea­ture off as a gim­mick, in prac­tice it ac­tu­ally proves a ma­jor as­set to the 7100. It makes view­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that much more im­mer­sive and cin­e­matic. All told, the ef­fect is sub­tle but un­de­ni­ably ben­e­fi­cial.

The only area that re­ally yearns for tan­gi­ble im­prove­ment is per­haps the au­dio out­put. It’s far from aw­ful but it does sit as pretty or­di­nary com­pared to the rest of the pack­age. In short, like most 4K TVs, you can prob­a­bly get away with us­ing the speak­ers on the 7100. How­ever, if you’re investing three grand into pick­ing up the 7100, you’ll al­most cer­tainly want to go the full mile and com­bine it with a ded­i­cated sound sys­tem.

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