Philips 55PFL7606H 3D TV 55″

Posted on 24 June 2012

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I bought this TV to replace the LG LM760 that was too reflective to my taste. It’s simpler in the smart-tv department, but it does have a HDMI 1.4 input, USB inputs and a SD card reader. To me that is enough, I am not looking for wireless mediacenter functionality. Plus it adds ambilight, better sound and higher cd/m2 at the same contrast ratio as the LG. The only con is that the headphone out is sticking to the back of the display.

It looks better then the LG when it’s off, and when on it can go brighter then the LG. It features a seperate power-cord and has lower power consumption. The only downside is that blacks will never really get black with this TV.

First impressions

After using it a few times, I found that the controls really are not very great. But after a short while, I got really used to the remote. There also is a nice iphone app to remote control the TV. Sweet!

The TV killed the first USB stick I used to test files. There is no way of getting it to work again. So to be sure I’ll never plug or unplug a stick when the TV is on. Suddenly, I remember I’ve had this before with the philips TV of a friend, once. I tried everything, winXP system admin, macOS harddisktools and HDDguru to restore it, this is what I got in HDDguru:

The TV rebooted a few times, well, I think it was a reboot. Maybe that is the reason. I have not been able to recreate this problem.

S3D Playback from USB

The big test is playback from USB. I found in the help files on the TV itself that this TV does not support 3D playback from USB. However, it is possible to set it manually to top/bottom or side-by-side 3D. The problem is that the TV will not remember the 3D settings when it skips to the next file or back to the menu, so you will have to set it again and again.

Therefore, my goal is to just feed it a file with line interleaved 3D, so one does not have to set anything in the TV.

I found the codec table in the help of the TV itself,  it seems to be the same as the codec table of the 2010 model PFLxxx5 TV’s on the Philips Support site:

The only difference is that the 2011 model PFLxxx6 has ‘max frame rate’ stated in the table.

One of the things I noticed is that it is supposed to playback MKV 1920*1080@24fps files from USB, with h.264 codec at 20 Mbps max. But I’ve tested this with a 5 Mbps file and playback was awful. Yes, it did playback these files but it looked choppy or something.

Also, playback of 1920*1080@24fps MP4 AVC files at 10 Mbps will make the TV crash. At 5 Mbps it will playback fine.

From here, I made a few test files with 30p files at 20mbps max:

  • TS file: top/bottom 29.970 fps 1920x1080p, made in compressor. This is a MPEG2 video file with an avarage video bitrate of 14,8 mbps and max of 20 mbps. The sound is mpeg1v2 at 384 kbps, 48khz. The file plays back without problems, the only thing is that the 3D playback has to be set manually.
  • MP4 file: top/bottom 30,120 fps 1920x1080p, made with FCP7 quicktime conversion. This is a AVC main@L4.0 codec with an avarage bitrate of 14,3 Mbps. Playback stops at a certain point in the video and the TV skips to the next movie on the USB. If I use fast-forward to pass this moment, playback of the rest of the video is fine. So I suspect it is either the strange framerate, or it might be a max bitrate burst at that specific moment. Also with this file, I have to set the 3D playback manually.

Then I wanted to test if it would playback a fields interleaved 3D file, so I would not have to set 3D playback manually. So I made a line interleaved mp4 file, 30,120 fps 1920x1080p, made with FCP quicktime conversion. All details the same as the above TB file. This was a disaster, there is some kind of S3D experience but there is a lot of crosstalk. I think it is some sort of signal processing done in the philips TV. There could be a few explanations, like the avc file is a progressive instead of interlaced file. This might also be coming from the 25p source to 30p conversion or it a limitation of the hardware in the TV. When I play that file back from a laptop through HDMI, it looks fine.

Update 16/11/12: I’ve tried updating it to V000.014.101.000 (1/10/12) with the USB stick before, but without much luck. The TV crashed and it took me a lot of effort to get it back to work again. I also tried the English version: same same. Now I connected the TV to internet and it downloaded a software update from 0.14.95 to version Q5551-0.14.99.0_bld78a. Updated without a problem. Lets see if this solves my S3d problem before I try to update to the 101 version again.

Update 19/5/13: I made an export from Sony Movie Studio 12 with the following settings: MP4, AVC 1920×1080 p23,976 @ 10mbps with the project set to Line Alternate. This works great! The only problem now is ghosting in the bright blue and red area’s, of which I am sure it is the 4:2:0 subsampling (CUE).

Next up is testing higher bitrate (20 mbps) and 4:2:2 mpeg2 (blu-ray, 422 or high profile) export. 422 profile program mpg didn’t work. high profile with 422 stream mpg didn’t work either. The TV didn’t recognise m2t file, so renamed to .ts: only sound (there is a 4:2:2 videostream). I guess I should try to find a AVC hi422 encoder or see if WMV supports 422?

HDMI input

I did get problems with sound and my WHDI set. So I started testing the HDMI inputs:

MBP to Philips FTV

The philips FTV takes the following inputs:

  • 1080i @ 50 or 60 Hz (FTV: HD1080)
  • 1080p @ 24, 25, 30, 50 or 60 Hz (FTV: HD1080p)
  • 720p @ 50 or 60 Hz (FTV: 720p)
  • 480p @ 60 Hz (FTV: 480p)
  • 640×480 @ 60 Hz (FTV: VGA)
  • 720×576 @ 50 Hz (FTV: 576p)

All other inputs (like 800*600 or 1600×900) are scaled up by the MBP to HD 1080p. This explains that you can choose ‘stretched’ in osX: it’s scaled by the graphics card. Sound is recognised as ‘digital stereo’ by the FTV. Also note that only the 1080 and 720 profiles have the Rec709 color profile, the others have a default SD170M-A color profile.

The three things that are annoying:

  1. There is no 720×576 interlaced option, this would be great to review TV commercials
  2. Sound doesn’t go through my WHDI set
  3. I have this one HDMI cable that does work with the FTV but doesn’t with my BenQ screens. There is no problem with this cable and my Z10000 with the same BenQ screen. Another cable (same type) does work in all cases. So what’s up with that?
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Posted in: S3d