I was quite sore that I missed out on the launch of this TV, but sure enough, it landed on our AV room’s doorstep a short while after. I was amazed at the sheer size of the package, and was even more amazed when I actually got the monster out of its box. This 58-inch TV is definitely one of the biggest TVs I’ve ever seen. But will it live up to the massive hype?

Super-wide, super cool

Design and Features
Apart from the width, this TV has quite an ordinary design. One would really expected a lot more from a TV of this stature in terms of style, as Philips is obviously aiming at making this one a part of the big boys club. It has a pretty thick border, although I do like the matte, brushed-metal finish. The Philips logo at the bottom centre of the has these really cool looking menu buttons right under it that light up when you turn the TV on.

Cool, sci-fi menu buttons

Cool, sci-fi menu buttons

The stand that comes with the TV is huge, and also doubles up as a wall mount. It allows the TV to be swiveled horizontally, but it does seem a little flimsy, though. The back of the TV has all the usual suspects when it comes to connectivity. What’s important is that it does have 4 HDMI inputs, including one 1.4 port. This TV also has a component connection, but Philips has done away with composite sockets.

The remote looks a little like an elliptical dish and fit nicely in my hand. My only problem with it is that nothing is marked, so it may take you a little time to figure out which button does what. For instance, I kept trying pressing the ‘Home’ button when I wanted to go to the main menu. But it does get easier after a while.

I was really disappointed with the active 3D glasses that came with this TV. They’ve got that cheap movie-theatre vibe happening and are not really comfortable. I’m not really a big fan of 3D, and these glasses just seemed to increase my dislike towards it, as my eyes started hurting after a while.

Plenty of connections, but no composite input

Plenty of connections, but no composite input

The Cinema 21:9 has a bunch of features apart from its cinemascope aspect ratio. It supports 3D Blu-ray playback in addition to the side-by-side and top-and-bottom formats used in broadcasts. It also has an LED backlit panel with local dimming for better blacks. But the icing on the cake is definitely the Ambilight Spectra 3 feature which makes the overall viewing experience a lot better by mirroring colors around the top, left and right edges of the screen to emit a halo of lights.

Other features include the Net TV function, which allows the downloading of apps like YouTube, etc. it also supports the playback of 1080-p MKV files via DLNA. Philips has included a copy of he Philips MediaConnect software which allows you to duplicate anything from games to videos on your PC screens and you can do this wirelessly in up to HD resolution as long as your TV and computer are connected to the same network. However, all is not peaches and cream, as this TV does not support 2D-3D conversion. I don’t really care about it, but a lot of others might.

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