The price is right

Home Cinema Choice|March 2020

The price is right
John Archer auditions Philips' new entry-level OLED, and discovers it delivers on its bargain ambitions
​​​​​​​John Archer

Combining a 2020 OLED TV design with an older processing system, Philips 754 series offers cash-strapped OLED fans a more affordable way to buy into their home cinema screen dream; the 65in model reviewed here is the cheapest big-brand 65in OLED TV we’ve tested.

Not that there’s anything at all cheap about this flatscreen's design or build quality. The 65OLED754 looks and feels seriously premium. There's an ultra-narrow frame around the screen, slender rear, and a lovely and robust brushed-metal back panel. And the low feet the TV sits on are so narrow that they almost vanish when you’re viewing the screen head on.

One design element you certainly can see at all times, however, is Ambilight – Philips' exclusive illumination/ immersion technology. The coloured lights erupting from the left, right and top edges of the 65OLED754 can be set to a favourite colour, or to track the content of the picture you’re watching. If you choose the latter, the tonal and local accuracy of the colour response is pretty remarkable, but I’d recommend reining in the brightness from its default setting so that it gently enhances images rather than distracts you.

Connectivity is fine, with four 4K-capable HDMI ports, plus two USBs (and associated timeshifting skill), and digital optical audio and headphone outputs. The HDMIs are v2.0 rather than v2.1, meaning they won’t handle the 4K at 120Hz games that may turn up with the next generation of consoles. But the same goes for many current TVs.

There’s also no support for eARC and lossless audio passthrough. You can still enjoy Atmos audio (via Dolby Digital Plus) through the standard ARC feature.

HDR for everyone

It’s great to find the 65OLED754 supporting both the Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic HDR formats; many brands still only support one or the other, even on premium TVs, despite both formats existing in the content market. Naturally this Philips also handles the basic HDR10 and broadcast-friendly HLG HDR flavours.

Processing, despite this TV's entry-level stature, is governed by Philips’ P5 video engine. This is designed to intelligently tackle what the company identifies as the five pillars of picture quality: source identification, sharpness, contrast, colour, and motion.

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March 2020