Philips Electronics in mid-June held their annual mid-year product review in which they showed off previously launched or upcoming consumer electronics and other products for the 2006 holiday season. Amongst the gaggle of portable media players, micro systems, DVD players, digital photo frames, home theater systems, remote controls and televisions, we’ve picked out what we feel are some of the top Philips products for the remainder of the year.
Streamium Wireless Music Center (WACS4500):
Philips’ newest wireless music center is the WACS4500. Priced at $499 and available in October, the WACS4500 sports an 80GB hard drive and, through the use of up to four wireless adapters, wirelessly streams music throughout the home. The WACS4500 is PlaysForSure compatible and capable of ripping up to 1,500 CDs worth of music directly to its hard drive. It is designed to integrate with existing home stereo equipment and comes with a remote which displays music information on its screen.
Ambilight Full Surround 42” LCD TV (42PF9831D):
Some new technology tricks up Philips’ sleeve in the realm of television include Ambilight, ClearLCD and Pixel Plus 3HD. Ambilight essentially analyses in real time incoming television signals and then projects lighting onto the wall behind the set, surrounding the viewing environment in color which matches what is on the TV. Philips feels this new enhancement (1) offers stress relief on the eyes, (2) eliminates the need for additional lighting while watching TV and (3) draws the viewer into the on-screen action. ClearLCD, meanwhile, reportedly delivers HD picture quality plus a 170-degree viewing angle and motion sharpness, while Pixel Plus 3HD alters pixels of an incoming picture to match surrounding pixels, resulting in reportedly more natural skin tones and lifelike details.
One example of these new TV technologies in action is Philips’ new top of the line 42PF9831D. This 42” LCD, available this month for $3,999, makes use of all three technologies. This is especially true with the Ambilight, of which this television projects on all four sides of the screen onto a built-in canvas to create an art like video viewing experience. In addition to all of this, the 42PF9831D also sports two HDMI ports, USB ports, a seven-on-one media card reader and a CableCard slot.
Philips Ambilight 42PF9831D
Portable Media Center (PMC7230):
Philips’ entry into the not very successful Windows Portable Media Center world is the PMC7230. Priced at $349.99 and available in September, the PMC7230 has a 30GB hard drive which can store up to 15,000 songs, five hours of video or 8,400 digital images. This device, which sports a 3.5” LCD screen, is capable of recording selected video in MPEG-4 format from compatible devices. It is also PlaysForSure compatible, meaning it will work with rented and purchased audio and video content from a variety of online subscription services.
Philips PMC7230 PMC
Micro System (MCM299):
Among the four micro systems announced by Philips, the most interesting looks to be the $249 MCM299. Available in September, the stylish MCM299 is wall mountable for saving space and merges three products into one: a subwoofer, 100-watt CD system and a 40 digital presets radio. This four disc system has a metallic front panel with motorized front sliding doors.
amBX PC Peripherals:
In the arena of PC gaming, Philips announced four new USB products which generate a range of external effects when used in conjunction with a compatible game. This amBX line – LED multi-color lights, a 2.1 speaker sound system, fans and a vibration unit – will be available this fall. The peripherals as a whole will do things like add color and light effects, project booming audio, create wind effects and stimulate the body “with theater-like reality”. These peripherals will also leave openings for game designers to add new sensory experiences to their games.
GoGear Jukebox (HDD6330):
The GoGear HDD6330 is typical of the two new flash and two new hard drive based digital audio players announced. The HDD6330, priced at $279 and available now, has a 30GB hard drive for holding up to 15,000 songs or 8,400 digital photos. Besides being PlaysForSure certified, this MP3 player has a backlit sensory touchpad and makes use of a scroll system for navigating through a song collection. The hard drive models of the new GoGear players also have FM tuner and voice recorder functions. Battery life for the HDD6330 is rated at over 15 hours. Click here to check out some user reviews.
Philips GoGear Jukebox HDD6330
Blu-ray Disc Player (BDP9000):
Though there were few details on it, Philips is launching a Blu-ray Disc consumer player in the third quarter of this year for $999. The BDP9000 will have all of the bells and whistles found with this next generation optical disc format and will also be capable of 1080p playback as well as being backwards compatible with standard DVDs.
Home Theater System (HTS9800W):
One of Philips’ newest home theater systems is the HTS9800W, priced at $899 and available now. The HTS9800W has a stylish design and offers a number of features designed to create a great home entertainment experience, including 6.1 surround sound, flat panel speakers, rear wireless speakers, HDMI connectivity, 720p/1080i video upscaling and a DVD player which plays most CD and DVD formats.