If the production of TVs were one of the sports, then Philips, as a manufacturer, would be in the leading lines of the overall standings in recent years. A variety of series and models, starting with top-end OLED versions and ending with budget variants of the sixth series without Ambilight, gives the buyer a wide choice.
By the end of 2019, TVs in the PUS6654 and PUS6554 line appeared in the Philips 6000 series. Based on the main characteristics, we can assume that the new series is very similar to last year’s version of Philips PUS6703 . Let’s see in the Philips 50PUS6654 / 60 review whether this statement is true …
Philips PUS6654 review
The 50PUS6654 Philips is a beautiful 4K TV at an astonishingly low price. For 600 euros, the buyer gets a 50-inch 4K HDR screen, but without the three-sided Ambilight backlight. By the way, we note that in 2019 the sixth series (with the exception of 6700) comes without this backlight.
The loss of the background is likely due to the reduction in the cost of such models. After all, none of the manufacturers have such colorful solutions. Or maybe such a backlight is not needed at all, as most buyers think. But unlike last year’s models, HDR support gets clear advantages, and more on that below.
In the past two years, the design idea of the sixth series of Philips TVs has not undergone significant changes and innovations. After all, the younger line should become a competing element among the variety of UHD TVs.
The flat glossy screen in the PUS6654 series is bordered by a thin frame on three sides, the bottom edge is slightly wider. Colors in metallic silver. This front design is very similar to the Sony XF90 or Sony XG95 . Is the difference between Sony and Phillips only in colors …
The stand is made in the form of Y-shaped legs located closer to the edges of the screen. Stable construction. The color of the stand matches the body of the model. The back is made in a similar plastic. The interface part is slightly hidden by the body elements and is located in two directions (down and to the left). As they say, “neither give nor take” – the design is more than standard for the 6 series Philips.
Image and setting
Turning on the TV for the first time and displaying it can cause controversy. It immediately becomes clear that some image adjustment is required. The menu on the Philips TV is a little confusing, but if you figure it out, there is nothing complicated. And image adjustments are rarely required.
Immediately turn off the Eco mode, cancel all noise reduction settings, and only then proceed to the contrast and brightness settings. Side note: When real HDR content appears on the screen, you will have to do these settings again, because the PUS6654 “considers” HDR processing separately.
To play non-HDR content, the Movie preset should be used. In this mode, the chromaticity will slightly increase and there will be muted brightness as well as contrast. Chroma processing is set to minimum. The contrast level should be optimal. When the TV detects an HDR source, the best mode is to enable “HDR Vivid”.
After setup, the 50PUS6654 model in good quality (like the Philips 50PUS6523 ) reproduces HDR picture if a 4K HDR disc is used. The image contains fine line edges and a wide range of shades within the color gradation. The flesh color handling is great and you can’t say it’s a budget model.
If we compare the PUS6203 and PUS6654 series, then last year’s 50PUS6203 with the same content does not lag behind in image quality. Consequently, there are doubts that the presence of Dolby Vision is an undeniable advantage.
Digital broadcasting at Philips
DVB-T2 broadcast on the 50PUS6654 screen comes with good upscaling. Nice and smooth image. Even sports channels look better, experts say. This way, you don’t have to change your favorite movie collection. Any DVD disc will play at the highest scaling quality.
There is a small note to everything positively said – these are black levels. A simple example: a black night sky with stars. The “bright star in the sky” is lost, especially when viewed in a dark room. Do not forget about this, leave background light in such a room. That’s where Ambilight comes in handy.
Yes, of course, the manufacturer got a fair compromise in this model between the depth (and saturation) of color and the levels of black details. But the slight loss of Philips parts is offset by the price.
In older Philips TVs, where Ambilight is present, we always ask about the possibility of turning off this function in the menu. In the series under consideration, this backlight is not, therefore, we are not talking about the advisability of using Ambilight.
As usual, the Philips PUS6654 is equipped with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video streaming apps . But there is no real 4K HDR Amazon in HDR quality. Other pre-installed applications include iPlayer, ITV Hub and Demand 5. They can be found in the list of applications through the button of the same name on the remote control.
Saphi OS and remote control
The appearance of the operating system shell is simpler than the interface on past models. It cannot be compared to Android TV. There are various “roughnesses” in the work, and it is less colorful. For an ordinary user who has not previously used Smart TV, such a “communication” between a TV and a person will be enough.
Finding content among streaming services is not admirable. The Saphi system, built on Linux-like software, is still weak for such things. But on the other hand, the goal of reducing the cost is partly achieved by just such a decision of the manufacturer. Honestly, it’s better to look closely when choosing 4K TV for full Android.
The remote control is standard for the budget model. As usual, the remote has a “Netflix” button to quickly launch the application. When you click, we get to the authorization page of the resource of the same name. The location of the buttons on the remote is cluttered. It is believed that the remote looks rough. 6 Series models already support HbbTV.
As for the sound, it can be noted that the PUS6654 series TVs at first glance have an improved sound. This is especially noticeable in dialogue scenes. Total output power 20 W (2 x 10 W full range speakers). Among the “enhancers” in the menu, you can find a 5-band equalizer. In addition, the AI sound in the specification assumes smart processing depending on the content. The system supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Volume Leveler.
With this pricing policy, this is certainly an acceptable sound. But the manufacturer himself recommends using external acoustics for high-quality sound, for example, the Philips HTL2183B soundbar .
Of the interfaces, the main ones are three HDMI, which support 4K UHD (3840 × 2160) at 60 Hz. A pair of USB 2.0 standard and a YPbPr port. Wireless interface Wi-Fi 802.11n (2 × 2) single band. The rest of the ports can be found in the characteristics.
All PUS6654 and PUS6554 series have small flaws that should not be ignored. But you will hardly find entry-level models with HDR10 + and Dolby Vision support.
At a relatively low price, these TVs are an excellent choice for those who do not want to bother with advanced operating systems, but prefer to use the TV “as intended”. Model 50PUS6654 from Philips will really compete in the market with other TVs.