Dutch Consumer Electronics manufacturer Philips has set a date for the release of its much talked about 56-incher Cinema 21x9 LCD in the UK; prospective customers will have to wait till June and fork out more than £3500.
Even though it is far more expensive than other LCD screens in the same league, Philips latest LCD television is the only one to offer a true anamorphic screen ratio at 2.33:1 (ed: spec sheet says 2.39).
Some commentators though have pointed out that you would need high definition 21:9 content to match this 21:9 Cinema TV or else you will find yourself with a overly expensive TV set with huge vertical borders or stretched content that will make it unwatchable.
Content on recent Blu-ray discs will support 21:9 aspect ratio and the TV set should support 16:9 content through smart pixel mapping. Older content will almost certainly have those dreaded bars alongside.
The screen packs a few other tricks down its sleeve like a three-sided Ambilight Spectra which "completely immerse you in the movie and deliver the ultimate home cinematic viewing experience" by adjusting ambient light.
Will it be good? Well, according to T3 and Trustedreviews, both of which have had first hand experience of the set, the Philips 21:9 Cinema TV is the closest you will get to your local cinema set. T3 even went as far as saying that it might kill the projector.
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Bargain or not? Sharp's exquisite LC52X20E 52" Aquos HD Ready LCD TV costs less than a third at £950 but the Sony KDL-55X4500 55" BRAVIA LCD TV 100Hz widescreen 1080p will set you back a whopping £4400. So better value than Sony but very bad value compared to the Sharp.