Philips Monitors and Bowers & Wilkins team up for 55″ 4K HDR low latency display

Over the years, PC gaming has been getting all the love from display manufacturers. 120-240Hz displays, virtually no input lag, ultra wide displays, G-Sync and FreeSync support, etc. However, a new generation of consoles is soon to hit the market during the holiday 2020 season. This will change the wants and needs of console gamers and their need for an optimized display.

NVidia and Omen have already attempted this before with their 65″ gaming display but was well outside most gamers price range. Philips Monitors and Bowers & Wilkins plan to corner this up and coming console gaming display (aka TV) market early and it may pay off. This collaboration has come up with the Philips 558M1RY.

Philips 558M1RY

The Philips 558M1RY is a 55″ display that will support 4K HDR at 120Hz natively. It will also support AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. This should provide very low latency, even for HDR gaming. It is HDR 1000 certified (also VESA DisplayHDR certified), but no word of HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision support as of yet. It’s also important to note that 120Hz will not be supported on all ports and/or resolutions. There is no information on how many ports will support 120Hz either.

Other important specs on the display include:

  • Color gamut (min.): DCI-P3 Coverage: 95%
  • Color gamut (typical): NTSC 104%, sRGB 125%
  • Resolution/Port Type: HDMI: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz, 2560 x 1440 @ 120 Hz; DP: 3840 x 2160 @ 120 Hz
  • HDR Luminance: Normal Mode – 750 cd/m2; HDR Mode – 1200 cd/m²
  • Contrast Ratio: 4000:1
  • Viewing angle: 178º (H) / 178º (V); @ C/R > 10
  • Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4 x 1; HDMI 2.0 x 3; USB-B x 1 (upstream), USB 3.2 x 4 (downstream with 2 fast charge B.C 1.2); Headphone out
  • Backlight: 3-sided Ambiglow

Ambiglow appears to be similar to the Philips Hue backlight for TVs. It will provide a light show on the wall behind the display that adjusts with the image on screen and provides less strain on the eyes, as well as a cool light show. It’s no secret that gamers love RGB lighting, and I will say, backlit displays that work in tandem with the display’s picture is gorgeous. Here is an example of what it looks like with movies:

The Philips 558M1RY added its own Flicker-free technology to further reduce eye fatigue. Less eye fatigue means more gaming. I welcome it!

Bowers & Wilkins Collaboration

Bowers & Wilkins is adding a touch of fineness on the audio. The Philips 558M1RY has a proper built-in speaker. Engineered by Bowers & Wilkins, the soundbar has a 40W Total output power, 2.1 Channel Sound System, DTS sound and a frequency response of 50hz to 20KHz. It also comes with various audio modes designed for gamers such as Sport & Racing, RPG & Adventure, Action as well as a Movie, Music and Personal mode.

There is no word on eARC or ARC support, but I doubt it will be provided the built-in speaker. It would be kind of silly looking with 2 soundbars if you plan to plug in your current setup. There is no information on whether the soundbar is removable either, but I doubt it. The soundbar should provide a quality audio experience, but at only a 40W output, it won’t blow your socks off.

Thoughts, Pricing, and Availability

While the PC monitor market continues to be pampered, it is nice to see manufacturers shift focus to the console gaming demographic. I hope this is a trend we see going forward. The Philips 558M1RY is appealing because of a few things. 4K HDR up to 1200 cd/m², low latency and input lag, AMD FreeSync Support, and Ambiglow lighting. While most gamers play with headphones, the collaboration with Bowers & Wilkins is a welcome touch.

I am curious to see how well it performs during different types of gaming and movies. The Philips 558M1RY should be available mid-September 2020 for $1499.99. That does, however, put it within the price range of Sony and Samsung. Granted, the backlight and soundbar included, make it a more competitive price.

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