Philips 55PUS6814 4K HDR LED LCD Television Page 2

Basic picture presets (or 'Styles' in Philips parlance) comprise Natural, Standard, Movie, Personal, Monitor and Vivid. Both Natural and Standard do a solid job with a wide range of material, while the Movie mode is perhaps best ignored, as it generally throws a woolly blanket over fine detail and contrast.

When an HDR signal is received, these presets shift to HDR Personal, HDR Vivid, HDR Movie and HDR Natural. More often than not, HDR Natural proves the most consistently satisfying option, and the best if you're viewing in a room with some ambient light. With Dolby Vision, options become Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark.

A measurement of around 350 nits confirms that the 6814 isn't the brightest HDR screen in the shopping aisle, although this HDR performance is actually in line with what we saw from the brand's 2018 6700 range. The upgrade here is universal HDR support (Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG and HDR10), and the set excels when steered by dynamic metadata. The Grand Tour (Amazon Prime Video) glints with polished refinement, an onscreen logo flashing up confirmation it's clocked the HDR10+ stream.

Having support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision isn't just a box-ticking exercise. Taking a dynamic approach to HDR really helps panels without intrinsically high peak brightness; tone mapping plays an increasingly important role when it comes to picture performance.

That said, it's worth pointing out that the set looks consistently good with regular SDR content too; it has enough vibrancy to maintain a bright and contrasted image.


You'll want to avoid standard-definition content sources though, as Philips' Pixel Precise Ultra HD engine doesn't appear to have the processing power to compensate for the low-resolution and compression that hampers a great number of Freeview's second division channels. Things improve when you step up to HD; 1080p material has detail and nuance.

Motion smoothing is available in Smooth, Standard, Sports, Movie and Personal (but not Harry) Styles, or can be turned off altogether. I found Philips' interpolation fine for studio content and sports, but movies undoubtedly look more cinematic when it's turned off.

Inevitably there's a price to be paid for the price that you paid, and most obviously that's in black level performance.

Try as it might, the 6814 can't offer a deep black, and it struggles with low-level shadow detail. This means it'll never look its best in full, dark room conditions. Yet watch in a room with a reasonable level of ambient light, and let Ambilight provide you with an ISF-grade white bias light, and shadows look subjectively dark enough.

Performance isn't just governed by room lighting conditions. Consider positioning too, as the screen loses contrast and colour vibrancy when viewed from the side.

Audio is a smidge above average for the price. The set's onboard amplifier is rated at 2 x 10W, and this transpires to no shortage of volume; it's also able to recognise a Dolby Atmos bitstream, but it doesn't have a speaker array able to deliver immersive sound. Far better to budget for a soundbar. However, you don't get a lot of room 'twixt panel and pedestal stand, which makes sitting a soundbar directly beneath the screen virtually impossible.

Low Cost, High Appeal
There's no doubt that this 6 Series set is something of a star when it comes to performance and value. The provision of multi-HDR support sets it apart from many similarly priced screen rivals (although Panasonic's GX800 models give it a good run for its money) and Ambilight can be considered a welcome cherry atop the cake.

Philips has thrown a six with the 55PUS6814. It's well worth auditioning.

HCC Verdict

Philips 55PUS6814

Price: £530

We say: With universal HDR support, illuminating Ambilight and excellent gaming performance, this budget-saving siren is difficult to resist.

Overall: 5/5


3D: No
4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Yes. HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Tuner: Yes. Freeview HD (Freeview Play); satellite HD
Connections: 3 x HDMI inputs; 2 x USB; component AV input; Ethernet; optical audio output
Sound (CLAIMED): 20W
Brightness (CLAIMED): N/A
Contrast ratio (CLAIMED): N/A
Dimensions (off stand): 1,236(w) x 723(h) x 80(d)mm
Weight (off stand): 16.1kg

Features: Built-in Wi-Fi; USB multimedia playback; 3-sided Ambilight; Saphi smart hub; Miracast; Amazon Alexa compatible; Pixel Precise Ultra HD processing; Micro Dimming; Ultra Resolution