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Integrated stereo 7W amplifiers and loudspeakers with DTS sound
32 backlight zones for HDR
VESA rear mounting
Narrow viewing angle for optimum image quality
I/O connections are a little hard to access, low visibility labelling
Stand limited to tilt only
At 43 inches, the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPA is a television-sized display that, Philips claims, delivers "a new level of entertainment immersion". As well as gaming, the Philips website mentions CAD and financial use cases for this large 4K HDR display.
The Momentum 436M6VBPA -- which costs around £730 (inc. VAT; £608 ex. VAT, or about $1,250 in the US) -- ships with a cast metal, three-point stand already attached, although this can be removed by unscrewing four bolts. A 200mm VESA four-bolt attachment point for alternative mounting is provided on the back of the display. Unlike a central post stand, this three-point design, with a rear bar and two front feet, requires a larger flat surface to support the display. Only a modest degree of tilt -- -5/10 degrees -- is available.
Halfway up the back of the display, on the right-hand side viewed from the screen, is a small, four-way joystick button that allows you to navigate and select from the on-screen menus. However, since such a large display will frequently be viewed at further than arms length, Philips also provides a 14-button remote control, which is arguably easier to use. At the top of the remote is a red button that toggles between power on and power off/standby. Below it is a four-way pad and an OK button that allows menu navigation and selection. Four buttons are placed around the pad, three of which are for menu selection -- Input menu, Main menu and Image mode menu. The fourth button at the bottom right of the pad is the Back button. Below all of those buttons are the two rockers for brightness and audio volume.
The Momentum 436M6VBPA is built around a 43-inch Multi Domain Vertical Alignment (MVA) panel with a native resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 at 60Hz. The aspect ratio is 16:9, while the pixel pitch is 0.245 mm square. Judging from the observed pixel pattern, with four domains in each cell, this is a P-MVA panel from AU Optronic.
MVA panels are known for high contrast, with the panel contrast specified at 4,000:1 (and SmartContrast at 50,000,000:1), but also for contrast reduction and colour shift off-axis. Unfortunately these effects are quite noticeable here, particularly with such a large panel. The specifications for this display state the viewing angles are 178 degrees in both horizontal and vertical planes, but this is at a low contrast ratio of >10. SmartContrast is obtained when the backlight brightness modulation is engaged.
Backlighting is provided by high-intensity blue LEDs at the edges of the display, with a quantum dot film to convert some of that blue light into green and red light. For HDR the backlight is divided into 32 zones, which is an improvement on many DisplayHDR 1000-certified displays, but a long way from pixel-by-pixel brightness control. On the subject of HDR signal format support, the specification for this display only mentions HDR10.
As far as colour reproduction is concerned, the quantum dot backlighting does produce a wide gamut, which is visibly apparent in the brilliance of saturated colours.
The MultiView feature is a sensible and usable option for such a large display. It allows you to connect and display two signal sources at the same time. Selection is from the OSD menu and there are options for Picture By Picture (PBP) or Picture In Picture (PIP).
PBP has a two-window option to split the display area in half left and right, or a four-window option to split the display into quarters. For PIP there's a choice of three window sizes, with positioning in one of the four corners of the display.
Philips has been promoting Ambiglow for some time now, and it's a feature of many of the company's displays. RGB LEDs mounted along the edges or on the back of the display surround it with a gentle glow, in a colour that matches the average of the colours in the display image. Philips claims that this "immersive halo of light" is "especially suited for watching movies, sports or playing games." On the Momentum 436M6VBPA, the ambiglow is provided by two groups of five LEDs running along the bottom edge of the display. Without using an Ambiglow display for an extended period of time it's hard to say how effective it is, particularly in the limited form implemented on this display.
SmartImage and SmartContrast
The electronics in many Philips displays, such as this one, includes the image optimisations SmartImage and SmartContrast.
The SmartImage menu is accessed through a left click on the remote or rear joystick. Smartimage offers a range of user-selectable static presets, that optimise the display settings to suite the type of image displayed, such as video or or text. Perhaps the most useful and broadly applicable of these presets is SmartUniformity, which Philips says improves uniformity across the display area to better than 95 percent. There is also a LowBlue mode, which reduces the blue channel gain for those concerned about the damaging effects of blue light on eyesight.
SmartContrast (right click/scroll down to the Picture sub-menu) controls backlight brightness to dynamically optimise the display contrast according the image content. This setting is separate from the HDR on/off setting.
The styling of this display is restrained and minimal. The mounting and connection 'pod' at the back is textured matte black plastic, while the rest of the case is gloss black. The cast metal stand is finished in a metallic pewter powder coat. The bezel along the bottom of the screen is 24.5mm wide; it has a small silver PHILIPS logo on a raised bump in the centre, a rectangular white LED status indicator at the extreme right and '436M6' printed in white at the far left. The left and right bezels are 16.5mm, while the top bezel is 18.3mm.
All I/O connections are downward-pointing, mounted along the bottom edge of a projecting rear pod. This approach, given the sheer bulk and weight (14.7kg with stand) of the display, along with the almost-invisible raised labelling moulded into the black back, makes identifying the purpose and position of the connections and then inserting cables a bit of a chore. Viewed from the back, the three-pin IEC mains power is on the left and the HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C, USB 3.0 (x2), audio in and headphones out (3.5mm stereo jacks) are on the right. The USB hub is USB 3.0 with one C type connector and two A type which both support Super Speed and charging.
With the Momentum 436M6VBPA Philips includes the remote control with a set of batteries, a start-up leaflet, the full user manual on CD and the following cables: USB-C; USB-A to USB-C; HDMI; DisplayPort; and 3-pin UK mains to IEC power. All cables are two metres in length.
At 43 inches, the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPA is a large display -- it's effectively a 4K Ultra HD HDR television, only without the broadcast tuner or smart TV features of a TV. The viewing angle performance isn't great, but that's less of an issue when the monitor is viewed at a appropriate distance for its size. The warranty period on this display is two years.