'

Philips Momentum 436M6VBPA review: A versatile 43-inch 4K HDR display

philips-momentum-43header.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    7.5 Very good

Pros

  • Blue-LED backlight with quantum dot film
  • MultiView with PIP and PBP modes
  • Remote control
  • Integrated stereo 7W amplifiers and loudspeakers with DTS sound
  • 32 backlight zones for HDR
  • VESA rear mounting

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angle for optimum image quality
  • HDR10 only
  • 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.

philips-momentum-43main.jpg

The 43-inch Philips Momentum 436M6VBPA mounted on its support stand. It measures 976mm by 661mm by 264mm with the stand, and weighs 14.7kg.

Image: Philips

User controls

philips-momentum-43remote2.jpg

The companion remote control for the Philips 436M6VBPA.

Image: Terry Relph-Knight/ZDNet

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.

Display technology

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.

SEE: Sensor'd enterprise: IoT, ML, and big data (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

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.

philips-momentum-43pixels.jpg

Micrograph of the pixels from the MVA panel used in the Philips 436M6VBPA.

Image: Terry Relph-Knight/ZDNet

Top ZDNET Reviews

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.

MultiView

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.

Ambiglow

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.

philips-momentum-43back.jpg

The styling of the Momentum 436M6VBPA is a restrained mix of textured matte and gloss black plastic.

Image: Philips

Styling

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.

Connections

philips-momentum-43connections.png

A diagram of the rear connections to the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPA.

Image: Philips

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.

Included accessories

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.

Conclusions

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.

RECENT AND RELATED CONTENT

High Dynamic Range: The quest for greater image realism
HDR technology will be essential for graphic design, photography, video editing and playback, and gaming. However, current HDR-branded displays can deliver very different levels of performance.

Philips Brilliance 328P6AUBREB review: A capable 31.5-inch display with HDR
This large, high-resolution display provides clear, sharp images along with a basic HDR capability.

Philips Brilliance BDM4037UW review: A 40-inch, curved 4K UHD ultrawide display
The top-end BDM4037UW is a large, curved display that, thanks to its MultiView feature, offers an alternative to multiple tiled displays.

Curved ultrawide displays: Coming to a desktop near you?
Do curved ultrawide desktop displays really deliver on the claims of their manufacturers? We investigate the pros and cons.

Best Monitors for 2018 (CNET)
Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews.

Read more reviews

Top ZDNET Reviews