The reality is that most of us home theater enthusiasts live in a bubble of sorts. When someone gripes about the poor sound quality of most flat-panel TVs, we just sort of shrug and say, "Duh, but who listens to the speakers built into their TVs?"
Venture outside the safe confines of our acoustically treated treehouse, though, and a lot of people do. So it makes sense that Philips TV and Bowers & Wilkins have joined forces, à la LG and Harman/Kardon, to do something about it.
The press release is light on details, and any new products resulting from this partnership won't see the light of day until IFA in late-August/early-September, but you can read everything we know so far below:
Philips TV, Europe's leading premium TV brand, and legendary British audio engineering company Bowers & Wilkins have agreed a new multi-year exclusive partnership to create outstanding products that truly set new reference visual and audio performance standards in the TV market. The partnership is set to be one of the most exciting developments in the Television sector for some time.
The new partnership will combine the world-renowned technologies and expertise of the two companies and will uniquely be able to share the internal engineering resources that have allowed each to design and develop a long series of ground-breaking products that have consistently set the benchmark for the best possible TV picture quality and the best outright audio quality.
The partnership has also been enhanced by both companies' long-lasting tradition for developing all of their own bespoke technologies in-house, with total quality control over all stages of product development and production. Philips TV has worked tirelessly to ensure that its TV sets consistently lead the market in terms of picture quality - including its award-winning P5 processing chip - European design and via its Ambilight technology. Bowers & Wilkins has a proven long term commitment to in-house research and development, in order to achieve the truly best sound quality possible, whatever the format.
Commenting on the new partnership Martijn Smelt, Chief Marketing Officer for Philips TV in Europe said: 'For far too long, as an industry, we have allowed sound quality to be the poor relation when considering TV performance. A challenge that has been further exaggerated by the outstanding quality of our OLED sets. So, I'm delighted that we have been able to partner with the World's best audio company Bowers & Wilkins to ensure that in future our Philips High End TV sound will offer a uniquely premium experience'.
Richard Campbell, Chief Revenue Officer for Bowers and Wilkins said: 'Our new partnership with Philips TV presents a fantastic opportunity to help redefine the parameters of sound quality & performance on a TV. The superb new Philips TVs will introduce our well-known audio performance to a new consumer audience who will be able to enjoy first-hand, the incredible experience only we can provide, 'Sound by Bowers and Wilkins'. The partnership has been made more effective and efficient by the location of key engineering facilities for both companies in Europe. Philips TV maintains an Innovation Centre in Ghent Belgium while Bowers and Wilkins recently made a significant investment to expand and relocate its UK based research and development centre.
The first glimpse of the potential of the new partnership will be unveiled at the IFA Show in Berlin later this year.
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•Is the Popularity of Soundbars Good or Bad for the Audio Industry? at HomeTheaterReview.com.