Philips has announced its new large gaming display that brings together an ultra-high-definition resolution panel, VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 certification, and AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate technology. In addition to being the only ultra-large gaming monitor to support the aforementioned features (among those announced to date), the Philips 436M6VBPAB also supports USB Type-C docking, which is going to please users of laptops that feature only USB-C ports.

A Gaming Display with Quantum Dots, Ambiglow, and a Remote

The Philips 436M6VBPAB relies on a 43-inch 8-bit + FRC VA panel featuring a 3840×2160 resolution, 600 – 1000 nits brightness, a high contrast ratio (since it is a VA panel, we are probably talking about something like 2000:1 or better), a 4 ms response time, a 60 Hz optimum refresh rate, 178°/178° viewing angles, and so on. The backlighting is outfitted with a Quantum Dot-enhancement film that enables it to cover an above-average 97.6% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

In addition to accurate colors and HDR support, the 436M6VBPAB supports Philips' Ambiglow technology, which produces LED lighting effects to match ambient lighting with what is happening on the screen. This is not a programmable RGB lighting found on gaming displays from companies like ASUS, but it adds visual effects that are useful practically and bring additional immersion to games.

Speaking of gaming, it is noteworthy that the ultra-large monitor from Philips takes a page from AOC’s book and supports the so-called Low Input Lag mode that reduces input lag by bypassing “most of the display’s internal processing." This is not particularly surprising since both AOC- and Philips-branded LCDs are made by TPV.

Moving on to connectivity of the 436M6VBPAB. The monitor has four display inputs: 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, and 1x USB Type-C that can be used both for display connectivity and as an upstream port for a USB 3.0 hub. The LCD supports Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture capabilities from two sources. As for audio, the display features a 3.5-mm audio input, 3.5-mm audio output as well as two built-in 7-W speakers with the DTS Sound badge.

Another important feature of the Philips 436M6VBPAB monitor is bundled remote controller that can be used to control the monitor as well as other devices connected using HDMI (e.g., media players, game consoles, etc.). The remote is going to be quite handy because the 43-incher can be used like a TV when connected to various media streamers or players (or even a TV tuner!). Now, a disadvantage of this size is that the 436M6VBPAB does not come with a stand that can regulate its height or tilt. To partly solve this, it does have VESA mounts.

FreeSync Meets HDR

The new monitor from Philips belongs to the brand’s Momentum lineup of LCDs aimed at gamers and multimedia enthusiasts. Given the target market, the key features of the Philips 436M6VBPAB besides its dimensions and Quantum Dot-enhanced backlighting are AMD’s FreeSync technology and VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 badge, a rather odd combination considering the fact that FreeSync 2 is a technology that is supposed to bring HDR to gaming displays. There is an explanation to this combination.

AMD’s FreeSync 2 mandates monitors to support a number of features: they have to support the tech on the logical level (i.e., let games tone map directly to the native color space of a display), they have to cover at least 90% of the DCI-P3 color space, and they have to support a dynamic refresh rate with Low Framerate Compensation. In case of the 436M6VBPAB, the LCD supports a wide color gamut and a dynamic refresh, but not direct tone mapping and LFC, which is why it cannot get an appropriate AMD certification. In fact, it yet has to get a FreeSync certification, which is why Philips uses the term ‘Adaptive Sync for AMD GPUs’. Philips does not disclose dynamic refresh range of the monitor, but given its maximum refresh rate, we don't expect the minimum refresh rate to be much below 45Hz.

Update 6:15 PM ET: Philips Australia has published official specifications of the 436M6VBPAB monitor on its website. The specs list 3840 × 2160 at 60 Hz as "optimum" resolution and refresh rate of the display. At the same time, the LCD supports a 23 - 80 Hz scanning frequency for DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, which looks like the FreeSync range. Considering that 80 Hz is an odd refresh rate, it is highly likely that the monitor overclocks itself from 60 Hz to 80 Hz in certain situations. In the meatime, since display supports a 23 - 80 Hz scanning frequency, it is more than enough for LFC.

Update 4/27: AMD confirmed on Friday that the Philips 436M6VBPAB display is FreeSync certified.

As for the DisplayHDR 1000 logo, the VESA's highest HDR has a rather strict requirements for brightness (600 nits full-screen long duration minimum, 1000 nits full-screen flash minimum) and black levels. The VESA does not mandate local dimming for this standard, yet it does not believe that corner maximum limit of 0.05 nits and tunnel maximum limit of 0.1 nits are achievable without local dimming. That said, while the Philips 436M6VBPAB does not support FALD (full array local dimming), it does support some kind of local dimming and therefore should feature a good contrast ratio.

The Philips Momentum 43" 4K HDR display with Ambiglow
Panel 43" MVA
Native Resolution 3840 × 2160
Maximum Refresh Rate 60 Hz (normal)
80 Hz (overclocked)
Response Time 4 ms GtG
Brightness 720 cd/m² (typical)
1000 cd/m² (peak)
Contrast 4000:1
Backlighting LED with quantum dots
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Color Gamut 100% sRGB/BT.709
97.6% DCI-P3
DisplayHDR Tier 1000
Dynamic Refresh Rate Tech AMD FreeSync
23.976 - 80 Hz
Pixel Pitch 0.2479 mm²
Pixel Density 102 PPI
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2
1 × Mini DisplayPort 1.2
1 × HDMI 2.0
1 × USB Type-C
Audio 3.5 mm input/output
2 × 7 W DTS Sound speakers
USB Hub 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A connectors
1 × USB 3.0 Type-C input
VESA Mount 200 × 200 mm
MSRP Europe: €799
UK: £699
US: $799 without VAT (unconfirmed)

Pricing and Availability

Philips plans to start selling the 436M6VBPAB this May for €799/£699 in Europe. As production of the unit ramps up, its availability will get more widespread in June, but the manufacturer does not explicitly say when it plans to start its sales in the U.S.

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  • edzieba - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    No FALD, no sale. I'd consider it a bare minimum feature for a (non OLED) display to qualify as HDR.
  • Despoiler - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    I guess you don't realize that FALD is a solution for panels that don't have good black levels right? ie IPS. VA panels have high native contrast because the technology has great black levels by default. I have an Eizo Foris FG2321. VA panel and it has a calibrated native contrast just shy of 4800:1. Black is black. If it were IPS black would be grey without local dimming.
  • edzieba - Friday, April 27, 2018 - link

    And that just isn't sufficient on its own for HDR, even with the 'relaxed' requirement for non-emussive displays of 20,000:1.
  • rsandru - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - link

    Incorrect: without FALD there is no way to reach the required brightness for true HDR. Even VA panels wouldn't look too good with a maximum intensity backlight behind a black region. You need the FALD to dim the lighting when it's not needed.
  • zilexa - Friday, June 15, 2018 - link

    According to this very extensive review, the Philips is better HDR capable and actually delivers! Compared to an Asus IPS with 384 dimming zones.

    This is mainly due to the MVA panel and its 32 dimming zones.
  • Alistair - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Tom's Hardware posted information on this monitor, and said it had an 80hz refresh rate and LFC most likely. Were they mistaken? Different model?
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    Not possible. 4K 60hz is what the panel is capable of.
  • Jedi2155 - Monday, April 30, 2018 - link

    It might be 4k at 60 Hz, but also 120 Hz at 1080p. My 75" LG TV does this and I've confirmed it takes a 120 Hz input signal.
  • rscsr90 - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    I used to own a Philips BDM 4037 UW, which also had a VA panel. Does this one has as awful ghosting? I mean even movies were always blurry. I hope for Philips, that they are not using the same panel type as the 4037.
  • niva - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - link

    This looks like a completely new panel, both in size and technology. I also think that the specs given here are suspect, other sources have stated this monitor will have an 80Hz refresh rate.

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