Model : 559M1RYV
RRP : £1200
The 558M1RY is marketed primarily as a game console companion. Hooked up to an Xbox One S, the screen is recognised as both 4K, HDR10 and VRR (variable refresh rate) compatible, and Philips’ HDR implementation is one of the better examples of the tech on an LCD monitor. It is a feature well worth having and brings an extra dimension to supported games, though switching between HDR and SDR modes is surprisingly slow. The delay can be frustrating when playing a HDR game as exiting back to the SDR home screen means you have to wait a few seconds for the image to reappear.
4K games and movies inevitably look impressive, however the potential input lag advantage over a traditional TV is only likely to be noticed by enthusiast gamers. The difference between the monitor and a decent TV on game mode is imperceptible to our eye, though we did pick up on a few other imperfections. Firstly, there’s the matter of motion blur, which we found evident even when sitting at a distance. This can be reduced by cranking overdrive up to the fastest available setting at the expense of some overshoot, however there’s no instant remedy for the connectivity options, which prevent the panel from realising its full potential.
Lining the back the screen, Philips has a four-port USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack, one DisplayPort 1.4 and a trio of HDMI 2.0. Connect a PC via DisplayPort and you can manage 4K120 HDR through a combination of 8-bit colour and dithering, but connect a games console via HDMI and you’re limited to 4K60 or 1440p120. A shame, really, as next-generation consoles are edging near, and HDMI 2.1 support would have made the 558M1RY a more future proof solution, with full compatibility for 4K120 on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.
As it stands, the current iteration feels more like a proof of concept, a demonstration to highlight how a giant-sized monitor might fit into the living room. With that placement in mind, Philips includes Ambiglow lighting across the top and sides. This can be set to a fixed colour or matched to on-screen content (or disabled entirely), yet while it adds an extra feeling of immersion, the lighting doesn’t appear as responsive as the Ambilight tech featured in Philips TVs.
Where the 558M1RY succeeds in mimicking a high-end TV is the Bowers & Wilkins 2.1 DTS soundbar, which incorporates a pair of tweeters, two 10W mid-range speakers and a 20W subwoofer. Sound quality easily beats any monitor we’ve experienced, with clear dialogue, clarity at higher volumes, good depth and a reasonably wide soundstage. The soundbar is a highlight, yet you can’t help but wonder, at this price point wouldn’t you just buy a Philips OLED TV instead? We suspect most would, but lets run the benchmarks before coming to a conclusion.