Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB
The Philips Momentum 436M6 is a 43-inch ultra-hd monitor with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels, which results in a pixel density of approximately 102 ppi: comparable to a 21.5-inch full hd monitor; the panel is pretty much the same as having four such models. In this case, however, it is equipped with an extra bright backlight with quantum dot filter for increased colour range. The monitor has a Freesync capable scaler with a range of 40-60 Hz.
The monitor uses a va-panel, half-reflected: there is still a visible reflection; it is not advisable to use a bright lamp above or behind you. The panel is controller without flickering and is equipped with a LowBlue light mode which, thanks to Philips’ own technology, is a lot less annoying yellow with Philips monitors than it is with competitors.
Philips placed the panel on a slim looking base, which we certainly find easy on the eyes. Not everybody has the same taste, but this monitor would certainly not look out of place in the living room as far as we are concerned. On the back we find that the cable connectors are all oriented downwards. There is no such thing as cable management, so you will have to work with tie wraps (or a more attractive alternative). Another thing worth mentioning is the possibility to use the vesa 200x200 mount.
Only a single HDMI
If we look at these connectors, we see a single hdmi 2.0 input and displayport 1.2 in no less than three flavours: standard, mini and usb type-c. Given the intended use, we would expect this to be the other way around - what if you want to connect more than one console? Philips might expect you to have a receiver or hdmi switch in front of you, but in our experience this is usually not the case. We think (partly due to a presentation that we were shown) that there was a marketing or product manager somewhere in the development process who felt that the monitor should ‘also be able to be used for productivity'.
Apart from the remarkable selection of video inputs, we also find two usb host connectors for the usb 3.0 hub and audio in- and outputs. The upstream port for the usb hub is of course the usb-c input. It can also supply power, but not enough to power a notebook: 5V/3A is the maximum, or 15W. We are not very worried about that, given the unlikely combination of a gaming notebook with a usb-c video output. The speakers are noteworthy, because they are more powerful than usual: 2x 7W with a DTS algorithm to make them sound even more spacious. It is better than the average monitor, but of course no replacement for a decent set of standalone speakers or a headset.
As mentioned earlier, Philips has provided the monitor with a row of rgb LEDs, which are positioned below the bottom bezel of the monitor. They are ten voluminous LEDs, the colour of which you can set yourself via the on-screen menu. It is also possible to have them match the colour of the image shown on the screen. According to Philips, this is a relatively simple analysis of the signal, showing an average of the colours. This 'Ambiglow' effect is therefore best visible when there are relatively solid colours, as shown in the picture below.
HDR and local dimming
More important than the rgb lighting is the hdr display. Fortunately, he it is certainly not disappointing. In the on-screen menu you can choose between several modes, and in the HDR 1000 mode we do indeed measure a peak brightness of 1132 cd/m². If we make the whole screen white, we arrive at a value of 683.5 cd/m², only slightly less than the 720 cd/m² which was promised by Philips. The Momentum 436M6VBPAB also combines the very bright backlight with edge-lit local dimming: the ligh can dim in 32 zones when the image is darker in that specific spot.
This considerably increases the perceived contrast, but it does of course have its limitations: the number of zones is much smaller than the number of pixels, so with relatively small parts of the image there will be a mismatch. The enthusiast probably wants a so-called 'full array local dimming' backlight, but this would increase the price of the device enormously - moreover, even that form of local dimming has its limitations. You pretty much need one LED per pixel on the backlight, but for an ultra-hd panel this means about 8 million LEDs. Oled works inherently in this way, of course, because it is the pixels themselves that turn on and off. This also applies to so-called micro-led screens, such as Samsung’s 'The Wall' – but these are, in terms of price, still far beyond the reach of ordinary consumers.
In short, edge-lit local dimming is a compromise, but as far as we are concerned the right choice between achieving the desired result and keeping the screen affordable.
On-screen menu with remote control
You might not be sitting 50 cm away from the 436M6, which is why it is quite convenient that Philips included a remote control in the box. This allows you to navigate the on-screen menu without having to use the joystick on the back of the monitor. In the osd we do not only find picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functionality which allows you to show multiple inputs at the same time, but also setting options for Ambiglow and hdr.