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Philips' new curved TV and 4K media player run on Android

Philips has just revealed a new lineup of 4K TVs, along with a way to actually play something on them. The standout model is the curved, 55-inch curved Philips 8900 that brings Smart TV features via Android. That gives you access to the Google Play Store for apps, games and content and an interface you may find less miserable more comfortable if you're used to Android. The set itself uses Philips' three-sided Ambilight and micro dimming to adapt the viewing experience to your room, along with a 1,000 Hz refresh rate, high-quality upscaling and a curved "ribbon" stand. Unlike Samsung and others, Philips didn't explain exactly why it thought a curved screen was a good thing, other than hyping its "striking appearance" (hey, at least they're honest).

Philips (or rather TP Vision, the awkwardly-named company that markets Philips TVs) also showed off the Philips 9100, a flat, high-end model UltraHD TV in 55- and 65-inch sizes. It also gets Smart TV functions powered by Android, and the 1,000 Hz refresh rate, upscaling, and four-sided Ambilight glow. But the model's piece de resistance is Spotify integration, letting you control music with your smartphone, without actually tying it up for streaming. Unlike the curved model, it also ships with a 50 watt subwoofer.

For the budget set, TP Vision launched the Philips 7900 UltraHD TVs in 49- and 55-inch sizes. Those models are also powered by Android, but have knocked-down specs like two-sided Ambilight only (instead of four-sided), and 600Hz refresh rates -- two features that purists won't care about anyway. Like the rest of the models, the 7900 also sports minimal bezels.

Finally, if you're tired of upscaling HD content, TP Vision also announced the Philips Media Player UHD 880, joining Samsung, Sony and a few others with such a box. It'll work with all the new Philips models as well as those from 2013 and use a new HEVC streaming format (aka H.265), the standard used by video services like Netflix. The UHD 880 will be powered by Google's upcoming Android L OS, giving users the store, apps and games that also come on the TVs. Other features include WiFi, ethernet, USB and HDMI 2.0. It'll run 249 euros when it arrives in Europe early next year, but if you bought an 8000- or 9000-series model like the first two above, Philips will throw it in for free. Meanwhile, all three new 4K model lines will arrive to Europe in Russia sometime this quarter, but there's no word yet on pricing.