The shining star of the 2009 Berlin IFA show, the Philips LCD TV Cinema 21:9 is now available in Australia. An odd-shaped panel, the Cinema 21:9 is practically a miracle, because it thumbs its nose at its more familiar 16:9 widescreen brethren and actually offers us all the opportunity to display our movies in the same 2.39:1 format as Hollywood directors use.

The recipient of a 2009 award from the EISA experts, Philips’ 56PFL9954H 56 inch (142 cm) Cinema 21:9 isn’t going to get another prize for its model name, but it is the very best choice so far for watching most Blu-ray  and DVD movies as they were intended. It features 200Hz picture smoothing technology, Philips’ excellent Perfect Pixel HD processing engine and Ambilight backlighting, edge-lit LED technology, an unmatched 1 millisecond response rate and 2560 x 1080p resolution.

Don’t look for it at your local electronics retailer, though. The Cinema 21:9 is available only from the distributor and approved custom installers, which gives you an idea as to its videophile credentials. Costing just shy of $9000, the display (it contains no TV tuners) will need to be installed and connected to a suitably excellent high definition set-top box in order for its full brilliance to be realised, and your local expert in such matters can be found by contacting QualiFi in Melbourne. Look em up.