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Philips 46PFL9707 TV Review

Philips take a tip from Mother Nature with their new flagship TV

by Steve Withers Feb 17, 2013

  • Home AV review

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    17,193

    Highly Recommended
    Philips 46PFL9707 TV Review
    Philips 46PFL9707 Television
    SRP: £2300.00

    What is the Philips 46PFL9707?

    It's been over two years since we last had a Philips in for review and in that time the manufacturer has clearly been busy. In fact looking at some of our comments on previous reviews it would seem that Philips have addressed many of the issues that we originally raised. Now we're not saying that Philips have made these changes due to our feedback, although that would be nice, but clearly the manufacturer has benefited from its involvement with the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). Since our reviews are based on the same industry standards and desire for image fidelity that forms the basis of the ISF's goals, it should come as no surprise that the results will be the same.

    But it isn't just the ISF that Philips have been taking advice from recently, as it seems Mother Nature has also been lending a hand. Who would have thought that the unique design of a moth's eye could revolutionise the TV world? Well it seems that the light rejecting capabilities of their eyes, designed over millions of years of evolution to help them see better in their nocturnal world without attracting predators, also works rather well when applied to a filter on the front of your TV. Philips are using this exciting new technology on their flagship 46PFL9707 and once you include all the other features this particular TV has to offer, it starts to look like a very interesting prospect.

    In fact Philips have pulled out all the stops as far as the 46PFL9707 is concerned, offering a complete set of features including Micro Dimming Premium, 1200Hz Perfect Motion Rate, 3D Max Clarity 1000, 2D to 3D conversion, two player full screen gaming mode, Perfect Pixel HD Engine, Smart TV platform, built-in WiFi, dual sided remote and an included Skype camera. There's also Philips' unique Ambilight Spectra XL feature, which offers real potential when used correctly in its ISF Warm White setting. To Philips' credit, they have also taken the decision to use a slightly deeper chassis in order to include a full LED array, promising a much better backlight performance. It's fair to say we've got some serious expectations as far as the 46PFL9707 is concerned, so let's see if it lives up to them.

    Design and Connections

    It's refreshing to see a TV design these days that doesn't copy Samsung and whilst there is a rather Apple-esque feel to the 46PFL9707, with its attractive combination of white and brushed metal, it certainly looks striking. The main chassis is constructed of hardened white plastic and measures 4cm deep, with the extra space being used for a full LED backlight array. We really feel kudos is owed to Philips for having the courage to use a deeper chassis design rather than sacrificing picture quality just to deliver another size zero variant. The bezel is brushed metal with a silver trim and measures 2.5cm at the top and sides and 3cm along the bottom. Along with the deeper chassis, it's good to see a decent sized bezel as we're not really fans of the current 'bezel-less' trend. Also at the bottom, beneath the centrally positioned Philips badge, is a largely decorative brushed metal lip about 23cm wide where the on/off light and IR receiver and transmitter are located.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Design and Connections
    Philips 46PFL9707 Design and Connections

    The entire panel sits on an angled and rectangular brushed metal stand with the support column discreetly hidden at the rear, giving the impression the 46PFL9707 is floating in mid-air. When you first assemble the stand, there is a cable that connects it to the panel itself, this is because the 20W x 2 speakers are hidden in the stand. This might sound strange but this unusual approach certainly paid dividends in terms of sound quality, as we'll discuss later. There is also the option to wall mount the 46PFL9707 using the standard VESA holes and the panel weighs 14.6kg or 18kg if you include the stand. If you do decide to wall mount, the part of the stand that contains the speakers can also be mounted in a number of different configurations, depending on your requirements. Overall the design is aesthetically pleasing and the build quality is excellent, which is certainly befitting of a flagship model like the 46PFL9707.

    The 46PFL9707 has an excellent selection of connections at the rear and when many manufacturers are cutting back on HDMI inputs, even on their flagship models, it's refreshing to see Philips include a total of five - three at the rear and two at the side. What's even better is that the three HDMI inputs at the rear are downward facing, allowing for easy wall mounting without the need to have cables poking out of the sides. Finally a manufacturer has seen the light, thank you Philips! Other connections include three USB ports, two at the side and one at the rear, a CI slot, a SCART connector, a LAN port, a headphone socket, a component video input, a VGA connector and an optical digital out. There is also an aerial socket and, on the European model at least, a satellite socket as well. Our review sample was a European model which is why the satellite socket is visible in the photo of the rear connections but we should stress this is not available on the UK model.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Design and Connections
    Philips 46PFL9707 Design and Connections

    The provided remote control uses the same combination of brushed metal and white found on the TV itself and thus matches very nicely. The remote is also well built, with enough weight to suggest quality, whilst remaining comfortable to hold. It certainly looks like the kind of remote that you would expect to get with a flagship TV, being both well designed and easy to use. The layout is suitably ergonomic and the choice of buttons is comprehensive without appearing crowded. Best of all on the back is a full QWERTY keyboard, which makes typing into the web browser much easier. The remote has sensors to know which way round it is orientated, thus you can't accidentally hit the buttons on one side whilst using the buttons on the other. As an alternative, there is also a very well designed remote app that provides the same controls on your smartphone or tablet.

    The 46PFL9707 comes with two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses which, if the logo on the side is anything to go by, are made for Philips by RealD. With their glossy black frames, the design is a little '1960s Michael Caine' but they are robust and not too heavy, with reasonably wide sides to block out ambient light. The glasses can be recharged and whilst the lenses are darker than some other makes, at least they're neutrally tinted. There is an on/off button on the inside, between the two lenses at the top of the frame, and this button is also used to select player one or two when using them for two player gaming. This feature allows one pair of glasses to see one image whilst the other pair sees the second image in a two player game, a useful feature but one we were unfortunately unable to test. Unusually these days, the glasses use infrared, so you'll need line-of-sight and we noticed that the IR transmitter interfered with our PVR remote when we were watching some pre-recorded side-by-side 3D content. Our only other comment would be that given the general size of the frames, it would be more sensible to make the lenses larger as we were sometimes aware of them at the periphery of our vision.

    Menus

    One of our big complaints with previous Philips TVs was that in an effort to make them as easy to use as possible, the menu systems became impossibly frustrating to navigate if you actually knew what you were doing. There comes a point where simplicity actually begins to work against you and, whether intentionally or not, it would seem that Philips have taken this feedback on board. The menu system on the 46PFL9707 is vastly superior, proving both comprehensive and intuitive to use and, thanks to the dual core processing, it's also fast and responsive.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Menus
    Philips 46PFL9707 Menus

    Most features can be accessed from the single Home screen, which in turn is accessed by just pressing the Home button on the remote. In this screen, along with the inputs you can also access the TV programmes, TV guide, the smart features, networked devices, recorded content, Skype and the Setup menu. In the case of the inputs, TV programmes, TV guide and Smart TV, these can also be accessed separately using dedicated buttons on the remote. Within the Setup menu there are five options - TV Settings, Channel Settings, Satellite Settings (Europe only), Network Settings and Software Settings. Each offers the choice of a simplified or more detailed versions, thus catering to both neophytes and the season user.

    Within the TV Settings there are choices for Picture, 3D, Sound, Ambilight and General Settings. The 3D menu includes some basic setup options for 3D, the Sound menu includes the setup audio options and the General Settings include options for language, clock, timer etc. The Ambilight menu can also be accessed directly using a dedicated button on the remote and provides a choice of Off/Dynamic/Static/ISF Warm White. For reasons we will discuss later you should choose ISF Warm White if you plan on using the Ambilight feature. In the Picture menu is the Picture Format sub-menu which gives you access to the different aspect ratios and again these can be accessed directly using a dedicated button on the remote. If you watch high definition content you need to ensure it isn't being scaled, so selected the appropriately titled Unscaled aspect ratio. All the other key picture controls can be found in the Picture menu, including the advanced ISF calibration controls.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Menus
    Philips 46PFL9707 Menus

    The advanced calibration controls are under ISF Expert Settings and here you can choose the Colour Temperature, with a choice of Normal, Warm and Cool. There is also a Custom setting which gives you access to the two point white balance control, which will allow a professional calibrator to accurately set the greyscale. Also within the ISF Expert Settings is the Colour Control which is actually a colour management system. Here you can control the hue or saturation of the three primary and three secondary colours, again allowing a professional calibrator to accurately set the colour space.

    Audio and Features

    We've become so used to modern TVs sounding terrible that, when one comes along that sounds really good, it's almost shocking. Thanks to Philips ingenious use of the stand as an alternative speaker, the 46PFL9707 delivers some some of the best audio we've heard from a TV in many a long year. We've reviewed much larger screen sizes where the increased width has aided stereo separation and the bigger chassis has accommodated larger speakers, all of which can result in an improved audio experience. However we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of sound emanating from the 46PFL9707's more sensible proportions. The audio was clean and clear, with a generous soundstage that seemed more immersive than we thought possible. Not only was dialogue perfectly intelligible and anchored to the centre of the screen but music sounded open and wide, extending well beyond the screen's 46 inches. The bass response was also impressive for a TV, the mid-range was well represented and the top end never sounded harsh. Sound effects were also well rendered, often seeming to come from places where we knew there weren't speakers. You could also happily stream music to the 46PFL9707 and listen using the built-in speakers, which isn't something we get to say very often - top marks to Philips.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Audio and Features
    Philips 46PFL9707 Audio and Features

    Thanks to the ever increasing complexity of today's Smart TV systems we now review them as a separate product. The reason for this is two-fold, firstly it allows us to cover the Smart TV system in greater detail and secondly it keeps the reviews of the TVs themselves to a manageable length. The review of the Philips Smart TV system is here and overall we found it to be very good in certain areas such as networking and connectivity but limited in others, such as the number of apps and video on demand services available. However one area that were particularly impressed with was the remote app, which is available for both iOS and Android. We found the design and interaction to be very good and for the first time with any manufacturer's app we were able to actually stream live TV to our tablet and iPhone and watch in another room - very handy.

    Whilst the 46PFL9707 doesn't have a built-in camera, it does come one included as part of the package. The camera is extremely easy to setup and install and worked perfectly with the Skype app built into the 46PFL9707. This is great news if, like us, you find the ability to make Skype video calls from your TV a genuinely useful feature. If not, or you just don't like the camera ruining the clean lines of your lovely new TV, you can always take it off. We suspect that Philips, as with all other manufacturers, will be building cameras into future generations of their TVs.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Audio and Features
    Philips 46PFL9707 Audio and Features

    Ambilight is one of the features on the 46PFL9707 that's genuinely unique to Philips and after spending some time with it, we've become huge fans. Now before anyone get's too excited, were not talking about the dynamic mode which turns the back of your TV into the equivalent of a school disco - that's just silly. No, we're referring to the ISF Warm White setting which introduces a static white light equivalent to D65 (you can read about D65 and how important it is in the Test Results section of this review) around the back of your TV. We've often spoken here on AVForums about how introducing some biased lighting into your room can reduce eye strain and improve perceived black levels when watching TV at night. We've also mentioned that ideally this lighting should be behind the TV but until now that's required you to go out and buy LED strips and add them behind the TV in some kind of custom install. Well not anymore, now Philips have done all the hard work for you and installed dozens of tiny LEDs along the rear top and sides of the 46PFL9707 chassis, so all you have to do is select ISF Warm White on the remote. The results were excellent and in the evenings we turned off all the lights and used Ambilight ISF Warm White to deliver just the right amount of biased light for a very comfortable and enjoyable viewing experience. As an added bonus, the already superb blacks on the 46PFL9707 looked even better thanks to Ambilight, what a great feature.

    The other big selling point of the 46PFL9707 is the inclusion of a Moth Eye filter on the front of the panel which is designed to significantly reduce reflections. This new design of filter takes, as the name might suggest, its inspiration from moths, who have evolved special nanostructures on their surface of their eyes that eliminate reflections, thus hiding them from predators. These same properties are applied to the filter on the front of the 46PFL9707, thus eliminating most reflections and improving the perceived dynamic range of the panel. We can certainly attest to the remarkable properties of the Moth Eye filter, with almost no reflections being visible on the screen itself when watching TV with a lot of ambient light in the room. In fact, when you combine the Moth Filter with the native black level performance of the panel itself, the results are some of the most impressive blacks we've ever seen from a LCD TV - day or night.

    Test Results

    All TVs come with a more accurate preset that is usually either called Movie or Cinema and in the case of the Philips, it's called Movie. Full marks go to Philips here, their Movie picture style does exactly what it should do, offering a more accurate image based on the industry standards and turning off all the picture processing features. There are also ISF Day and Night presets, which are initially identical to the Movie picture style but they offer more advanced calibration controls for use by a trained professional. What a difference selecting a different mode can make! Just by choosing the Movie picture style we now have a far more accurate image with the greyscale (top left) now measuring much closer to our target. There's a shade too much red at the higher end of the scale, giving whites a warmer hue but it's vastly preferable to the blue-fest of the Standard picture style. The gamma curve is also much improved, now measuring close to our target of 2.2. The same is true of the colour space in the right hand graph, which now shows the majority of colours much closer to their ideal targets. You can see that white is measuring a little towards red which in turn is skewing yellow and magenta slightly but overall this is a reasonably good preset that delivers a natural looking image with no unnecessary processing.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Test Results
    Philips 46PFL9707 Test Results

    The addition of ISF presets means that the 46PFL9707 will have sufficient calibration controls to allow for a far greater degree of accuracy than a factory preset can allow. The excellent starting point offered by both the Movie and ISF presets meant that we had little to do but fine tune the greyscale with the two-point white balance and then tweak the colour accuracy with the colour management system. We used the ISF Night preset for all our calibrated settings but there is also an ISF Day preset that a professional calibrator can use to create a much brighter setting for less critical daytime viewing.

    The 46PFL9707 has a two point white balance control that is listed as the Custom Colour Temperature setting in the ISF Expert Setting sub-menu. As the name suggests, you adjust two points on the greyscale to vary the amounts of red, green and blue in order to set the correct colour temperature for white. There is a specific industry standard used for the colour temperature of white and it's called D65 (6500K) and the idea is to use the calibration controls to hit this target exactly. The other objective is to ensure that the greyscale has a smooth transition from black to white in shades of grey, with no obvious discolouration. If you look at the graph above you can see that amounts of red, green and blue are now reasonably close at each interval and as a result the DeltaEs (errors) are mostly less than one. A DeltaE of less than three is the cut off point at which the human eye can no really distinguish any errors, so this is an excellent performance from the 46PFL9707. The gamma curve was also improved slightly and was now hitting our target of 2.2 exactly. There was a small excess of red at the lower end of the scale but unfortunately we were unable to correct this due to the limitations of a two point white balance control. It would be nice to see Philips add a full ten point white balance control in future models to allow for greater accuracy.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Test Results
    Philips 46PFL9707 Test Results

    The CIE Chart above shows the visible spectrum of colours and within that is the industry standard of Rec.709, represented as a triangle. This is the colour space used in all TV, DVD and Blu-ray production and the idea behind calibration is to replicate it as precisely as possible. As you can see, after the calibration of the greyscale, white is now measuring exactly at D65, the square in the middle, and as result the secondary colours of yellow and magenta are also more accurate. The inclusion of a colour management system allows us to adjust the positions of the three primary colours (red, green and blue) and three secondary colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) with respect to their targets on the Rec.709 triangle. The CMS on the 46PFL9707 provides individual controls for hue and saturation (colour) but no control for luminance (brightness). As a result we were able to get the hue measurements to an excellent level of accuracy, with most errors below one and all well below the threshold of three.

    Things weren't so easy with the saturation and luminance, where a single control was being used to adjust two different elements of colour. As a result we were forced to compromise slightly when it came to green, where we chose a more accurate luminance at the expense of a slightly over-saturated colour. We did this because the eye is more sensitive to errors in luminance but it did mean that the over-saturated green also slightly affected yellow and cyan. However the overall errors for all six colours were still below the threshold of three and the luminance measurements were all spot on, as was the colour performance of red and blue. This is generally an excellent performance but hopefully Philips will add a separate luminance control in the future, which will then allow an even greater degree of accuracy.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Test Results
    The graph above shows how the 46PFL9707 performs at multiple saturation levels for the six different colours. The measurements in all the other graphs are taken using a saturation of 100% but here the measurements are taken at 25, 50, 75 and 100%. The result is that any issues not apparent at 100% might be picked up at lower saturation points. However, this is purely for information purposes because outside of a few high-end video processors, there are no controls for actually calibrating multiple saturation points. The 46PFL9707 performed reasonably well in this test, with most of the colours tracking close to their targets, although blue appeared slightly undersaturated and there was a slight kink in green at 25%.
    Philips 46PFL9707 Test Results
    Philips have made two important decisions that have both had an enormous impact on the contrast ratio and black level performance of the 46PFL9707. Firstly they are obviously using a VA panel, as opposed to the more commonly used IPS panel, which results in a much better black level. We measured the panel's native black level at 0.039cd/m2, which is impressive for a LCD TV, and we found the blacks to be among the best we had seen. The 46PFL9707 was also capable of very bright image, easily hitting our target of 120cd/m2 and as a result producing a very wide dynamic range and an excellent on/off contrast ratio of 3,077:1. Unfortunately, whilst a VA panel will deliver better blacks, there is a downside, which you can see as soon as you move off-axis. A VA panel has a very narrow angle of optimum performance and once you move outside a viewing angle of 90 degrees you will start to see a loss of contrast and colour saturation. Of course this can easily be mitigated by careful positioning of the TV but it is worth bearing in mind.

    The other decision Philips took was to use a full LED array, which does mean a slightly deeper chassis but results in a vastly superior backlight performance. We can't tell you how pleasing it was to see a uniform backlight, with no clouding or bright corners and edges. Instead there was an even backlight with lovely deep blacks and once you included the micro dimming and moth eye filter into the equation, you started to see a level of performance that could give a plasma a run for its money. The excellent uniformity was evidenced by the checker board shown above, where you can see consistent measurements that delivered an impressive ANSI contrast ratio 2,637:1. The only downside to the full LED array was that very occasionally you got slight banding on camera pans but frankly that's a small price to pay for a screen uniformity and contrast performance that's this good.

    We put the 46PFL9707 through our usual battery of video processing tests and overall it did very well, with one minor exception. Starting off with the SMPTE 133 pattern, the 46PFL9707 revealed cleanly scaled standard definition images without any loss of detail or unwanted ringing. The Philips also scored well when it came to video deinterlacing with jaggies only appearing when the line was at an acute angle in the test and with motion adaptive deinterlacing it was also very good, with slight jaggies only appearing on the bottom bar of the three moving bars. The 46PFL9707 also performed well in the film detail test and correctly locked on to the image resulting in no aliasing but in the cadence test it didn't do so well, failing to lock on to the 2:2 (PAL - European) format. So there is some unnecessary deinterlacing introduced and with it some resolution loss. However, the 46PFL9707 had no problems handling film material with both horizontal and vertical scrolling video text, correctly displaying the words without any blurring or shredding.

    With our Blu-ray player set to 1080i the display correctly deinterlaced and displayed both the video and film resolution tests and showed good scaling and filtering performance as well as good resolution enhancement. We used the moving wedge patterns to check both the 2:2 and 3:2 patterns and again, the 46PFL9707 was unable to correctly lock onto the 2:2 cadence. However with 24p content it was absolutely flawless, with beautifully rendered motion handling and absolutely no issues whatsoever. In fact overall motion handling on the 46PFL9707 was very impressive for a LCD TV. We checked the headroom performance of the 46PFL9707 from reference white (video level 235) up to peak white (video level 255) and it was very good with absolutely no signs of clipping. As well as white, there were also no signs of clipping with the three primary colours either. In addition, the 46PFL9707 also correctly showed detail down to a video level 17 and reference black below that to video level 0.

    If you're the kind of person who places great importance on responsive gaming then you'll need to select the Game mode on the 46PFL9707 or else be faced with an input lag of around 125 milliseconds. The Game mode does the trick in cutting down on any unnecessary processing by reducing input latency to around 50 milliseconds, which isn’t too bad but it's at the top end of the scale this year, with most averaging around 40 milliseconds. In 3D the lag is much bigger, measuring 129 milliseconds in Game mode, so even casual gamers might start to notice a delay that big. If you're only a casual gamer and not interested in 3D gaming then the lag on the 46PFL9707 probably won't be an issue and you'll benefit from the superb picture. If you're a serious gamer and the lag is important, there are faster and considerably cheaper options available.
    • Standby: 0W
    The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:
    • Out-of-the-Box – Standard Mode: 48W
    • Calibrated – Movie Mode: 89W
    • Calibrated - 3D Mode: 117W

    Philips 46PFL9707 Picture Quality 2D

    This would seem an appropriate point to just come out and say that the 46PFL9707 has one of the best 2D pictures we've ever seen from a LCD TV. Why is this? Well it's a perfect storm of factors, all of which have combined to deliver a truly stellar performance and Philips are to be congratulated. Firstly the use of a full array LED backlight means we get a perfectly uniform backlight, with no clouding, bright edges or hot spots. There was some occasional banding on camera pans but we would prefer that to the kind of patchy backlight found on almost all LED TVs these days. Secondly the use of a VA panel means that the 46PFL9707 is capable of some of the best native blacks you'll see on a LCD TV. The downside is that the viewing angle is limited but this can be mitigated by careful positioning. Then there is the Moth Eye filter which eliminates most reflections delivering an even better dynamic range and the Ambilight can also help with perceived blacks in the evenings.

    The accuracy of both the Movie and ISF picture styles is another major factor, as is the addition of calibration controls which can deliver a near reference level of image accuracy. Te micro dimming also played its part, help to deliver deeper blacks without robbing the image of shadow detail. The quality of the video processing is also excellent and the motion handling, especially with 24p content was absolutely superb, whilst the high definition panel itself delivered a wonderfully detailed image. The result is a picture that at times didn't look like an LCD TV at all, which is surprising. We use Pioneer Kuros as our reference TVs and so we become very used to the look of plasma, as a result LCD can often look very digital or processed. This wasn't the case with the 46PFL9707, we found ourselves really enjoying the images it produced and even in side-by-side comparisons with the Kuro it held up to scrutiny.

    There really is no greater praise than that for any TV and we found ourselves perfectly happy watching anything and everything on the 46PFL9707. In fact regardless of what content we watched, the 46PFL9707 did a fantastic job, from the best Blu-rays to standard definition TV broadcasts. Of course when it came to Blu-rays, the 46PFL9707 could really show what it was capable of, with the Avengers Assemble, for example, looking absolutely stunning. The beautifully rendered images were no surprise given the source content but high definition TV broadcasts were equally as impressive, with the gorgeous vistas and camerawork on the BBC's recent Africa being expertly delivered by the 46PFL9707. The same was true with Six Nations Rugby, where 46PFL9707 handled details like the crowds or the pitches wonderfully but also had no issues with the fast motion, even with all the motion enhancing features turned off. The same was true of a DVD double bill of Sweeney! and Sweeney 2, where the image accuracy brought the nicotine stained late seventies vividly back life!

    Philips 46PFL9707 Picture Quality 3D

    So is the 46PFL9707 perfect? Well no, and in the case of this particular TV it's Achilles heel is 3D. The panel was certainly bright enough to deliver 3D with plenty of punch and the image was surprisingly accurate in the Movie preset, with the ISF modes offering the opportunity to improve that accuracy still further. As with the 2D performance, the motion handling was also very good, surprisingly so for a LCD TV. The problem seemed to be with crosstalk, especially in the backgrounds of scenes. Whilst there was undoubtedly plenty of 3D 'pop', especially in foreground scenes, this seemed to be achieved at the expense of the backgrounds which often had crosstalk. Using Avatar as an example, in the flying scenes those objects near the screen had plenty of detail and three dimensional depth whilst the floating mountains in the background suffered from crosstalk. We tried the 46PFL9707 with a number of different 3D Blu-rays, from old favourites like Hugo to more recent acquisitions like Pirates! but the results were always the same. We also tried adjusting all the 3D controls but nothing solved the problem, backgrounds always suffered from crosstalk. So the upshot is that if you're a huge fan of 3D, then the 46PFL9707 isn't the TV for you, which is a shame because it's great in every other respect.

    Conclusion

    8
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Respectable black levels
    • Impressive dynamic range
    • Excellent backlight uniformity
    • Good out-of-the-box performance
    • Excellent performance after calibration
    • Superb video processing
    • Moth Eye filter is a definite winner
    • ISF Ambilight setting has real potential
    • Surprisingly good built-in sound
    • Comprehensive set of connections
    • Attractive and well built
    • Great remote control
    • Dual gaming feature
    • Well designed and intuitive menus
    • Good networking and smart features

    Cons

    • Limited off-axis performance
    • Occasional minor backlight banding
    • 3D performance suffers from crosstalk
    • Unable to detect 2:2 cadence
    • Input lag is a bit high
    • Pricey
    I own this 0
    I want this 0
    I had this 0

    Philips 46PFL9707 TV Review

    Quite simply, the Philips 46PFL9707 delivers the best 2D picture we have seen from a LED LCD TV to date. We'll explain why we think that in greater detail later but if you're looking for a one sentence summary, there you go. However, before we cover the picture quality in more depth, let's quickly go through the 46PFL9707's other attributes. The design is refreshingly different, if a little Apple-esque and the build quality is excellent, as befits a flagship model. There are plenty of well positioned connections, including 5 HDMI inputs, 3 of which are at the rear facing downwards.

    There is a clever double sided remote with a well laid out set of buttons on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on the other. In addition to the remote, the 46PFL9707 comes with a Skype camera and two pairs of rechargeable active shutter 3D glasses. The menu system is attractively designed, intuitively laid out and thanks to the dual core processing, it's quick to navigate and responsive. The Smart TV system is not as comprehensive as some of the competition but it handles networking and streaming well and the remote app is excellent. The speakers are built into the stand but this unusual approach certainly works and the 46PFL9707 has some of the best audio we've heard from a TV in a long time.

    The 46PFL9707 includes Philips' Ambilight feature, which we found to be particularly useful when set to ISF Warm White. The inclusion of ISF calibration controls is a welcome addition, allowing for a highly accurate image but we were glad to see that Movie and ISF picture presets also offered an excellent level of accuracy out-of-the-box. The video processing was superb, as was the motion handling and the black levels and dynamic range were very impressive for a LCD TV. The use of a full array LED resulted in a fantastically uniform backlight and the Moth Eye filter worked brilliantly, eliminating reflections and improving blacks. As a result of all these factors the 2D images produced by the 46PFL9707 were absolutely superb, making any content we watched look wonderful.

    Unfortunately the same wasn't true of the 3D images, which suffered excessively from crosstalk. The 3D images were accurate and certainly bright enough but although objects near the screen had plenty of detail and three dimensional depth, those in the background were marred with crosstalk. So as good as the 46PFL9707 is with 2D content, if you're a huge fan of 3D then sadly it isn't the TV for you. Otherwise any other issues are all minor such as an inability to lock onto 2:2 cadence, some occasional banding, a limited viewing angle and a slightly high input lag. The only other issue is the price tag, which is at the higher end of the scale but, realistically, all this technology and performance was never going to come cheap.


    The Rundown

    Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

    8

    Screen Uniformity

    8

    Colour Accuracy

    9

    Greyscale Accuracy

    9

    Video Processing

    9

    2D Picture Quality

    9

    3D Picture Quality

    5

    Sound Quality

    9

    Smart Features

    7

    Build Quality

    8

    Ease Of Use

    8

    Value for Money

    7

    Verdict

    8

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