My experience with the Philips 32PFL8404 - The good, the bad and the ugly

meath man

Active Member
Hey,

I just thought Id share my experience with the Philips 32PFL8404 - might be useful to a few people on here who are in a similar position to me.

Short background:

  • Bought a LCD about 5/6 years ago and it was horrific in pretty much every sense... Brought it back and returned to my trusty 50 Htz CRT
  • Have followed forums like this closely since then, took trips into Dixons etc on more than one occation... Ultimately I was never convinced by the LCD technology
  • 2 weeks ago, it seemed like my CRT had given up for good... So I went out and purchased the Philips 32PFL8404 after reading some favourable reviews online. The fact that the price was somewhat reasonable also helped - €700 here in Ireland. Heres the model - (Philips - 8000 series LCD TV 32" Full HD 1080p digital TV - 32PFL8404H/12 - 8000 series - Televisions - Sound and vision)

My setup

Sky+ (connected with a €60 scart lead)
1080p upscaling DVD player - Connected through HDMI
Xbox 360 - Connected through HDMI
PS3 - Connected through HDMI

So here was my experience with it:

The good:

  • Beautiful glossy finish and it fit perfectly into our house
  • Loads of connections, both digital and analogue
  • The picture quality on certain stations and programs was great. I was especially impressed with skin tones etc
  • Some of the features on the TV were great - i.e Ambilight, Usb connection etc. (Although I think Net Tv was a bit rubbish)
  • Even on low-bitrate broadcasts etc... The general picture was never awful - certainly nothing compared to what they were a few years back

The bad

  • No matter what I tried - I couldnt get the settings right. The picture was either too bright or too dark etc. I think this was the biggest complaint I had with the TV... it felt like that I had to alter the settings in some way according to what station or program I was watching on the TV - For someone who channel hops a lot; incredibly frustrating tbh
  • Some backlight bleed in the bottom left and top right corners of the screen - Not a huge issue tbh... but something you would prefer not to be there.
  • Motion - I think calling this bad is a bit extreme tbh... The motion handling really has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. Football etc is certainly watchable. But there is still some noticable loss of focus/sharpness etc in fact moving scenes and its frustrating when you are used to perfect motion handling on a 50 Htz CRT (As a comparison - My parents have a 37 inch Panasonic Plasma and there are little or no motion problems on it)
  • Viewing distance - The Tv was placed on a long desk in the corner - At the other end of the desk, I have a PC which I use a lot. As with all LCDs, viewing them from this close is like watching a blurry mess in most cases and it became frustrating to always have to sit x amount of feet away to get a good picture

The ugly


  • Pixel Precise HD - It is quite ironic that Philips came up with the tag 'Hd Natrual Motion', when in fact the result when its turned on is the complete opposite. This technology is ridiculous imo... It seems to speed up everything by a fraction of a second... But that completely alters how the program/DVD etc was supposed to be viewed. People seem to be walking differently, moving in a strange fashion etc. Its a very strange effect and Im sure its present on a lot of LCD's (and some higher end 100 Htz CRT's) that have similar technologies. The whole Pixel Precise thing is a joke really - I found that I got the best picture when I turned off pretty much every one of its so called features
  • The sound - Sound on this TV is pretty awful - Really flat and I would definately recommend using an external sound setup if you want to get this TV
  • Sound/Video sync - I dont know why, but there is definately a sound sync issue with this TV.. in other words, the sound is a fraction of a second out of sync with the video. You find yourself staring at peoples mouths and it can become incredibly distracting.
  • Settings - You cannot save your custom settings. So for example, you cannot come up with ideal settings for daytime and night time viewing and save them... So as I said above, you do find yourself messing with the settings on the TV at various points throughout the day.

Despite what I said above about its flaws (im my eyes at least)... I think that some people would love this TV and it certainly has some redeeming features. So dont take this as a big rant about how rubbish LCD's are in general... its just my opinion on the subject.

So I decided to sell the Philips and have returned to my 50 Htz CRT which I managed to get fixed. I still believe it is a far superior technology to LCD in many ways and it looks like I am going to have to wait for a new technology to come along :)
 
Last edited:

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi,
Thanks for the info., it is much appreciated. I understand that Philips use a Dynamic Contrast feature which cannot be adjusted much so that would probably explain the light/dark issues.
 

Silverblack

Well-known Member
hi meath man i have the philips 47pfl7404 and absolutely love it i think these tvs have amazing picture quality when you know how to get the best out of them.
i would love to know what settings you used on your tv and i wonder if you switched off the light sensor which tends to alter the picture brightness? i have a thread on here with my own settings its called i have just brought my philips 47pfl7404 and on the second page theres settings that i use on my tv with what i think are great results. i think that you should give them a try and see how you get on and if you don't get any better results with the picture then revert back to what you were using before hope this helps.
 

meath man

Active Member
Hi Markeidee,

I had a look through your threads and I did try similar settings to your ones... Wasnt impressed with the results overall and sold it a few days back. Quite happy to go back to the CRT - smaller screen size is my only gripe with it tbh.
 

Silverblack

Well-known Member
Hi Markeidee,

I had a look through your threads and I did try similar settings to your ones... Wasnt impressed with the results overall and sold it a few days back. Quite happy to go back to the CRT - smaller screen size is my only gripe with it tbh.
its unfortunate that you weren't happy with the tv you purchased but as always everyone sees things differently what one person may see as good another person may see it as bad. its funny because someone else has purchased the same tv as mine on this forum in a smaller size and has also used my settings and is impressed with the picture hes getting which once again shows that every one sees things differently anyway hope you enjoy the picture you desire on your crt.:thumbsup:
 

Andii_Vamp

Active Member
Hi topic creator,

Sorry to hear you were unhappy with your Philips 8404.

I bought the 47 inch version of this TV a while back and absolutely love it. I think it is the best TV I have owned to date (And I also owned a Samsung A656 and other Philips LCDs in the past, and still own a Sony V5500 too).

The SD picture quality is fantastic, gaming on this TV is also fantastic with absolutely no notice of any input lag in Game mode, and watching Blu Rays is an amazing experience on this set.

I am completely happy with my purchase, but I guess everyone is different :)
 

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