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Philips on test - results

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Faust, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Faust

    Faust
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    Well folks I have just spent the last six days with the Philips 32Pf9986 on test. I mentioned in a previous thread that I had been offered this option by my local dealer. My impressions? and they are honest ones, are these. This is a very handsome and desirable LCD television, no doubt about that. Picture quality is excellent from a DVD source, can be variable from a digital source, and from what is a very good analogue reception area where I live, nothing to write home about. I found the picture to be for the most part vibrant, which isn’t a criticism, with sharp crisp edges, and no perceptible smearing. The picture from my widescreen Panasonic which is sat at the side of the Philips whilst on test is a softer picture, but would I call it a poorer picture? No I wouldn’t. Certainly the geometry on the CRT is not up to the likes of the Philips, but in most other respects I would say that it is a close run thing. My personal preference is for a softer picture, and yes I have had a good play around with the settings on the Philips 32Pf9986. Now comes the crunch part of this post – would I or will I be parting with my hard earned cash to purchase an LCD television? No! well not just yet anyway. I have had what is considered to be one of the very best LCD’s on the market at present, and I have been honest in my appraisal of it. This is what it boils down to – space is not a problem in our household, which is a reason often given for buying one. We also watch very little in the way of commercial DVD’s, and here the Philips excels. However, my main source for material is terrestrial television, and here the difference between the Philips and my Panasonic were not so clear cut. In fact, apart from geometry I would say the CRT wins by a very short head. Given all that, I cannot see a real benefit at present that would persuade me to part with the best part of £2000 (my Panasonic is only just over two years old). Now when the price of LCD panels such as the Philips or Sony fall to more realistic levels then I will of course look at the proposition once again. I have no doubt that some of you that own LCD t.v’s will disagree with my findings. However, I have done my level best to be constructive. For now though the Philips goes back to the shop in two days time.
     
  2. Starburst

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    Well reasoned:)

    If I had been in the market for a 32" television which was only going to be used for Standard Definition digital broadcasts via DTT/Dsat/Cable and DVD then I would have saved a ton of cash and gone for a CRT.
    LCD has many advantages over CRT but you have to want/need those features otherwise it's an expensive albeit good looking piece of technology stuck in the corner or on the wall.

    Having said that I love the panel even though the the frame is too big and it really needed a second DVI soclet or just plain component input.
     
  3. jimsan

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    Congrats Faust.

    I have to agree with virtually everything you have said here. It really is down to what type of viewing you indulge in.

    Myself and a good many other Forum members are great movie fans (fans of great movies!) and the Philips, as you have noted plays a blinder with DVD's. When it comes to standard Terrestrial and Satellite broadcasts a good CRT smooths things out better and gives a more 'comfortable' picture. The Philips does a very good job too, and with some channels and some subject matter, produces stunning pictures here too. These, as I'm sure you discovered can be smoothed out fairly well by keeping the sharpness set low, (1 - 3) and the contrast at 63.

    But looking down the road a few months, these slightly 'ropey' broadcasts should be starting to clean up their act and I feel that this is when good HDCP equipped LCD's will really start to shine. Roll on HDTV.....

    We have had our differences in the past over the ins and outs of LCD purchases and I appreciate that your temptation to 'slam' the Philips must have been considerable. Full credit to you for such a well balanced review.

    Jimmy
     
  4. richjthorpe

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    Hi Faust,

    Good write up ! It's very admirable that you have the time out to actually test an LCD which some people who would slate a technology like LCD or Plasma would never do.

    Yes, unfortunately LCDs are quite poor with poor sources as you found out but soon enough the screens will get better and also the signal will get stronger when they start turning off Analogue channels giving better PQ for Freeview.

    If you've got enough space and want the PQ, have you thought of a rear projection ?

    Just like to say good on yer Faust.

    Richie.
     
  5. Faust

    Faust
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    Thanks for the balanced replies everyone. Rear projection - I'm not keen on the aesthetics of this technology, when it's turned off it is still nice if what you have in the living room looks the part, if you know what I mean. On the subject of the Philips test, it never occurred me to slate it even if it was good, I mean where is the mileage in not being honest with ones self? The trouble with testing anything over such a short period is that you become used to watching your own t.v. very quickly so something new is bound to look different. The hard part is deciding if what you are used to watching is good or bad compared to the test model, or is it that you have just become used to watching it. I think I have been pretty fair with my assessment though, and in truth I will be sorry to see the Philips go back to the shop tomorrow.
     
  6. ianh64

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    Faust

    Good honest factual reasoning is the best option for this board and I feel that your post fits this. There is little point in emotive, outdated or mythical information being passed especially when the topic of conversation can influence a major financial obligation.

    Now that you have had your view, how do some of your preconceptions regarding LCD technology compare with your real life experiences? I am talking black levels, smearing and all the other critisims that people make against LCD technology. In your opinion, has LCD technology finally come of age as a acceptable display technology?

    -Ian
     
  7. Faust

    Faust
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    Blacks on the Philips were very good, although if I used the Panasonic as a yardstick then no not as good as the CRT, although to be fair when the Panasonic was reviewed when first released the PQ was given top marks, better than any 100Hz (I have the 50Hz model which I prefer) the reviewer said at the time, ultra black blacks etc. Smearing - I really could not detect any sign of smearing at all. Overall I would say, and this is only my opinion, that certainly in the case of the Philips which is all I can comment on, is that they are almost there. I think I would say that it is now a case of fine tuning the technology rather than anything major left to do, if you know what I mean. Again, I think it is what you are used to, but I do prefer the slightly softer picture that a CRT seems to generate. However, if I were to be asked that same question after living with an LCD for a month or so, then I am not at all sure what the answer would be.
     
  8. andy c!

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    Faust,
    as a newbie to this forum/thread, but not a newbie to hifi forums in general, It wanted to comment on the well balanced comments you have made re this lcd (which I'm getting, by the way). Its a pleasure to read an evidenced and balanced review.

    regards,

    andy c!
     
  9. jimsan

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    I'll interject here.

    It can be seen from the above posts that this particular review of this particular TV has promoted an interesting reaction, not least from myself.

    What we have here, and this is for anybody who hasn't been following posts from Faust in the past, is a man providing a review on an LCD TV who has formerly been, to say the least, highly critical of not only this type of TV, but the motivation that some of us had in purchasing it at all - claiming that we were buying these TV's because of their iconic status rather than for their performance.

    Arguments and viewpoints bounced backwards and forwards for a few days until, eventually Faust decided to bite the bullet, get his hands on one of the best LCD's available and see for himself.....

    As I've said before (up a few posts) his review has taken me somewhat by surprise. Pleasantly by surprise. As he has said himself the TV is performing on a par with one of the very best CRT's available. Sure it doesn't handle some poorer broadcasts with the finess of a CRT, but, of course, has the massive benefits of providing a future proof visual source for all the up and coming televisual advancements.

    What I am trying to say, in a rather long winded manner, is that this review has so much more meaning for a potential LCD purchaser than any opinion given by somebody who already owns one.

    The Philips 9986 has (nearly) made a believer out of him.

    Thanks Faust, for probably the most telling review of an LCD I have ever read.

    Jimmy
     
  10. roberte

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    Faust,i Went Through Same Process As You And Have Ended Up Spending £979 Inc 5 Year Warranty For A 26sharp Ga4 ,my Thinking Is Ill Spend Another Grand In 3years Time On A State Of Art 32 Inch
    Lcd And Use Lcd 26 Elsewhere In House.i Too Also Thought That 2 Grand At Present Is Too Much For Lcd Quality,but Each To Their Own
     

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