Philips 47PFL9664H £1800
9th Mar 2010 | 12:12
Philip's new high-end 47" LCD screen is packed with features
Philips' 47PFL9664H is one of the top dogs of the Dutch manufacturer's LCD TV range.
Strip out the Cinema 21:9 and LED Pro models and it's actually the most highly-specced TV it offers, boasting a plethora of picture enhancing tech alongside Wi-Fi, web and media-streaming DLNA capabilities – not to mention the iconic Ambilight rear lighting system.
If you're looking for a smaller set with all the features listed about, check out our review of the 42PFL9664H, the smaller brother of this quite mammoth LCD TV.
Haul the 47in beast out of its box and you'll find it's a solidly built set that's easy on the eye. The narrow frame sports a fetching brushed metal finish and the TV is a slim 50mm in depth – not as achingly skinny as some edge-lit LED models, but very thin all the same – and running down the right-hand side is an array of touch-sensitive controls.
Perhaps as a result of this slimline profile, there are no connections located on either side panel, and everything is clustered at the back, including five HDMI inputs. There are also USB and Ethernet ports, the former for playing back media files and the latter for connecting the 47PFL9664H to your home network – although thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi you don't need to use an actual cable.
Internet on the TV
Philips' NetTV feature allows you to view a variety of pre-picked websites (including YouTube), or alternatively log into a full-on web browser – although the sloth-like pace and need to key in URLs via the remote control means it's not the smoothest experience.
The TV's networking talents also allow you to stream media content via DLNA. So if you have a PC or a Mac running some sort of UPnP client, you can plonk yourself down on the sofa and enjoy videos, photos and music stored on your computer. Would you want to listen to music through your TV's speakers?
Well, the 47PFL9664H comes with a surprisingly good set of them. Despite the TV's thinness, its speakers are capable of belting out a substantial slice of bass, backed up by clear treble.
As for images, the company has brought its full arsenal of enhancement technology to the table here (besides the LED backlighting): Perfect Pixel HD Engine for boosting sharpness and detail while reducing noise; Perfect Natural Motion to remove judder from pictures; and 200Hz Clear LCD to counter motion blur, keeping moving images looking sharp.
It all works together, along with the strong dynamic contrast, to serve up a mightily impressive picture. Black levels are strong, but not at the expense of vibrancy and brightness. Colours are beautifully vivid, with smooth, contour-free gradation from light to dark.
There's a huge amount of detail on show, too, particularly with HD sources, and there's built-in sharpness enhancement if you want to upscale SD material.
Motion is smooth and moving images remain clear (even for fast-paced games), although the effect 200Hz tech creates might not appeal to all viewers – it can make things look too smooth, and introduce an occasional shimmer around a moving object. You can tone down the processing, or turn it off completely, should you wish.
Top notch, top price
The 47PFL9664H's excellent picture performance, fine array of features and stylish, high-end design make it a very impressive LCD TV.
Its price tag will put a lot of people off, but if you're looking for a top-notch largescreen and have the money, then add this one to your list.
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