Much easier on the eye are the TV’s connections. Things kick off nicely with twin HDMIs, but these receive handsome support from component video and PC jacks, a digital audio output, and the usual SCART/S-Video/composite video standards. What makes us particularly happy about all this is that unlike many previous Philips LCD TVs, you’re not expected to input digital video, component and PC signals through the same, single connector. Hallelujah.
If you’re wondering why the 32PF7521D carries a digital audio output, it’s because the set has a built-in digital tuner, so the digital audio output is there to permit the export of Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks should the Freeview service start broadcasting them.
Also backing up the digital tuner is a CAM slot for adding subscription TV services, plus the usual 7-day electronic programme guide, complete with the facility to set timer events simply by selecting programmes from the listings.
The set is inevitably HD Ready, with a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and compatibility with the key 720p and 1080i HD formats wrapping up the necessary specification requirements. Please note, though, that in common with most current LCD and plasma TVs, the 32PF7521D does not take the 1080p format.
Going back briefly to the Pixel Plus situation, we have to say that by using an older generation of the technology, the 32PF7521D misses out on a number of the improvements made for later generations. Particularly worrying is the fact that unlike Pixel Plus versions from Pixel Plus 2 HD and on, the system here can’t work on HD pictures in their native form. Instead it has to down-convert them to standard definition first, before using its own processing to remap them to the screen’s HD resolution.
Other little 32PF7521D tricks worth running by you include a contrast range expansion circuit, and some picture in picture options.