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Philosophically speaking, we’re really not sure what to make of Philips’ current policy towards LCD TVs. For instance, is it really sensible to deluge the marketplace with a range so large and varied that it must befuddle all but the most dedicated of home cinema aficionados? And is it really a good idea to include within that range different generations of the same technologies?
Take Philips’ Pixel Plus technology, for instance. Philips currently has no less than three generations/versions of this in the market simultaneously, but surely this carries a huge risk of your average punter just seeing the oldest version in action and thinking that’s the best Pixel Plus as a whole has to offer?
Then there’s the fact that the enormous scope of Philips’ range must put a huge strain on the company’s resources too, in much the same way restaurant kitchens are strained by trying to run a huge menu.
These problems, though, are mostly just for Philips to worry about. All we want to know as consumers is if the Philips TVs that dominate store shelves are actually any good. So let’s find out by having a look at the determinedly mid-range 32in 32PF9641D.
A number of key factors define this set’s mid-range stance. First, although it sports Pixel Plus processing, it’s not the all-singing, all-dancing new Pixel Plus 3 HD variation, but ‘last year’s’ Pixel Plus 2 HD. Which means it lacks, among other things, some of Pixel Plus 3 HD’s new noise reduction talents. But before you get too depressed by this, the results achieved by Pixel Plus 2 HD TVs previously have still been seriously impressive, so we have no reason to expect anything less here.
Also helping pitch the 32PF9641D in the centre of Philips’ range is its Ambilight technology. It comes in a ‘stereo’ flavour where different coloured light can spill individually from each side of the TV, rather than the basic ‘same light from both sides’ approach of the bottom-end Ambilight system, or the ‘coloured light from all four sides’ seen on the top-end Ambilight Surround system.