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Expecting not to turn up anything of great significance, we're pleasantly surprised when a trawl of the 32PFL7562D's features produces an immediate and very welcome surprise in the form of Philips' Pixel Plus 2 HD image processing engine.
This second generation of Pixel Plus - a proprietary Philips system for adding detail and clarity to pictures - is especially designed and ‘souped up' to handle HD footage, and also introduces a few extra niceties such as enhanced edge rendering (to reduce the slightly harsh edging seen with Pixel Plus 1) and a tool for recognising and improving the appearance of skin tones.
Regular readers may recall that Philips is now offering Pixel Plus 3 HD on some of its high-end LCD models, which brings some really impressive new noise reduction facilities to the party. But frankly, even finding a ‘previous gen' Pixel Plus system on a £540 32in TV counts as a bonus in our book - especially since we've seen Pixel Plus 2 HD produce some handy results in the past.
As well as boasting a standard native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and a very impressive claimed contrast ratio of 4,000:1, the 32PFL7562D has three other intriguing features up its sleeve. First, and rather controversial, is Digital Natural Motion, which interpolates extra frames of image data to make objects moving across the screen look sharper and smoother. Why is this controversial? Because on every previous occasion that we've come across it we've failed to warm to it at all, finding it over-intrusive to the point where its effects sometimes induce a vague feeling of nausea.
Active Control, meanwhile, is also a tad controversial. Designed to automatically adjust a variety of image parameters based on an ongoing assessment of the incoming source material, our experience suggests it's no substitute for what you can achieve by using your own judgment and/or a good TV calibration aid such as the DVD Essentials disc (£14.98 from amazon.co.uk).
Rather less open to concern is the inclusion of MPEG noise reduction to smooth away the blockiness that can infiltrate low-quality digital broadcasts, and a colour enhancer that really does introduce richer saturations to pictures without overcooking things. Provided you're careful with the 32PFL7562D's set up, we're happy to report that it delivers pictures that rate as good by any 32in LCD TV standards, and excellent by budget 32in LCD TV standards.
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