Review Price £649.00
Philips’ latest TV range has been nothing if not consistent, at least when it comes to its core feature ‘values’.
This hasn’t always been a good thing; none of its current models have Freeview HD tuners built in, for instance. On the plus side, though, the Philips TV ‘DNA’ does mean that the majority of its sets can be depended on to deliver some powerful video processing to help pictures along, as well as a taste for multimedia and, best of all, LED lighting.
Impressively, this move to LED extends right down to the 32PFL7605H we’re looking at today, despite it being merely a lower mid-range model that’s only 32 inches in size. Admittedly, the flavour of the LED lighting in the 32PFL7605H is edge rather than the higher-quality direct option used by Philips’ outstanding 9000 TV series. But if it’s done well, its edge LED engine should still give the TV plenty of potential for outperforming the vast majority of its 32in peers. Especially those peers sitting round the 32PFL7605H’s surprisingly aggressive £629 price tag.
Of course, though, as we’ve seen with a depressing number of other edge LED TVs recently, the trendy new lighting tech can also do harm to pictures if it’s not done well…
The 32PFL7605H is startlingly easy on the eye for one of Philips’ most affordable TVs. Its grey-silver finish makes a nice change from the usual black, and we were rather taken, too, by its rounded corners, well-built stand and highly polished finish.
It does no harm whatsoever to the 32PFL7605H’s looks, either, that it comes equipped with ‘stereo’ Ambilight, where coloured light sympathetic to the image being shown is cast from the TV’s left and right sides. Some people might find this feature gimmicky, but we personally have a lot of time for it. But anyway, if it doesn’t float your boat you can always turn the feature off.
So far the 32PFL7605H looks rather better than you might expect for its money. And this impression continues with its connectivity, thanks to the inclusion of a collection of our favourite things: four HDMIs, a USB port and an Ethernet port. The USB and Ethernet ports impressively prove to be just as flexible in multimedia terms as the same jacks on sets further up Philips’ current TV range. In other words, the USBs can thus handle photo, music or a wide variety of video formats, while the Ethernet permits streaming from networked DLNA PCs or access to Philips’ NetTV online platform.