Philips is quite unusual in the TV world in that it seldom just discards old technology. Instead it tends to pass superseded technology - in particular, older versions of its famed Pixel Plus image processing system - down to products at the lower end of its next range.
We've questioned this approach in the past, believing that it engenders confusion among punters about the hierarchy of individual TVs in Philips' overall range, as well as potentially devaluing the latest versions of technology as applied to Philips' high end sets. But while philosophical questions over the ‘hand-me-down' practice remain, we have to admit that today it has, in the shape of Philips' 32PFL7762D, yielded a very successful result…
The 32PFL7762D is, as its name suggests, a 32in LCD TV. And a pretty nice looking 32in LCD TV too, thanks to its retro-chic gloss black design.
It's also a 32in LCD TV with a surprisingly attractive price tag. We've found it online for as little as £528, making it one of the cheapest LCD TVs Philips has ever sold. Yet surprisingly given its money - and this is where the story really starts to get interesting - it's not by any means a low-spec machine.
For a start, it manages to include a very healthy three HDMIs: two on the rear and one down the side. Excellent - especially as they're all built to the latest v1.3 spec. Plus there's a dedicated component video alongside all the more basic stuff common to practically every telly. The only slight disappointment is the lack of a D-Sub-type PC port, meaning you have to use one of the HDMIs for PC duties.
The 32PFL7762D is also, surprisingly for a 1,366 x 768 screen, capable of playing 1080p/24fps sources from Blu-ray players, and features a dynamic contrast function, where the backlight is dimmed during dark scenes to boost black level response. Dynamic backlights are common in the LCD world generally, but by no means a given at this kind of price level.
Thanks to its dynamic contrast system, the 32PFL7762 claims a very high contrast ratio of 12,000:1 - the highest figure we can recall seeing on any 32in TV, never mind a budget model.
The TV's single most eye-catching feature, though, is the one which prompted this review's opening paragraphs: Pixel Plus 2 HD image processing. This HD-optimised second generation of Philips' original Pixel Plus system received rave reviews when it first appeared two or three years ago, so the hope has to be that it still holds its own today.