Find a 37in LCD TV with a price tag of under £700 attached to it, and you’ll usually find it wearing a brand name you’ve probably never heard of; a brand name more usually associated with the PC than the AV world; or a brand name long-renowned for focusing exclusively on budget products, such as Goodmans or Bush. What you wouldn’t expect to find is the word ‘Philips’ plastered boldly along the bottom.
Yet this is precisely the deal with the 37PF5521D, a 37in LCD TV from the Dutch electronics giant that can be had for the paltry sum of £680. But is it really the LCD TV steal it first appears to be?
First impressions are fair. The set’s design is a bit over-aggressive for our tastes thanks to its unusually large bezel and the harshness of the contrast between its big silver speakers and glossy black screen frame. But we’re sure there will be some of you who quite like it. Be warned, though, that the closer you get to the TV the less impressive and more plasticky the build quality starts to appear.
A scan of the 37PF5521D’s rear panel reveals two HDMI jacks among the connections; the minimum you need these days, but actually one more than we’d frankly expected to find for £680. There’s a component video input for progressive scan and analogue HD signals too, plus a handy digital audio output that can be used for forwarding on to a suitable AV receiver any digital audio tracks received via the HDMI inputs.
With the usual Scart, S-Video and composite video options all on hand to finish things off, along with full Freeview digital tuner support, the only area where the 37PF5521D lets us down is in not having a D-Sub port for analogue PC connection. So if you want to attach a PC, you have to double up on one of the HDMIs.