Review Price free/subscription
No, we haven't made a mistake. The 37PFL5522D really does cost just £550, despite being a 37in LCD TV from a very established and respected European brand.
Inevitably, though we're talking ‘entry-level' status here. So don't go expecting the frankly mind-boggling amounts of features and high-tech picture processing jiggery pokery of TVs higher up the Philips range. What you certainly do have a right to hope for, however, is the retention of at least some of the hugely impressive LCD picture quality seen on those higher-spec Philips models. If the 37PFL5522D manages this, then we wouldn't be at all surprised to find uber-cheap TVs from the likes of Bush and Goodmans crying their poor little budget eyes out as yet another big brand muscles in on their traditional turf.
Aesthetically the 37PFL5522D is sort of okayish; just a relatively straightforward black rectangle with a small, slightly angled back speaker bar running along the bottom. But it at least feels quite solidly built, avoiding the overt plastickiness of many budget flat TVs.
Turning to the TV's rear, we find a solid enough set of connections. Two HDMIs lead the way, with support from the de rigueur component video input, as well as a couple of SCARTs and the usual S-Video and composite video ‘fall backs' for anyone willing to put up with the inevitable reduction in image quality they introduce. The only disappointment is the fact that there's no D-Sub PC port, meaning you need to use one of the HDMIs for computer duties.
Not surprisingly your £550 does not get you a full HD pixel count on the 37PFL5522D; resolution is stuck at the standard HD Ready 1,366 x 768 level. We were pleasantly taken aback to discover, though, that your £550 does get you a dynamic contrast system, whereby the backlight can be dimmed automatically during dark scenes to produce a deeper black level response. Such systems are relatively common - almost ubiquitous - in LCD TVs higher up the pecking order than the 37PFL5522D, but they're by no means a given at the budget end of the market. The dynamic contrast system in the 37PFL5522D is claimed to help the TV produce a really impressive-sounding 7,500:1 contrast ratio.