Summary

Our Score

8/10

Pros

  • Very slim
  • Exceptional 2D pictures
  • Simple remote control

Cons

  • Reflective screen
  • 3D crosstalk
  • Screen input lag

Review Price £849.00

Key Features: LCD screen with LED backlight; 40inch; Four HDMIs; 17.5kg; 3D-capable

Manufacturer: Philips

Philips 40PFL8605H

Regular readers might have noticed that one big brand has been conspicuously absent from the piles of 3D-capable TVs streaming through our doors recently: Philips.

This has been particularly frustrating actually, for we’ve long believed - or maybe hoped - that if there was one brand out there which might be able to tackle the thorny issue of crosstalk that’s currently blighting the 3D LCD TV world, it was Philips.
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After all, the brand has built a strong if sometimes controversial reputation on the back of its powerful image processing systems - systems which have the potential to combine with Philips’ shift this year to LED lighting in knocking crosstalk on the head. Or reducing it to tolerable levels, at any rate.

Our hopes in this department aren’t exactly reduced, either, by the suggestion from Philips that its 3D tardiness is down to it wanting to get it right before launching anything 3D on the Great British public.

Right, that should have your appetite well and truly whetted. So now we’re going to make you wait for our impressions of Philips’ 3D debut until we’ve got a bunch of more prosaic matters out of the way!

Though actually, as usual with a reasonably high-end Philips TV, there’s really not much prosaicness to be found with the 40PFL8605.

Its looks, for instance, are a cut above the norm. The extremely glossy, almost glass-like black bezel is exceptionally slim, cutely curved, and given extra, attractive emphasis by one of Philips’ nifty see-through wrap-around outer trims.
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The TV is skinny too - a happy side effect of the set’s edge LED lighting, no doubt.

The only problem with the design is that a glass sheet has been placed over the TV’s fascia, and this proves rather reflective if you have much direct sunlight around, or wall lighting positioned opposite the screen.

The best thing to do if you can is darken your room and let the 40PFL8605 light it for you! For in keeping with Philips tradition, the 40PFL8605 sports Ambilight, whereby strips of LED lights down the TV’s rear left and right sides cast out pools of coloured light beyond the TV’s edges.

This light can be set to a colour of your liking, or clever processing can be employed to make the colours respond to the colour content of the picture, down to a startlingly localised degree.

The 40PFL8605 introduces a new Ambilight feature too: wall colour compensation. Tell the TV what colour your walls are and it can calculate the right Ambilight colour mix to compensate.

If you’re a fully paid up member of the brave new multimedia world, the 40PFL8605 is packed with just the sort of features you’ll probably be looking for from your next TV. An Ethernet port, for instance, allows you to not only visit a passable selection of ring-fenced online content, but also go online to the wider World Wide Web.

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