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A few weeks back we tested and loved the first of Philips' new generation of LCD TVs, the 32PFL9632D. But for all our appreciation of that genuinely groundbreaking 32in model, there was one thing about it we would love to have changed: its size. To be frank, it just wasn't big enough to a) totally satisfy our home entertainment dreams or b) show off Philips' image processing cleverness to its best advantage.
You can understand our excitement, then, as we hoik onto our test benches the 47PFL9632D: a bigger brother of the 32PFL9632D which measures in at a delicious 47in. Provided this relative behemoth can reinforce just how good Philips' LCD picture quality now is rather than suddenly revealing flaws that we couldn't see on the 32in version, it has the potential to be very special indeed.
Aesthetically it's certainly a winner. The shiny piano black finish of the bezel offset against a matt outer frame looks if anything better at 47in than it does at 32in. And of course, the set receives an extra style boost from Philips' Ambilight technology, which generates coloured light around the TV in sympathy with the colour content of the image you're watching.
Admittedly this is a relatively subdued version of Ambilight compared with the disco-esque extravagance of the Philips ‘Aurea' set we checked out a couple of weeks back. And so rather than colouring up the entire front bezel, it features just two LED strip lights: one to the rear left of the screen, and one to the rear right. But we have little doubt that some people will actually prefer the subtler pools of ambient lighting the 47PFL9632D throws out in comparison to Aurea's pyrotechnics. Plus you can get the 47PFL9632D for a fraction of the Aurea screen's price, even though the Aurea model (42PFL9900D) we tested was only 42in across, not 47in.
Before getting stuck into the prodigious features count of this full HD TV, we ought to first cover its connectivity as there are one or two interesting factors to report. For starters you get a healthy three HDMIs, together with a component input for analogue HD sources like the original Xbox 360.
There's also PC interface support and even a USB port via which you can play JPEG, MP3, .alb slideshow and MPEG 1 and 2 video files. It's good to see Philips persevering with such multimedia support even though surprisingly few rival brands currently seem interested in following its lead.