To say that I’ve been impressed by the majority of Philips’ latest TV range would be an understatement. With the exception of the uncomfortably positioned 42PFL8404, I’ve loved everything the brand has thrown at me recently. So you’ll forgive me if I admit to feeling a tingle of excitement today at the arrival of the largest screen I’ve seen from the new Philips range: the 47in 47PFL9664.
Hopefully the extra screen real estate of the 47PFL9664 will merely reinforce my overwhelmingly positive impressions of Philips’ latest picture engine. Before we get into that, though, I’ve got some salivating to do. For the 47PFL9664 really is damn easy on the eye.
The first thing you notice is the striking and original two-tone grey finish of the sumptuously well built - from aluminium, no less - bezel. Then it hits you how slender this bezel is, both from the front and the side, since the set is only 50mm deep at is fattest point. As with the recently reviewed Samsung UE-55B7020, seeing such slimness attached to such a large screen size merely adds to the innate sense of tech 'cool' that all really thin TVs seem to exude.
Switching the TV on introduces another key design element, too: Ambilight. Philips didn’t manage to squeeze this trademark feature into its first slimline TV, the 42PES001 'Essence', so it’s really nice to see the familiar pools of coloured light spilling from the 47PFL9664’s sides. Especially since the localised accuracy of these colours in relation to the colour content of the image is even more uncanny than it was on last year’s Ambilight TVs.
Philips’ apparent drive with the 47PFL9664 to make its relatively steep £1,799 asking price look good value continues with the set’s connections. It has five HDMIs, for instance - one more than just about every other brand offers, even on their flagship TVs.
Also key are the 47PFL9664’s multimedia connections. A USB, for instance, provides playback of a bewildering array of different file types, taking in photo, music and video. Plus an Ethernet port allows you to stream in the same file types from a DLNA PC, or access the Internet.