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Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV review

John Archer




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Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV
  • Philips 47PFL9664 47in LCD TV


Our Score:


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.

Martin Daler

December 2, 2009, 5:04 am

The guy in the basement room who they pay to name these tellies - he needs to be let out and feel the sun on his face!


December 2, 2009, 2:30 pm

Great TV. I looked for ages for a replacement to my old Sony KDL32MRX1 - I couldn't find a better telly than the 9664 considering the picture, sound and features for the price.

Mine is wall-mounted, but as four of the HDMI ports on the rear face the wall it is tricky to mount and connect using HDMI cables even using 90 degree heads. As a result it is not quite an Essence-like slimline look, but then being a couple of inches off the wall appears to assist in throwing the ambilight across the wall, and that feature works beautifully.

Philips' NetTV portal is fun but the system seems a little slow to respond to me, despite using wired ethernet and 8mb ADSL. Maybe they are wary of encouraging the increased load the system would receive if they were to make a keyboard available..


December 2, 2009, 3:56 pm

I still don't understand why anyone would buy a telly now when they could wait to get one with a Freeview HD tuner next year (esp high-end TVs like this). Are tv sales stalling at the moment or do the great british public neither understand or care?


December 2, 2009, 4:01 pm

@timple: I think the vast majority of people don't realise. It's a very valid point you raise but I'd argue it's more like two or three years before Freeview HD really starts to arrive at sensible prices. Also, you can always buy a seperate tuner - not ideal but acceptable.

Stu 2

December 2, 2009, 4:40 pm

I regularly read how labour intensive Philips TV's can be to make sure you are getting the best out of them.. Does this set or any of the Philips line allow you to save presets?


December 2, 2009, 6:18 pm

Excellent review, John. Philips really are making some great TVs these days. Any chance of you getting your mitts on the Philips Pro-LCD 46PFL9704 (it's user-friendly, trip-off-the-tongue name here in Germany)? That appears to offer even more awesomeness, at a suitably much, much higher price, of course.


December 2, 2009, 6:23 pm


Or you could just buy a TV with integrated Freesat HD now. Although I do think there are more important features to consider with a TV than the tuners. External tuners can be easily added but if the display is a dud you can't exactly upgrade it.


December 2, 2009, 6:25 pm

@ cxs: I couldn't agree more about the problem of wall-mounting TVs and maintaining access to the various connections, including HDMI. Why don't manufacturers simply angle connections at 90 or 45 degrees in the first place? It wouldn't be a huge inconvenience to users who stand-mount their sets, surely? My Panasonic plasma has three HDMI sockets, but even with right angle adapters, I can only access two of them.


December 2, 2009, 6:29 pm

what sort of LED back lighting does this have?

doesnt look like you can have this mounted tight to the wall


December 2, 2009, 7:00 pm

@Stu: I agree, presets with distinct remote codes would be ideal. One for the BluRay, one for Sky, one for your games console, etc. I imagine that the individual settings for each input would be saved at least.

@timple: I've never really cared what kind of tuner my TV incorporates since for the last 10 years I've always used some kind of STB, be it Sky, TiVo or a Freeview PVR. I would think that anyone spending this kind of cash on a TV would be the same.


December 2, 2009, 7:58 pm

I find it a bit odd that it isn't even mentioned that the 9664 was already reviewed by you, althought it was not the 47" but the 42" model (http://www.trustedreviews.com/....

It's the same Design and Features, but you give different scores! And the Image Quality too, but okay, the panels often present differences between sizes.


December 3, 2009, 4:31 pm

@Ed - I think once Freeview HD tuners are launched they will become tablestakes very quickly and certainly not in 2 or 3 years.


December 3, 2009, 6:04 pm

Was thinking about the Sony 46z5800 but this would probably have better picture quality that makes the loss of freesat worth it... am i right?? idk!


December 3, 2009, 6:32 pm

@chris: many people do care whether theyre televisions tuners can recieve the now increasingly expanding selection of high definition broadcasts. Especially after the recent showing of the wonderfull natural history series 'Life' on the BBC and the realisation that it could have also been viewed in high definition aswell. An external tuner box for many is a needless addition aswell as quite often an added source of confusion.

Im sure it cant be that difficult for television set manufacturers to fit the tuner components in a modular structure. Pioneer did so with their most recent Kuro range even allowing for satellite tuner cards as an option.


December 4, 2009, 12:56 am

Wait why so some people mention LED? What is Phillips' best LED tv at the moment?


December 4, 2009, 4:36 am

Basically, it's between this Philips model and Panasonic's P50V10 model for the best TV available on the market right now. I'm buying one for Christmas to go with my new Denon AVR-2310 and Kef 2005.3 surrounds, Ive seen them both and cant decide between the two! Could someone sway me either way?...

Tony Koorlander

December 4, 2009, 4:29 pm

Regarding LED - there is an equivalent LED backlit version of this TV and unlike Samsung, Philips use LED array backpanels giving more even illumoination and better brightness. I've seen it and it looks gorgeous.


December 5, 2009, 5:12 pm

@Virbo - Go for the Panasonic! I've bought a Philips and Panasonic TV in the last two years and they're both fantastic. In my opinion, Plasma TVs still have the edge on picture quality and viewing angles and since they are a dying breed, why not be part of that legacy. Besides, you're getting an extra few inches with the Panasonic.


December 7, 2009, 5:50 pm

there is an hdmi socket which is perfect for those wishing to mount their tv as close the wall as possible. it's underneath where the 4 main ones are. fwiw, in these days of hdmi-switchable AV receivers (with quality scalers etc built in) there is far less reason to have multiple hdmi cables into the panel itself.

this tv is excellent. it even manages to upscale some shoddy AVIs I have to make for relatively decent viewing. it hasn't failed to play any AVI I've chucked at it yet.


December 7, 2009, 7:37 pm

This TV already has freeview HD tuner built-in.

At least it's the case in France, Germany and the Netherlands. I don't see why Philips would maintain 2 production lines just to sell the set without the tuner in the UK.

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