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Philips Aurea 42PFL9903H 42in LCD TV - Philips Aurea 42PFL9903H

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Philips Aurea 42PFL9903H 42in LCD TV


Our Score:


The extra aesthetic glories of Aurea Mark II are raised even further when you actually turn the TV on. For as well as that new inner frame proving much less distracting once the light frame starts glowing away, it's also immediately apparent that the new Light Frame's effect is much more sophisticated than that of its predecessor, for two main reasons.

We'll come to the second reason later, but first, the latest Light Frame contains more LED light sources than the original Aurea Light Frame; 150 versus 128. This enables the new light frame to deliver more localised subtleties and differences in its colours than the original one - and it's remarkable just how striking a difference this extra flexibility makes.

For while the way the light frame responded to colours in an image with the original Aurea was dazzling and clever, here it becomes so accurate it's frankly uncanny. And in the process of redefining the precision with which parts of the light frame's colours tally up with the colours in the image you're watching, Aurea II makes the Light Frame effect appear much more natural and engaging.

In fact, whereas with the original Aurea I experienced a couple of days of resistance to the Light Frame effect before finally embracing it, with Aurea II I found myself loving the concept right from the get-go.

Trying to describe just how endlessly subtle and precise the new light frame effect is brings to mind the old saying that ‘a picture can say a thousand words'. For seriously, if I were to try and outline here the precise location of every colour tone and colour intensity shift the frame portrays to back up a typical TV image, I'd be having to write hundreds of words.

What's more, those words would probably start to sound pretty dry and boring by the end, whereas if there's one thing the Light Frame effect certainly is not, it's dry and boring. So all I can say is, look at some of the pictures accompanying this review, and imagine the drama of the effect shown happening ‘on the fly', as the light frame continually and instantly changes in response to the content of the image you're watching. Better still, try and see an Aurea II in action for yourself. Be careful, though; once you've seen the latest Light Frame strut its stuff, you may no longer be able to live with the relative drabness of your current TV…


November 5, 2008, 4:05 pm

Is it me, or does Phillips use its Aurea technology to take away from the fact that at the core, their TVs are generally above average, and never at the top of the pile? I can't remember the last time someone mentioned Phillips in the same sentence as Sony, Samsung or Panasonic, who currently have some of the best TVs on the market, in a positive light.

Andy Vandervell

November 5, 2008, 4:29 pm

Not sure why you have that impression. We've always regarded Philips TVs very highly and with good reason. Aurea is simply an adjunct to the normal TV features.

Paul 7

November 5, 2008, 5:12 pm

Video review please???


November 5, 2008, 5:22 pm

A stunning set and I absolutely love the Aurea Light Frame effect. But I just don't think I could bring myself to shell out � for a 42" screen. In fact having just seen a full HD 1080p 42" set with a Samsung panel at Ebuyer for under 𧻞 (with 96 customer reviews giving an average 5/5 rating for the set) I wonder where the extra � of value comes in with this Philips one.

Geoff Richards

November 5, 2008, 5:54 pm

@Rsaeire - I think the number of 9 and 10/10s disagrees with you:


@Paul - sadly, the logistics of shipping these large TVs around the country means we aren't doing video reviews of TVs at this time. We are still developing our portfolio of video reviews and I can assure you TVs is on the list for the future. :)


November 5, 2008, 9:08 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... is apparently a video of the set in question.

prag fest

November 5, 2008, 10:15 pm

> 2 grand for a 42" telly? Nah, you're alright.

Matthew Bunton

November 5, 2008, 11:15 pm

No matter how good it is supposed to be that price is crazy imo.

I'll take a 50" Pioneer Kuro anyday over this.

lams 007

November 6, 2008, 5:50 am

Does this Tv looks better than a pioner Kuro?? maybe the second generation KUro


November 7, 2008, 3:19 pm

@Geoff - One needs only look at the users’ comments on AVForums and other such forums for their experience with Phillips TVs. I appreciate your comments regarding the review scores, but dozens of users can't all be wrong.

Jake Santman

November 8, 2008, 10:14 am

This may be a good TV, but it is the ugliest piece of furniture in my living room. I also hate this "neon light displäy" called Ambilight by Philips

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