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