Back in November we looked at and frankly fell head over heals in love with the Philips 37PF9731D – a set that remains one of the very best LCD TVs we’ve ever clapped eyes on.
But not everyone’s room can accommodate a 37in LCD, and not everyone’s budget can stretch to the 37PF9731D’s £1,600 (minimum) price tag. So we thought we’d also check out the more affordable 32in version, the £1,099 32PF9731D.
This smaller offering is still quite a looker. The glossy black bezel standing proud against a recessed black speaker grille looks great – especially in contrast to the slick silver of the detachable stand.
It also warms our cockles to witness coloured light boldly spilling out of the TV’s left and right sides, cueing us to the presence of Philips’ Ambilight system. Designed to make long-term viewing more relaxing by using fluorescent strip lights to produce a pool of light around the TV that can even change colour in sympathy to the content of the image you’re watching, we know Ambilight sounds gimmicky. But it’s actually backed by hard science, and this reviewer for one loves it. So there.
The smile raised by its aesthetics only grows wider with the 32PF9731D’s astonishingly numerous connections. Twin HDMIs lead the way, receiving solid support from, among other things, component video inputs, Scarts, a D-Sub PC input, digital audio input/output, a CI slot, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, and a multi-format card reader. Clearly some of these jacks warrant closer attention.
The CI slot and digital audio jacks, for instance, alert us to the presence of a digital Freeview tuner. The Ethernet port, meanwhile, means the TV can ‘network’ with your PC, allowing you to stream video and music files from it directly into the TV. File formats accepted are wide-ranging, and include MP3, JPEG, MP3 Pro, LPCM, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, DivX and XviD.