Happily this doesn’t seem to have a seriously negative impact on picture quality at all. As ever with Pixel Plus TVs, the first thing that hits you – even on a relatively small screen like this – is how amazingly detailed and crisp pictures are. This is of course particularly true for quality HD sources like Sky HD’s stunning showing of The Revenge of the Sith, and sparkling Xbox 360 fodder like Gears of War.
But unusually for LCD it also holds pretty true for standard definition, as Pixel Plus 3 HD goes into overdrive in adding resolution and generally smartening standard def up. Even better, PP3HD’s new noise reduction systems means you get all the customary Pixel Plus benefits with precious few of the usual unpleasant side effects.
Almost as impactful as its sharpness is the 32PF9731D’s colour response. Shades from a gratifyingly wide spectrum blaze off the screen, keeping your attention rapt far more than we’d normally expect with a 32in TV. What’s more, colours are generally likeably natural in tone, with only a very slight plastickiness to some skin tones giving minor cause for concern.
More impressive stuff comes with the TV’s black levels, as the HCFL system helps it produce some of the deepest, richest blacks in LCDsville. Naturally this helps the picture look even more dynamic, as well as making it better than many LCD rivals at handling the extreme contrast ranges of films. There are small traces of backlight seepage in the corners, perhaps, but these are very seldom truly noticeable.
Activating the ClearLCD feature also definitely helps motion look clearer (though at the expense of a slight decrease in overall sharpness, and provided you avoid the really rather weird Digital Natural Motion feature); edges look sharp without ever being over-egged; and the picture just looks generally phenomenally solid and rich.
It is possible to mess up the 32PF9731D’s pictures if you’re not careful with some of the more potent features in the TV’s expansive onscreen menus. But just use a bit of common sense and go with what your eyes tell you, and you should find yourself staring gleefully at possibly the finest 32in LCD pictures in town.
Happily the 32PF9731D also sports a more than decent sound system, albeit not one that stands out from the crowd quite as dramatically as the picture performance.
With its lovely looks, awesome features list, reams of connection options, surprisingly affordable price and above all sensational pictures, this 32PF9731D is about as irresistible as mid-sized LCD TVs get.