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Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV review

John Archer




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Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV
  • Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV
  • Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV
  • Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV
  • Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV
  • Philips Cineos 32PFL9613D 32in LCD TV


Our Score:


If you've started reading this in the hope that we've already got our hands on one of the upcoming new Philips models mentioned in Hugo's in-depth news story last week, then we're afraid to say we're going to have to disappoint you. For while the 32PFL9613D is new, it's what Philips calls a ‘rolling change' to their 2008 range rather than a completely new member of the incoming 2009 range.

Not surprisingly, given its 32PFL9613D moniker, the model the new 32in screen is ‘based on' is the 32PFL9603D, a TV that earned a pretty rave review from us back in July of 2008. This naturally bodes well for the 32PFL9613D. But at the same time it's hard not to reflect that the amount of time that's passed since we saw the 32PFL9603D is quite lengthy by technology standards. In other words, it's possible that the 32PFL9613D will no longer stand out from the latest crowd quite as stridently as its predecessor. Unless, of course, the ‘rolling changes' made to the 32PFL9613D really have an impact.

Aesthetically the 32PFL9613D appears no different at all to the 32PFL9603D. Which is no bad thing, as it happens, for it means that both sets qualify as being among the very finest-looking 32in TVs I've had the pleasure to clap eyes on. The glossy black bezel is a great start, but the set really makes its mark with the novel transparent shroud that curves forward around the bezel's edges.

Plus there's the small matter of Philips' Ambilight technology, which in this incarnation delivers pools of light spilling out of the TV's left and right sides. What's more, since the 32PFL9613D enjoys the latest ‘Spectra' version of Ambilight, the extent to which the colours coming from the TV's sides match the colour content of the image is frequently uncanny in terms of both the tone and geographical location of the colour.

The 32PFL9613D's connections also appear not to add anything to those of the 32PFL9603D. But again this is nothing to be concerned about when you consider that the connections include a very healthy four HDMIs, a USB input capable of playing MP3, .alb slideshows, JPEGs and MPEG-1 and -2 videos, a D-Sub PC port, and even a DLNA-certified Ethernet port so that you can access multimedia files sat on a networked computer.

It's when I start trawling through the 32PFL9613D's frighteningly long feature count that I finally stumble across the reason for the 32PFL9613D's existence. For the one thing this TV has that its predecessor didn't is 100Hz processing, the presence of which brings the TV's claimed response time down from an already good-looking 4ms to just 2ms.

Actually, this comes as something of a surprise to me. For I was told when reviewing the 32PFL9603D that it had an innate 2ms response time, and so didn't need 100Hz processing. Most curious… Oh well. Whatever the truth of all the response time figures, the bottom line is that the 32PFL9613D should deliver clearer motion than its predecessor.

Dan 07

March 2, 2009, 2:55 pm

I purchased this set a couple of weeks ago and concur with the comments in the review. The HD picuture really is stunning - particularly the range and depth of colour the set is able to produce. The SD picture from the freeview tuner is also amongst the best ive seen.


March 2, 2009, 3:56 pm

I must agree I have had this set since Christmas and the HD picture still blows me away. John and Dan what settings are you using for freeview and HD sources? Cheers.

Dan 07

March 2, 2009, 4:43 pm

If memory serves me right my freeview settings are these:

contrast = 85

brightness = 55

colour = 63

sharpness = 6

noise redunction = medium

dynamic contrast = medium

artefact reduction = on

colour enhancement = medium

My HD settings are pretty much the same although i turn all noise reduction off.

iain coghill

March 2, 2009, 5:26 pm

I have had one of these since mid December. I love the picture quality and the styling. I hate the remote though, that nasty wheel thing constantly overruns. I also don't have much love for the Freeview EPG, I would much prefer seeing some sort of graphical display of start/stop times.

Dan 07

March 2, 2009, 9:49 pm

I'm getting used to the remote but agree 100% about the EPG.


March 2, 2009, 10:13 pm

Thanks Dan for settings not far from mine. Also got to agree with the EPG even my Grand Fathers cheap Toshiba LCD has a better setup.

Sam 3

March 2, 2009, 10:40 pm

I have to agree about the EPG and the Remote the jog wheel drives me insane, I've also had issues with the TV crashing when I try to flick between the HDMI (PS3) and TV, the TV just turns off and starts up again in HDMI when I want TV, I have to use the guild button to access TV and even then there is no guarantee (I've updated and I have even reported the situation to Philips who said I should send it back. Any one else have this issue? I really don't want to have to send it back, it's like a beautiful girlfriend with a bad accent, I think I can cope with it but one day it might break me!


March 2, 2009, 11:25 pm

I hope some of you tried the USB playback functionality - does anybody have a comprehensive list of formats supported?(such as DVD from HDD, avi, etc). Does it accept NTFS HDDs?


Dan 07

March 2, 2009, 11:53 pm

i haven't tried the USB port, i just plug my hard drive into one of these:


plays most stuff you throw at it..........


March 3, 2009, 12:16 am

Slightly unrelated I know, but is anyone else concerned about the lack of Philips TV's available in shops and online?

All the high street retailers have stopped selling Philips TV's, both in their shops and through their websites. Nowadays is seems only the specialist online retailers are continuing to sell philips TV's.

I know Philips have recently announced new models for 2009, but will we ever see them here in the UK given the current situation?


March 3, 2009, 12:36 am


I also have had problems on the odd occasions switching from HDMI to TV, but I only find I have problems if use the source button on the remote. When I want to switch back to TV I use the keypad to select a channel and it takes me straight back into Freeview TV without any delay.


March 25, 2009, 2:02 am


has anyone updated the firmware to see if the tv performs better? I read in the release notes that the restart when switching from HDMI to TV has been resolved. I am really close to buying this model. I would like to know if playing files via network works like the PS£ media server does. Anyone tested the formats or tested it with PS£ media sever software and transcoding? Thanks in advance.



March 31, 2009, 2:34 pm

Sam - assuming you haven't sent the TV back - upgrade the firmware to the latest. From the release notes for my TV: "Reboot of the 42PFL9803D/10 after switching to the HDMI(Philips 1080) solved."

Upgrading is easy, and the same firmware is used across a number of models.

I also found that the performance of switching to HDMI depends very much on the connected device too (obvious I guess). For instance, my Panasonic DVD/HDD takes a second or two to switch; a previous Philips DVD/HDD I briefly owned could take 15 seconds or so.

Hope this does the trick, as these Philips TVs really are stunning at the moment.


April 4, 2009, 3:56 pm

I bought one of these a couple of days ago. I tried the network play and obviously the files i had shared could not be played since they were mainly avi's. I installed tversity which works perfectly. The only problem I have is that the auto format function is on and it keeps adjusting the screen during playback. Anyone know a way to fix this? I noted that even the volume bar and other settings are not viewable. hope someone has a solution for this! :)


May 10, 2009, 2:44 pm

I am looking to purchase a 32in or possibly 37in LCD screen. Given the upcoming new Philips range should I wait to see whether the equivalent models are a significant upgrade on this or just bite the bullet and purchase one of these? Any idea on release dates for the smaller new Philips screens?


May 11, 2009, 8:13 pm

Also, could anyone who owns this screen give me some better insight into the viewing angles and at what sort of point a noticeable degradation in image quality occurs... I would be putting the screen in the corner of a room so not all viewers would be looking directly at the screen head-on....many thanks!

Matthew Bunton

May 12, 2009, 3:34 am

I recently purchased this television but intend to return it.

The viewing angle on this set is appalling and a lot more should have been made of this in the review.

Unless you are sitting level with the screen and right in front of it the picture is washed out, overall I am very disappointed with it.

Ilias Karampatsos

May 15, 2009, 10:15 pm

Any online shops where they stock this TV?


April 10, 2016, 2:33 pm

Total Crap never buy PHILLIPS bought it for a Holiday home paid 5000 aus dollars
watched it for less tha 70 hours its dead total shite

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