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The best part about all of Philips’ clever picture processing is that it’s not an on or off affair, everything is done dynamically. So, the amount of noise reduction for example is constantly changing, depending on how much help the source signal needs. What this means is that you rarely find that the picture looks over-processed, because the TV is always applying just the right amount of image tweaking. There’s even a menu option that lets you monitor exactly how much image processing the TV is performing in real time. There are also demos for the different image processing features, where the TV splits the screen in half, allowing you to compare the picture quality with and without Pixel Plus or Clear LCD applied.
The specifications back up the technology being applied to this set. Philips quotes a dynamic screen contrast ratio of 6000:1, which would suggest strong blacks. While the quoted panel response time of 3ms should result in smooth panning and motion. But good specifications don’t always result in good performance, and the proof of a TV is in the watching.
Thankfully, the end result of all of Philips’ back-end technology is quite simply superb, with the 37PF9731D producing simply staggering image quality. When I fed this TV a diet of high definition footage the images it produced took my breath away. I hooked the 37PF9731D up to my Sky HD box and kicked off (excuse the pun) by watching the Man United vs. Liverpool Premiership game and I was amazed at the clarity of the pictures. The colours were so vivid and bright, but without compromising edging, but best of all there wasn’t the slightest hint of motion smearing. Even if you were a Liverpool fan you would have enjoyed watching the game on this TV!
I watched a number of HD movies, but it was Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones that stood head and shoulders above the rest. The scene when Jango is chasing Obi-Wan through the asteroid belt looked better than I’d ever seen it – the colours almost jumped out of the screen at me, while the blackness of space looked black, rather than grey. The contrast in this scene really did show off just how good a job Clear LCD is doing when you throw a great source at it. At the other end of the scale, the sun bleached landscape of Tatooine seared through my retina, just like looking out into a real dessert in the blistering sun would.
Things were no less impressive when I hooked up the Xbox 360 – high definition gaming has never looked so good. The bright, almost oversaturated colours of DOA 4 looked almost radioactive, but not at the expense of any detail. It was still possible to pick out every curve on each fighter – something that any DOA fan will tell you is vitally important to the gameplay! Firing up FIFA 07 produced a virtual footballing experience that could convince your mates that it’s time to upgrade their gaming console and TV in one fell swoop. Electronic Arts’ completely new FIFA engine for the Xbox 360 looks superbly detailed on this TV – even if you’re a die hard Pro Evo fan, you’d be hard pushed not to be impressed at how this game looks on the 37PF9731D.