The 42PFL9703D/10 sports exactly the same connections as the 42PFL9603D/10 – and that can only be considered a very good thing. For highlights include four v1.3 HDMIs, an Ethernet port for integrating the TV into a home network, and a USB port for direct playback from USB devices of not just JPEGs but also MP3 audio files, .alb slideshows, and even MPEG video formats.
People have been banging on for ages about TVs converging the PC and TV worlds, but the 42PFL9703D/10 is one of only a handful we’ve seen that really has a credible stab at it.
At this point, it would be customary for us to dive off into the deep end of the really quite frightening amount of picture processing technology Philips has thrown at the 42PFL9703D/10. But we kind of feel like we’ve done this to death with our previous reviews of the 32PFL9603D/10 and, more pertinently, the 42PFL9603D/10, so we’ll keep things stripped down here and refer you to those other reviews for more in-depth analysis.
In stripped down form, then, what you’ve got here is the very latest and easily greatest version of Philips Perfect Pixel HD technology. This includes and improves upon the old elements for boosting motion handling, clarity and sharpness, and adds new components focussed on colour and contrast.
Plus you get 100Hz thrown in for good measure, just in case the so-called ‘HD Natural Motion’ processing doesn’t do a good enough job of sorting out LCD’s traditional motion blur and stutter problems.
As part of the new Perfect Colour processing element, meanwhile, you get a hugely powerful 17-bit colour processor reckoned to produce 2,250 trillion colours. Given how impressive this looked with the 9603D sets, we frankly can’t wait to see how it fares in the company of the 42PFL9703D/10’s wide colour gamut panel.
Feeling particularly mean, we put the 42PFL9703D/10 through its paces for the most parts with some sumptuous HD coverage of the athletics phase of the Olympics, viewed via a combination of BBC HD and Eurosport HD.
With its fast motion, sport is traditionally the bane of many an LCD TV’s life. But the 42PFL9703D/10 amazingly appears to love sport as much as I do.
Leaving me agog right from the off are the set's truly spectacular colours. These are clearly better than those of even the already superb 42PFL9603D/10, with the wide colour gamut panel helping the new set show all the different national team colours with a level of jaw-dropping intensity I don’t think I’ve ever seen before from a flat TV. Mesmerising.