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Philips Cineos 42PFL9703D/10 42in LCD TV - Philips Cineos 42PFL9703D/10

John Archer

By John Archer


  • Editors choice
Philips Cineos 42PFL9703D/10 42in LCD TV


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

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.

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August 19, 2008, 1:56 pm

Is the LCD vs. Plasma dilemma slowly drawing to a close with this TV? I'm still glad I bought the Panasonic TH-50PZ70 plasma screen a few months ago but have to admit that LCD is improving all the time. Then again, with the latest Pioneer KUROs, the differentiation remains. Well done Philips!

Matt G Baish

August 19, 2008, 2:33 pm

Is there any chance we can get an indication of current reliability of manufacturer products in the reviews? (like an AV version of the JDPower survey). I have had problems in the past with Philips products (plasma telly kaput just after warranty ran out, DVD+RW player locking up on a firmware update and repeated missing of timed recordings, Streamium product just, well, rubbish) but am being lured back by all the recent good reviews. However, looking back over time, Philips consistently seem to do well at review (apart I am sure from a few hiccups) so it would be nice to know how products performed in the long term (i.e. after Philips have well and truly binned support or made it too expensive to consider repair - as per most manufacturers I guess to be honest). Maybe there is a site somewhere detailing this sort of stuff?


August 19, 2008, 2:54 pm

The advanced video processing in the Phillips models is all well and good, but when it comes to gaming they are left behind by the other LCDs in this regard. As with many other Phillips LCDs, the response time is so high that when playing games on a Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 etc you can actually feel the input lag.


August 19, 2008, 5:26 pm

A nice review but the relatively poor viewing angle of this panel, and probably every other LCD TV out there, is the deal breaker for me.

The Pope

August 19, 2008, 6:29 pm

Phantoma - this model is rated at 176º (H)/176º (V) viewing angle (which is fairly typical) so is that really so bad? How small is your lounge room? I have no problems with L/R viewing angles on my 50" Samsung, and that's DLP rear projection...


August 19, 2008, 6:55 pm

Hmm nice but I'm not going to pay top dollar for a TV that I have to tweak every time I change video sources. I'd still go for a Kuro.


August 19, 2008, 8:26 pm

I'm also curious about comparisons in picture quality between plasma & LCD TVs...if the latest 'Kuro' sets represent '10' on a 1-10 scale, where would this Philips TV come? Echoing Matt G's comment, I'd also be interested in a reliability survey, as I've also had reliability issues with Philips equipment in the past.


August 21, 2008, 3:55 am

Am really want to ask the reviewer how the Philips Cineos 42PFL9703D/10 42in LCD TV manages to perform with the PS3 since am intrested of buying the TV with PS3 console. Are there any kind of input lag?

andrew 9

October 25, 2008, 2:11 pm

I would love to be able to confirm the 10/10 score for this TV but I have not yet been able to view HD from my sky HD box via HDMI. I have spoken to Philips who claim that it is an incompatability problem they are having since Sky updated their software about a month ago! At present they claim that they have no solution for this. When I call Sky they seem unaware of this issue. If you are planning to get this otherwise wondeful TV to view Sky HD then I would advise that you look into this issue before forking out the best part of two grand! I would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced this problem.


October 1, 2009, 1:57 am

I like reviewer to comment on viewing angle of this set and every other TV's when reviewed.

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