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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:


Of course, though, all the colour intensity in the world counts for zilch if it only comes at the expense of hideously forced, unnatural tones. But here again the combination of the wide colour gamut panel and ultra-sophisticated processing plays a blinder, delivering tones that are actually phenomenally natural in terms of both their toning and blend finesse.

It doubtless doesn’t hurt in this latter regard, either, that the 42PFL9703D/10 sports a Full HD pixel resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. And this fact also joins with the superlative sharpness-boosting elements of Perfect Pixel HD to produce an image of almost outrageous sharpness and detail.

Every pore, every rippling muscle, every tensed sinew, every bead of sweat, every blade of grass, every face in the 90,000 crowd – no TV I’ve seen to date has brought the Full HD impact of all these Olympic traits home quite so sharply and clearly as the 42PFL9703D/10, thanks in no small part to the extra ‘three-dimensionality’ introduced by the wide colour gamut functionality.

Also key to the impression of clarity delivered by the 42PFL9703D/10 with HD sources, is how little unwanted noise the TV’s picture processing induces. For as anyone who’s been following Philips TVs over the years will know, while Philips TVs have long excelled at looking vibrant and sharp, there’s traditionally been a trade-off in the form of troublesome processing side effects such as shimmering around moving objects and a rather ‘gritty’ overall feel.

However, the massive extra power Philips has thrown into the latest Perfect Pixel Engine in conjunction with some clearly significant tweaks to its processing algorithms means this TV can really deliver all of the processing benefits with practically none of the old, unwanted side effects. Even standard definition pictures look great, for heaven’s sake, as the Perfect Pixel Engine does a great job of resizing standard PAL sources to the Full HD resolution.

Once you’ve got over the picture’s sharpness and vibrancy, it’s time to also take in the sensational fluidity and clarity of its motion reproduction (with HD Natural Motion set, sensibly, to its minimal level, and with 100Hz engaged), and the really outstanding depth of its black level response.

This doesn’t touch the levels seen with Pioneer’s KURO plasma sets, of course, but it’s unquestionably as good as anything we’ve seen from an LCD TV, and is easily enough to make dark scenes look packed with detail and generally free from LCD’s traditional grey clouding.


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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