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It should be said, though, that all the superb qualities I’m talking about are dependent to some extent on how carefully you’ve been with the 42PFL9703D/10’s phenomenal array of picture adjustments.
For instance, leave noise reduction settings on while watching HD, and the picture won’t look as sharp as it should. Leave HD Natural Motion on high while watching sport, and you’ll definitely get some twitching over edges of fast-moving image components. Leave the Dynamic Contrast function set too high while watching a film and you might see some slight flickering in dark areas. Leave sharpness high while watching standard definition, and edges can look bitty and forced. Apply HD Natural Motion without additionally engaging 100Hz, and edges can start to flicker quite aggressively during fast camera pans. Leave Advanced Sharpness on with an HD source that’s got quite a lot of inherent grain, and that grain can be exaggerated quite distractingly.
In other words, the 42PFL9703D/10, as with its less well specified Philips siblings, demands rather more love, attention and quality time in its menus than most TVs if you want to continually get the best from it.
But honestly, by the time you’ve had the TV a week and experimented fully with everything the TV has to offer, all the key tweaks will likely have become second nature, leaving you free to amaze your friends with what are, for my money, the finest LCD pictures I’ve seen.
Yes, it’s possible that even with everything calibrated to within an inch of its life you might still see the occasional little glitch, especially with HD Natural Motion switched on.
But while one or two people writing in the comments section may be willing to disagree with me, it’s my considered opinion that the positives of all the processing on show outweigh the remaining negatives by so huge a margin that the 42PFL9703D/10 is capable of delivering the single best picture quality I’ve yet seen from an LCD TV.
The only real negative I can raise about the 42PFL9703D/10’s images, in fact, concerns the set’s viewing angle. For if you watch from even as little as 40 degrees off axis, the picture’s black levels start to drop off quite markedly.
After all the 42PFL9703D/10’s picture glories, it’s nice to be able to report that the set’s audio is very good too. Not as rich in bass as that of the WooX-equipped 42PFL7603D, but certainly possessing levels of power, clarity and dynamics demoralisingly absent from most of its flat TV rivals.
In the 42PFL9703D/10, Philips has brought together its latest picture processing engine with a cutting edge wide-colour gamut LCD panel to deliver what is undeniably one of the best pictures we've yet seen from an LCD TV.