More good news concerns the Philips 32PFL6007T's handling of standard definition sources. Pixel Precise HD might not be Philips' most powerful processing system, but it's still potent enough to add enough extra detail to leave images looking sharp without making noise look too aggressive. So long as you've got the unhelpful sharpness boosting element of the processing turned off, anyway.
Predictably given the slimness of the Philips 32PFL6007's bezel and its relative affordability, it struggles most with black level response. The dynamic contrast system is a touch clumsy, in that it can make its brightness adjustments look slightly too obvious at times. Yet if you don’t use it, dark images look rather grey and washed out.
We were also a little disappointed to see an area of at times quite distracting backlight inconsistency, spreading out from part of the top left edge of the image.
The Philips 32PFL6007T can actually produce a slightly deeper black than most edge LED TVs at its price point once you’ve set it up to its best advantage. Though even at this point there’s a compromise in that the shadow detail levels of calibrated pictures are only fair.
Other smaller picture issues are a slightly noisy look to images, even without the sharpness boosting system engaged, and the potential for brightly lit skin tones to ‘flare out’ a little, as the screen fails to fully resolve subtle colour and brightness differences at the very brightest end of the spectrum.
When it comes to 3D, the Philips 32PFL6007T employs LG’s Passive system. Which works out very nicely indeed, allowing it to produce clean, natural-looking, bright and untiring 3D images devoid of the flicker and ghosting noise associated with Philips active 3D TVs.
Motion looks cleaner and more authentic in 3D than it does on the majority of mid-range 3D TVs too, and best of all the relative smallness of the Philips 32PFL6007T’s screen allows it to almost completely ‘hide’ passive 3D’s usual shortcomings of a slightly reduced resolution and some jaggedness over contoured edges.
The only complaint we can muster against a more or less exemplary mid-range 3D performance, in fact, is that inevitably 3D isn’t as immersive and therefore effective on a 32-inch screen as it is on much larger screens. But at least what 3D impact there can be from such a screen size is delivered with aplomb.
Many TVs we’ve tested that use LG’s passive 3D technology have curiously suffered with high levels of input lag, where the TV takes longer to produce pictures on screen than a fan of fast-reaction games will be happy with. However, the Philips 32PFL6007 is an exception to this, turning in a respectable average input lag measurement of around 38ms. This is a touch higher than the best screens around, but it’s also only around half as high as that of most passive 3D screens.
Please note, though, that achieving this figure requires you to activate the screen’s ‘Computer’ mode, and then turn off as much processing as you can find, including the set’s dynamic contrast and colour boosting features.
For a TV with such a tiny frame, the Phliips 32PFL6007 turns out a quite credible soundstage. Inevitably there’s not as much bass as we’d like, but the frame is sufficiently robust to deliver a fair amount of volume without succumbing to distortion; voices sound clear and natural even during action scenes; and treble detailing is apparent without sounding over-dominant.
The Philips 32PFL6007T’s flawed presentation of dark scenes prevent it earning the same level of recommendation Philips’ other recent LCD TVs have. That said, its canny combination of multimedia features, Ambilight design and serious picture processing is strong for its price point, and except for when you’re watching very dark scenes its pictures are still unusually strong for the sub-£600 price level.