Review Price £649.00
Having covered NetTV in some depth in a couple of recent features about online TV services, we won’t go into full details on Philips’ online system here. What we will say, however, is that NetTV’s standout trick is its built-in Opera browser, permitting open Web browsing.
This browser isn’t compatible with every site and doesn’t handle many plug-ins, but we still appreciate the freedom it offers beyond the usual ‘walled garden’ approach of most current online TV systems. In fact, it comes as no surprise to find at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that most of the other big TV brands are going to add open Web browsing to their 2011 online TV services.
The downside to NetTV is that its controlled walled garden part isn’t particularly great. There’s lots of video content to be found in there, which is good, but a bit too much of this is available via subscription only. Still, as we’re seeing with increasing regularity now, NetTV’s content offering is liable to get improved without warning at any time.
A Philips TV would hardly be a Philips TV, meanwhile, if it didn’t come packing some pretty serious picture processing heat. And so while the 32PFL7605H’s mid-range status means it doesn’t enjoy Philips most powerful Perfect Pixel HD engine, it does get the generation or so older Pixel Precise HD.
This isn’t as canny as the newer engine when it comes to boosting colour subtleties, adding detail and suppressing noise, and can cause the occasional motion artefact. But it’s still more powerful and effective than many video processors at the sub-£650 level, especially when it comes to adding detail to standard definition sources.
The only catch is a familiar one with Philips TVs, namely that you need to learn your way around the 32PFL7605H’s many adjustable processing options, and not be afraid to revisit these options regularly with different footage types. Only by committing to this and adapting settings to suit different source types will you consistently get the best from the TV. As a general rule, if it helps, we’d advise seldom if ever setting any of the processing options higher than their ‘low’ level, and never using noise reduction at all with any HD sources.
Provided you commit to the above effort, though, the 32PFL7605H can reward you with some very likeable pictures for its price point.