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Philips 40PFL7605H - Mulitmedia and Setup

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Philips 40PFL7605H

Summary

Our Score:

9

As we’ve noted before - such as in our recent feature on the best TV Internet platforms - Net TV is currently unique in the mainstream TV world for offering both ring-fenced, streamlined online content and access to the wider Internet via an integrated Opera browser.

This full Internet browser has its limitations, such as not handling video content and being cumbersome to use when it comes to inputting web addresses. But we still would rather have the option to surf at will than be left with ring-fenced content alone.

One final rather cool trick to mention is that the 40PFL7605 ships with an SD card slot, which you can use to store videos downloaded from Philips’ online services.

As usual with Philips TVs, the 40PFL97605H is pregnant with picture processing. It doesn’t boast Philips’ latest, most powerful Perfect Pixel HD engine, but it does get Pixel Precise HD. This has around half the power of Perfect Pixel HD, but is still powerful versus many rival processing systems. And it works on many of the same picture quality areas as its ‘bigger’ brother, including colour, motion clarity and, especially, sharpness.

The extensive onscreen menus of the 40PFL7605H allow you to adjust the ‘strength’ of many of the components of the Pixel Precise engine, as well as secondary processors like the 100Hz system and noise reduction routines. The flexibility on offer is admirable in many ways, but it undoubtedly makes the set more demanding on your time than many rivals.

Just as well, then, that when you have the pictures firing on all cylinders, they can look excellent.

The first thing we looked for after our recent troubles with Toshiba’s 40SL753 was signs of obvious backlight inconsistency. But we couldn’t see any tell-tale light pools at all, especially with brightness levels kept down to a sensible (‘50’ max) level.

This allows us to fully appreciate a generally hugely likeable black level response from the edge LED system. Sure, blacks look more milky than they do with the best plasma or direct LED TVs, but they look more natural and deep than those of most CCFL and other edge LED sets.

The 40PFL7605H’s intense natural brightness also helps the reproduction of dark scenes by ensuring there’s always an impressive amount of shadow detail on show. A particularly good example of this can be seen in the first big poker scene in Casino Royale where, even with the picture calibrated to a contrast point suited to movies and a darkened room environment, the black suits of the players look textured and natural rather than one-dimensional black hollows, as can happen with many other LCD TVs that try to deliver a black colour as deep and believable as the 40PFL7605H’s.

Another massive string to the 40PFL7605H’s bow is its sharpness. This is at its most obvious, naturally, when viewing HD material, as the screen effortlessly pulls out every tiny detail, from individual pores and hairs to whatever grain the HD source might contain.

Even more startling, in a way, is the immense crispness the set delivers with standard definition sources, thanks to the power and cleverness of the pixel interpolation element of the Pixel Precise HD processing. What’s particularly excellent about this is that the extra sharpness isn’t accompanied by a nasty increase in grain and other picture noise, as is often the case with standard def resolution boosters - including older versions of Philips’ own processing systems.

AJ

September 28, 2010, 12:58 pm

Looks a really nice TV. But I couldn't find a place for it in my life.





In the main room I could live without a FreeviewHD tuner as the TV is fed by SkyHD. However it's too small for that.





In the snug and the bedroom it could be the right size, but the lack of FreeviewHD is an instant killer as there is no other way to transmit "live" HD to those TV's.





I recently purchased the Panasonic 42G20 plasma for the snug and love it. Very similar price, slightly bigger, plasma and HD built in. I think this TV really only could beat it on style, but then the G20 looks perfect on the black gloss TV cabinet.





In the future there are things you can buy now but never use (like 3D) but FreeviewHD is going to be something you'd really miss in a year / two if you can't hook up to Sky or a FreeviewHD HDD based recorder.

GoldenGuy

September 28, 2010, 3:27 pm

Sorry John, but this is a long one because it's the principle.





I can't speak for anyone else but I'm not giving 800 quid to a company when it's nearly Q4 of 2010 and they can't even provide a basic television component. You make the point yourself - it's not exactly megabucks, so why don't THEY provide it just like everyone else do instead of me having to fork out for a new enclosure on a separately designed, separately costed device? HD is not some luxury anymore, it's a standard. No one's asking them to build in DVR features like Freeview HD+ or whatever. Maybe its omission is okay on a cheaper (smaller) telly where the picture quality makes it a bargain, but not at this level.





And before anyone makes the Apple/Flash comparison, Philips aren't fighting an ideological war here to force the rest of the industry's hand on a justifiably hated technology (which causes me daily headaches). Plus Apple would never have even dreamt of releasing their first iOS device if they couldn't implement YouTube which for most of us is the vast majority of video. Freeview HD isn't like that - I can't think of anyone serious who has anything against Freeview HD, apart from those who treat a Virgin or Sky subscription as a given. I'm definitely not railing against those services either since they provide us with the bulk of our HD channels. I just think it's hard to argue that the HD performance on this set is incredible, but they don't integrate the basic terrestrial receiver that handles it. What we have here is a TV that's like a 3D Blu-Ray player with 7 HDMIs and built in Wi-Fi but only goes up to 720p, i.e.; *no dice!*





"A TV’s heart and soul lies in its AV performance."





Well, you've been increasingly dismissive of audio performance too like all those highly rated Samsung tellies with the down firing speakers. Props to Philips for recognising decent audio should come as standard on a TV but that battle shouldn't need to be fought in this day and age. So well done for taking care of that Philips - could you now spare some change to buy this country's HD receiver from your supplier which costs you a hell of a lot less than us? We're not buying a monitor here - it's a package deal called *a television*! Man, if it's not the speakers, it's the receiver. It's always something.

Malderon

September 28, 2010, 4:36 pm

This looks really nice to be honest. I think the lack of a Freeview HD tuner is even less of a big deal than you do. Surely most people serious about HD content have either Virgin or Sky, and almost everyone wants the Sky+ style PVR these days with pause, rewind and quick record functionality. Thus a V+, Sky+HD, FreeviewHD or FreesatHD PVR would be an ideal companion. If you are getting a dual tuner PVR anyway, then the inbuilt tuners are really of no consequence. Once I've done a few months at my new jobs if they could knock maybe another £100 off then I would snap one up (Its already great value, but cheaper never hurts!)

Chris

September 28, 2010, 8:45 pm

@GoldenGuy: I suppose with the UK being the only market that broadcasts DVB-T2 at the moment, Philips aren't putting the resources into producing UK-specific models. Maybe we get the same model that's sold in Europe. John might know more about this.





I've owned a DVR since I bought my first TiVo 10 years ago, and I'm never going back. To me, most internal tuners/PVRs just don't cut the mustard. Personally, I'd rather all manufacturers just took them out entirely so I wouldn't have to pay for one when I buy a TV. Of course that'll never happen, but I imagine I'm the kind of person Philips are aiming at here, or perhaps they wouldn't bother selling their TVs in the UK.





@AJ: Of course there's always Sky Multiroom for your second TV, which requires a galling £10/month expense.

Keithe6e

September 28, 2010, 9:04 pm

@Chris: I've owned a DVR since I bought my first TiVo 10 years ago, and I'm never going back. To me, most internal tuners/PVRs just don't cut the mustard.





I agree, I wish manufactures would sell TV's more like monitors. So that I don't have to pay for stuff I don't need, like a digital Tuner, Internet TV etc..

GoldenGuy

September 28, 2010, 10:43 pm

Yeah I depart from the idea of selling TVs like monitors. I also like the route the higher end TVs are going down with being PVR ready, where you plug in your memory stick or hard drive and hit record whenever you want. If your telly isn't taking advantage of streaming yet - which isn't a guarantee with dongles being a pricey accessory and networking from a TV still having teething problems - then it's a good cheap surefire way to transport recordings and attach as much or as little storage as you like.

Greg17b

September 29, 2010, 12:30 am

This is the first TV that has captured my imagination for a while - I've been waiting for the one that will let me upgrade to Sky HD and I reckon this is it.





I really don't care about Freeview HD inside on this, but that's my own specific circumstances. Likewise, sound isn't too much of a concern as I have a surround system hooked up. I'm one of those users that actually DOES want a dumb monitor, but not too dumb - the ability to plug and play all sorts of media via USB or streaming is vital.





Get the price under £800 and I'm in.

TechVegan

September 29, 2010, 8:59 pm

Personally, I'm also after a really good, big 'monitor'. All i want it for is console gaming and as a secondary PC monitor since I never watch TV. Hence I do want generous connectivity, but would prefer no receiver equipment at all so I wouldn't have to pay a license fee for a service I will never use.


Unfortunately relatively affordable monitors offering IPS/plasma quality yet a screen diagonal bigger than 27in are almost impossible to find.

ffrankmccaffery

September 30, 2010, 12:02 am

I was going to echo what Chris above has said but since he has theres little point. However I'll mention visiting my local Richer Sounds earlier this summer and seeing the staff crowded around a Philips set to watch England's last World Cup group stage game. Thats testament enough of the quality of this companies televisions and something that it could build on.


For those wishing to set up a component based AV set-up theres still the professional/commercial displays offered by the likes of NEC and Panasonic amongst others.

Templar X

October 1, 2010, 8:12 pm

"Personally, I'm also after a really good, big 'monitor'. All i want it for is console gaming and as a secondary PC monitor since I never watch TV. Hence I do want generous connectivity, but would prefer no receiver equipment at all so I wouldn't have to pay a license fee for a service I will never use.


Unfortunately relatively affordable monitors offering IPS/plasma quality yet a screen diagonal bigger than 27in are almost impossible to find."





This. I've been looking/waiting for ages :\

Milik

May 10, 2011, 10:05 am

I want to find best calibration information. Anyone knows website about calibration this panel (for connection with PC)? Thanks

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