Philips 46PFL8007 Picture Quality
The lack of greyness hanging over the Philips 46PFL8007’s dark scenes also helps dark colours look richer and more natural then they tend to with LCD TVs. Plus, just as importantly, the delivery of a really deep black colour helps dark scenes achieve a similar sense of depth to bright scenes, making the experience of watching a film feel much more consistent.
Shifting our focus to bright, colourful content, the Philips 46PFL8007 is just as impressive. The set’s colour range is nothing short of spectacular, yet never does this extremity of colour expression come at the expense of subtlety, as every imaginable shade, hue and blend between is effortlessly rendered. Whites are pure, bright and clean, meanwhile, yet there’s no sense of detail clipping in even the brightest image areas.
Then there’s the image’s sharpness. HD images look almost forensically stuffed with fine detail information, while edges look jaggie-free and as crisp as the edges of the TV’s slinky bezel. Motion scarcely diminishes the image’s sharpness either, even if you opt not to bother with the provided Perfect Natural Motion circuitry (which can give films an unwanted ‘video’ look).
Put the Philips 46PFL8007’s sublime colour, contrast and sharpness efforts together, et voila: you’ve got HD pictures as good as any we’ve seen from an LED TV, even going toe to toe with the efforts of Sony’s terrific HX853 models.
The Philips 46PFL8007’s potent image processing additionally helps it deliver a strong standard definition performance, as pictures are upscaled with plenty of sharpness being added without noise being exaggerated. Just make sure you don’t use the Natural Motion system with standard def, though, as (with low-quality digital sources in particular) it tends to cause some quite distracting lagging and twitching noise.
Next up is 3D. And there’s plenty to celebrate here too, such as a continuation of the rich detail levels noted with 2D HD; impressively vibrant colours and bold brightness levels despite the dulling impact of the active shutter glasses; and a really rich sense of depth enhanced by the set’s stunning contrast range.
There are a couple of 3D problems too, though. First, although Philips has clearly reduced crosstalk from the levels noted on its previous TV generations, there’s is still evidence of it over sharply contrasted background objects. This can also make some backgrounds look slightly out of focus.
The other concern is motion. For without using the Philips 46PFL8007’s Perfect Natural Motion system there’s some minor judder over moving objects. Yet introducing Natural Motion - even at its lowest power level - causes some surprisingly strong unwanted processing side effects, such as twitching edges and a shimmering, laggy sensation during camera pans.
Looking for other more general problems with the Philips 46PFL8007’s pictures, some of the set’s contrast tools/settings can be over-aggressive, causing some distracting brightness shifts as they try to adjust luminance levels to suit the image content.
The very darkest segments of pictures can lack a little shadow detail subtlety compared with Sony’s HX853 models too; input lag measured a somewhat high 64ms even in the TV’s Game mode; and we must stress again how important it is that you take the time to explore the extensive set of picture processing adjustments the TV puts at your disposal - a fact which makes the TV more complex to use than most.
Philips 46PFL8007 Sound Quality
It really wouldn’t be fair to finish the review of the excellent Philips 46PFL8007 on a downer, though. So we’re happy to report that Philips’ new TV is an unusually strong audio performer. The speakers built into its stand/mount don’t look big enough to produce much audio wallop, but the TV immediately proves able to accompany its mostly stellar pictures with a more rounded, bass-laden and open sound than you get from any other ultra-slim TV we can think of.
Philips 46PFL8007 Verdict
A currently underwhelming online service together with a bit of crosstalk with 3D and some slightly high input lag fetch the Philips 46PFL8007 up short of perfection.
However, its 2D picture quality is nothing short of outstanding. It also sounds great, is extremely multimedia savvy, and delivers one of the best remote controls we’ve seen. All of which ensures that Philips’ return to the TV world can be considered little short of a triumph.