The 46PFL9705H’s design also does a great job of instantly making you feel good about the hefty sum of cash you’ve just spent, thanks to its beautiful aluminium finish, slender proportions for a direct LED TV, and, of course, Philips’ Ambilight feature, which throws out coloured light sympathetic to the image content from the TV’s sides.
Since we want to focus on the 46PFL9705H’s 3D performance, we don’t intend to go into all the picture settings and features of the 46PFL9705H in depth here; and anyway, we covered this in the 32PFL9705H review. Suffice it to say that you get the usual monumental feast of adjustable processing, reams of connections, and loads of multimedia playback support - including full Internet access. All delivered via a surprisingly manageable onscreen menu system and superbly conceived remote control.
There are two main fronts to the 46PFL9705H’s 3D appeal, one slightly expected, the other a pleasant surprise.
The one we might have predicted, to some degree at least, is that the 46PFL9705H’s 3D pictures really are intensely coloured and bright compared with your average 3D picture. They arguably even outgun those of Samsung’s aggressive 3D LED sets in this respect, drastically reducing the sense of disappointment - especially with 3D plasma TVs - at disappearing brightness usually associated with popping active shutter 3D glasses on.
The 46PFL9705H’s implementation of direct LED lighting even allows its 3D pictures to look more intense and dynamic than those of the brand’s recently reviewed 40PFL8605H model. And that TV could hardly be considered a shrinking 3D violet itself.
The less predictable but easily most welcome thing about the 46PFL9705H’s 3D pictures is how little they suffer with crosstalk compared with both Philips’ own 40PFL8605H entry-level 3D set and, more excitingly, the rest of the 3D LCD world as a whole.
If you’ve missed all our reviews of previous 3D TVs, crosstalk noise is the appearance of double ghosting around certain objects - especially those in extreme close up, or the mid to far distance. It can occur in a source if care isn’t taken with that source’s photography or 3D mastering, but more disturbing by far is how much of it has been generated by the screens - specifically, the LCD (as opposed to plasma) screens - we’ve tested so far.
We’ve slowly but surely grown to detest crosstalk, so the fact that crosstalk noise is much less aggressive and distracting on the 46PFL9705H than with any other LCD TV is genuinely a big deal. It suggests for the first time that maybe, just maybe, LCD technology really might be able to show 3D convincingly after all at some point down the line.