Although Philips made a hugely impressive return to the TV fray with the recently reviewed Philips 46PFL8007, it’s the brand’s new PFL6007 series that’s more likely to make a mass market impact.
The main reason for this is simple economics. For at £1,500, the 55-inch Philips 55PFL6007T we’re looking at here costs quite a bit less than the 46-inch, higher-spec Philips 46PFL8007 model. Or you can get the 46-in Philips 46PFL6007 for just under £1,200.
Philips 55PFL6007 Design
Inevitably the relative affordability of the mid-range Philips 55PFL6007T does come with strings attached. We’ll get into these presently, but first we’re happy to report that despite being decent value for a 55-inch TV, the Philips 55PFL6007T is quite a looker. Its bezel is only slightly wider than 1cm across, and its rear is mightily trim too. The black frame is clearly more plasticky than the metallic one tucked around the PFL8007, but the set still feels robust, and the glossy finish hides the plastickiness well.
This being a Philips TV, the design is also illuminated, literally, by Ambilight. In this case you get strips of LEDs down the screen’s rear left and right sides, able to throw out a dynamic light field coloured to match the content of the images you’re watching. We’re never quite as convinced by this sort of ‘stereo’ Ambilight incarnation as we are when the lights are also applied to the top edge of higher-end Philips TVs, but it’s still a feature we anticipate most people will enjoy.
Philips 55PFL6007 Connectivity
For a mid-range model, the Philips 55PFL6007 is extremely well connected. It’s got four HDMIs for starters, along with a trio of USB ports capable of recording from the built-in Freeview HD tuner or playing back this little lot (deep breath): AVI, MKV, H264, MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9/VC1 video files; AAC, MP3, and WMA audio files; and JPEG photos.
On top of this, the set’s network connections offer users further options, with both LAN and built-in Wi-Fi features in the mix. Via these you can either stream files off networked PCs and Macs via Philips’ SimplyShare DLNA 1.5 media browser or take the TV online with the Philips Net TV platform. Elsewhere the Philips 55PFL6007 also carries 3D playback supporting passive 3D playback as opposed to the Philips 46PFL8007's active offering. What's more, the Philips 55PFL6007 ships with four pairs of passive 3D glasses versus the two pairs of active 3D glasses you get with the PFL8007.
It’s not all positive on the accessories front, though. For unlike the PFL8007 range, the Philips 55PFL6007 doesn’t ship with either an included Skype camera or any glasses to support its two-player full-screen gaming feature. Both can be bought as optional extras, though.
Delving into the Philips Net TV service, we find the same pros and cons discussed in our review of the Philips 46PFL8007. We’ll just sum things up here by saying that while the system’s presentation is good and Philips shows some signs of thinking on its feet in terms of its online operating experience, there isn’t enough content available at the moment to put Philips in the same online league as most other big TV brands right now.
We should add, too, that the Philips 55PFL6007 doesn’t ship with the rather brilliant two-sided, QWERTY keyboard-equipped remote control you get with the PFL8007 models, which proved extremely useful when web browsing or using social media. But then to be honest, we seldom, if ever, feel like web browsing or utilising Twitter of Facebook on a TV rather than a phone/tablet/laptop.
Video streaming services are what we really want from an online TV experience, so Philips’ provision of just the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Viewster, Euronews, and iConcerts - though Blinkbox is expected to be added soon - is the real let down here.