Review Price £1,500.00
Philips 55PFL6007 2D Picture Quality
With HD, the fine detail levels of the Philips 55PFL6007 are nothing short of mesmerising, with the large size of the screen providing the perfect forum for showing off Philips’ traditional strength in this key area of picture quality. The impressive motion handling continues with 2D too, ensuring that detail levels don’t take a dive during action scenes.
Contrast continues to impress in 2D. Whites and light colours look bold and vibrant, yet the Philips 55PFL6007 can reproduce these dynamic elements alongside startlingly deep black levels. This ability also helps the TV produce reasonably deep blacks during predominantly dark scenes without crucifying the intensity of any bright bits.
To be clear here, the Philips 55PFL6007’s black level depths don’t rival those of the PFL8007, or the Sony KDL-40HX853. They are better than those of the vast majority of other mid-range TVs, however, especially as - and this is a critically important point - dark scenes suffer impressively little with the sort of backlight clouding flaws so common on rival models.
There was a touch of light ‘leakage’ in one area near the top left corner of our test sample’s screen, but its impact was subtle to the point of becoming negligible if you’ve got any ambient light around (or are driving the Ambilight system hard).
The last key element in what makes the Philips 55PFL6007’s HD pictures tick is their colour handling. The available palette is extreme, and there’s plenty of finesse in the way tonal subtleties and blends are presented. As a result, tones look winningly natural, even during dark scenes (where colours are impacted by grey or blue overtones on lesser LCD/LED TVs).
We must stress that the Philips 46PFL8007 delivers even more sophisticated and subtle colours, giving its pictures a more finessed and high-end finish. But the 55PFL6007’s colours are still admirable for its market position.
The Philips 55PFL6007’s upscaling of standard definition, meanwhile, also isn’t as assured as that of the 46PFL8007. But it’s pretty good by the standard of other mid-range TVs around, doing the key business of adding sharpness and detail without introducing noise or excessive motion blur, and without causing colours to lose their naturalism.
Aside from the minor problems already noted, the only other complaint we can muster about the Philips 55PFL6007’s picture performance is that just occasionally its desire to produce deep blacks alongside bright whites and colours can go a touch too far, leading to a slightly stark-looking image where the darkest areas lack shadow detail. Gamers, too, might be disappointed to note that we measured an input lag figure of around 67ms for the 55PFL6007 - even using its game mode and turning off all the processing we could see - that’s more or less double what we’d ideally like to find. But at least this figure is lower than the sort of numbers recorded from many other passive 3D TVs.
Joining the Philips 55PFL6007’s big and mostly beautiful pictures is a startlingly potent soundstage. By sticking two large drivers on the TV’s rear, Philips has managed to largely avoid the audio flimsiness you get with most super-slim TVs. Certainly there’s far more bass, treble range/clarity and good old-fashioned power in the 55PFL6007’s audio than you get from any other similarly skinny TV we can think of. Aside, perhaps, from Sony’s HX853s and Philips’ own 46PFL8007, both of which cheat - in a good way - by using speakers in their stands.
Just occasionally the ambition of the Philips 55PFL6007’s speakers over-reaches their abilities, leading to some humming distortion in the mid-range. Especially with deep male voices. But you can minimise this by tweaking the audio settings, and in any case it seems a small price to pay for all the audio strengths.
Philips 55PFL6007 Verdict
There are a few minor issues with the Philips 55PFL6007. Its Philips Net TV Smart TV system is off the pace, for instance, and it’s quite complicated to use. Some people will prefer the active 3D format on such a large screen, too.
Overall, though, the Philips 55PFL6007 is actually a bit of a corker - even in 3D mode. And as such it importantly proves that the rejuvenated Philips TV brand isn’t only serving up quality at the top end of its new range.
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