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Philips 55PFL6007

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price £1,500.00

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The Philips 55PFL6007 is a few significant step downs from the PFL8007 series in terms of picture specification. For instance, the processing engine is Philips’ Pixel Precise HD rather than the flagship Perfect Pixel HD, meaning it’s got considerably less processing power to throw at picture improvements. It also lacks the extremely clever ‘local contrast’ algorithms that helped give the Philips 46PFL8007 so much picture punch.

Colour processing is reduced too, resulting in markedly fewer claimed shades (though you still get an alleged 4 trillion), and the native panel refresh rate is 100Hz rather than the 200Hz found on the PFL8007 range. This means the Philips 55PFL6007 ends up with a ‘400Hz’-like system once a blinking backlight and frame interpolation have been added to the mix, versus 800Hz on the PFL8007s.

Philips 55PFL6007

Philips 55PFL6007 3D Picture Quality
Almost bewildering for a passive set, the Philips 55PFL6007 3D picture quality is exceptional. We’re not sure how Philips has done it, but detail and sharpness levels almost rival active 3D - an achievement made all the more remarkable by the 55PFL6007‘s large screen size, which would usually be extra-revealing of passive’s usual sharpness shortcomings.

Also remarkable about the 3D efforts of the Philips 55PFL6007 is how well it creates its sense of 3D space. Depth levels seem more profound than we’re accustomed to seeing, but always feel natural and never strain your eyes.

There’s a startling degree of subtlety in the delivery of this depth too, enabling us to pick out 3D details we hadn’t really spotted before. For instance, during the Mother Knows Best song sequence in Tangled, at one point you can see the outline of a man’s face with big, sharp teeth painted on the floor, and on the Philips 55PFL6007 we could actually see the thick paint raised slightly above the floor below it.

Extrapolate this sort of depth subtlety and accuracy across and into a whole 55-inch 3D image, and you’ve got a 3D picture good enough to win over all but the most die-hard 3D cynics. Especially as the Philips 55PFL6007‘s passive 3D technology means you get to enjoy the sharp, deep, gorgeously layered images without the fatigue problems, flickering, brightness reduction and crosstalk ghosting problems commonly found with the rival active 3D format.

Trying to understand why the depth effect is so exceptional uncovers another key strength of the Philips 55PFL6007: its unusually clever handling/reproduction of light and shade. Differences in light levels in a 3D frame are a much over-looked part of creating a convincing 3D effect, so the 55PFL6007’s uncanny ability at rendering different levels of light across its screen - despite only using an edge LED lighting system with no local dimming - serves 3D images especially well.

Philips 55PFL6007

The Philips 55PFL6007 even manages to resolve plenty of shadowy detailing in the sort of dark areas that tend to be ‘flattened’ into empty black holes on all too many 3D TVs.

Yet more 3D cleverness finds the TV slightly emphasising (though not excessively so) the edges of objects, to help define them against their more distant backdrops. Even motion in 3D images looks strikingly natural. Personally we chose to use the Natural Motion processing on its Low setting, as this removes judder without causing many unwanted processing side effects. Though if you hate all motion processing on principle, then turning Natural Motion off doesn’t by any means destroy the 3D image.

Inevitably - especially given its large screen size - the Philips 55PFL6007 isn’t entirely free of those twin passive 3D disadvantages of visible horizontal line structure and some edge jaggedness. But these issues are less distracting than anticipated, presumably because there’s so much 3D excellence elsewhere.

It’s not often we find ourselves saying during a TV review that we had to drag ourselves away from watching 3D, but that was definitely the case with the Philips 55PFL6007. Just as well, then, that the set also proves a winner with 2D.

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