The 55PFL7007T also delivers standard definition pictures with more sharpness than most 55in LCD TVs. In doing so, though, it can exaggerate MPEG compression and mosquito noise, requiring you to call in the available noise reduction systems, which in turn make the picture look softer, but smoother.
Donning Philips' 3D glasses produces another mostly positive experience. The 55PFL7007T suffers relatively little with active 3D’s crosstalk ghosting noise problem, for a start. You also get an excellent sense of the full HD sharpness that’s active 3D’s raison d’etre, and pictures are both brighter and more colourful than those of many active 3D rivals. Motion is credibly handled too, even though the Perfect Natural Motion system isn’t available in 3D mode.
There are a couple of problems, though. First, since the TV runs brighter in 3D mode, you can sometimes clearly see backlight inconsistencies in the screen’s corners during dark scenes. (There was a small degree of backlight inconsistency in the bottom left corner of our test screen with 2D too, but this is sufficiently faint after calming down the TV’s brightness and backlight settings as to seldom be a distraction.)
The second 3D issue is that, as with the 40PFL7007T, if you attempt to use any of the dynamic backlight systems in 3D mode, when the image switches very rapidly from dark to light content, you’ll see a curious pulsing artefact across the central third or so of the picture.
This doesn’t happen often, and is reduced if you use the Standard dynamic backlight mode rather than the other two options. But when it does appear, the phenomenon is distracting enough that you may want to turn the dynamic backlight off entirely.
The 55PFL7007T's sharpness, contrast and colour talents make it a potentially lovely gaming monitor. So it's a tad disappointing to find it only turning in a slightly below-average input lag reading of around 60ms - high enough to slightly reduce your skills with time-sensitive games.
The 55PFL7007T gets back to impressing the heck out of us, though, with its audio. Putting the speakers in the stand turns out to be a stroke of genius, as the set handles Hollywood blockbusters with far more bass potency and a much wider, less compressed mid-range than you usually get with thin TVs.
We'd wondered if having speakers in the stand might leave the audio sounding dislocated from the screen, but thankfully this doesn't turn out to be the case.
We've already adored the 40in version of this TV, but if anything we're even more in awe of the 55in model, simply because it provides a bigger forum for Philips' excellent picture talents to shine.
Yes, the set needs a little more input from you into its picture settings than many of its rivals, but we consider this a small price to pay for the excellent images your efforts are rewarded with.
The PFL7007 series is looking like a real 'sweet spot' in Philips' widely impressive current range, delivering a combination of looks, features, performance quality and even value that should see the 55PFL7007T and its brethren featuring high on any serious TV buyer's shortlist.