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Philips Essence 42PES0001 42in LCD TV - Philips Essence 42PES0001

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Returning to the Media receiver, it occurs to me that I haven't actually gone into its connections yet. So here goes: it includes three HDMIs, a USB port, a DLNA-certified Ethernet port for PC networking, component and VGA PC inputs, and a digital audio output - as well as the usual SCARTs and so on.

In an ideal world a fourth HDMI might have been nice, but then it's hard to be churlish about this when the box manages to provide such an unusual degree of multimedia flexibility. Its USB and Ethernet ports can, after all, handle MP3, .alb (slideshow), MPEG1 and MPEG2 files as well as the usual JPEGs, while the Ethernet port supports a huge list of media server applications, including Windows Media Player 11, PacketVideo Twonky Media 4.4.2, and Nero 8.

The Essence's media receiver has some pretty important stuff going on ‘under the hood', too. For tucked away in there is the chipset of Philips' latest Perfect Pixel HD Engine video processor. We won't go into this in great detail here, as we've already covered it extensively in other recent Philips reviews. But essentially it's designed to improve colour, contrast, detail levels, motion reproduction and video noise levels. The same can be said, of course, of countless other video processing engines from rival manufacturers. But we've consistently found the Philips engine to be considerably more aggressive and powerful than any of its rivals.

Finally dragging myself away from merely admiring the Essence's outstandingly practical but also beautiful design, really the only thing I need to say about the pictures produced by its screen is that they're not negatively affected by the screen's super-slim status in the slightest. Which means that the Essence's pictures are among the very finest anywhere in the flat TV world.

I refer you to recent reviews of the Philips Aurea II and, especially, the 42PFL9703 for a full description of just how the Essence's pictures break down. But in summary, if you love extraordinarily dynamic but authentic colours, incredibly acute fine detailing and sharpness, and some of the best black levels in the LCD world (outside of the LED-backlit fraternity, at any rate), the Essence will do nicely.


December 30, 2008, 6:45 am

Nice TV. Not a bad review but felt a bit haphazard.


December 30, 2008, 5:19 pm

The problem is that the Philips range is a bit confusing at present... they have several key features that all affect the price point e.g. you can have Ambilight (2D or 3D), "wide colour gamut", LED Backlight, slimline with separate media box... you just can't have all of them. Personally I would like a 9703 (Ambilight 3D, wide colour gamut screen) with the separate media box of the Essence range. I can live without the super-slim as the 9703 is slim enough. The problem with having all the different features is that whatever TV you buy you end up having to compromise on one or more features... which, IMHO, is bad for the brand as you always feel that you never quite got "the best".


December 30, 2008, 9:56 pm

The thing i love about the Philips range is the ultra slim design as pointed out above, we do a lot of home cinema installs and its amazing how often the overall look is let down by the chunky look of the cheap LCD tv that the client has purchased. Not sure about the umbilical cord though, just seems like another bit of wiring to have to worry about, when oh when will someone invent the wireless Bluray player :-)


December 31, 2008, 3:44 am

when the radiation is safe enough not to fry people's brains (or melt through walls)

or why not have something like a contact wall, where a conductive wall is connected to the tv via a set of pins. whatever needs to be connected only needs to be "touched" against the wall and it'll be picked up, a bit like windows surface and how it can recognise mobile phones pressed up against it (only it can carry power, as well). bye bye wires, and no head melting radiation.


January 1, 2009, 9:39 pm

I just love the way non of the pictures show the ‘umbilical cord'. But it still looks better than most TV out now. The only thing is belkin have their flywire wireless transmitter and receiver coming out sometime this year and if its any good any TV could have the single cable look.


January 12, 2009, 2:34 pm

I wonder, could you use some of the flatwire products that Riyadh is excited about at the CES, to replace the umbilical cord?

I agree with sthair though, about Philips' range being confusing and about feeling that you always have to compromise on at least one of their features in order to get the best of the rest of them.


February 3, 2009, 8:39 pm

I've just orderd the TV - and i REALLY like the media table on the picture. Do anyone know, anything about the exact mediatable? Thx

Dani Web

March 25, 2013, 8:33 pm

ma ajuta si poe mine cineva va rog mar interesa un accesoriu pentru acest tv lcd

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