Philips 46PFL9706T

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Stunning 2D pictures
  • Moth-eye filter is awesome
  • Beautifully designed and built

Cons

  • Crosstalk with 3D
  • It's expensive for a 46in TV
  • Care must be taken with TV's processing settings

Key Features

  • Review Price: £2299.00
  • 46in LCD TV with direct LED backlighting
  • Active 3D TV
  • Ambilight
  • Perfect Pixel HD processing
  • Smart TV functionality
  • Moth Eye filter technology
View All

Up till now, we’ve never been fans of moths. In fact, we’ve tended to

find their general night-time flutteriness rather annoying. Today,

though, the little critters have gone way up in our estimation. For it

turns out that for all the millennia they’ve been around, the cheeky

little chaps have been sitting on a secret that has the potential to

revolutionise TV technology.

You see, to help them avoid detection in the

dark, moths have developed eyes featuring tiny filtering nodules that

help them become ultra-efficient absorbers of light. And it’s occurred

to some clever bod at Philips that if you could replicate this

moth-eye design on a TV, the impact on its contrast performance could be

extreme.

The currently unique result of this innovative

thinking is the Philips 46PFL9706: a 46in TV that’s been causing

shockwaves with its picture quality at every technology show it’s

appeared at for the past few months.
Philips 46PFL9706H
Hard

experience has shown on more than one occasion, though, that what can

look giddily brilliant on a crowded, bright show floor doesn’t always

translate to a domestic/test environment. So today, now that we’ve

finally (months later than expected) got a 46PFL9706 in our sweaty

palms, the simple question is: is it really as good as we hope it is?

Before

answering that question, though, we should point out that sweaty palms

really aren’t a good idea when handling the 46PFL9706. For the moth-eye

filter hates being touched, to the point where any finger or palm

contact makes so much mess that it will have to be dealt with by the

application of some special cleaning fluid that Philips supplies with

the TV.

Fear of damaging the apparently delicate filter made the

fiddly business of attaching the 46PFL9706 to its stand pretty

terrifying. On the upside, the TV looks very handsome indeed once you’ve

got it built, thanks especially to the glinting, touchable (or not) quality of

its metallic finish. The stand, in particular, is gorgeous, apparently

hewn from a single block of solid, brushed aluminium.

The stand

is more than just a pretty face too. For unusually it also holds the

TV’s speakers, with audio information shipped in via a short cable

connected to the TV’s rear. This obviously raises the question of what

you do if you want to wall hang your 46PFL9706. And the answer is that the stand fixes flat on the wall and becomes the mount for the TV, with its audio reproduction being adjusted via an onscreen menu. Neat. Except that the beautifully built stand is no longer visible, of course.

Philips 46PFL9706

The

rear sides and top of the TV are equipped with rows of LED lights,

there to deliver Philips’ Ambilight technology from three of the TV’s

edges. This works by throwing coloured light from the TV that can be set

to correlate – to a surprisingly local and tonally accurate degree –

with the colour content of the image being shown. The result is more

immersion in what you’re watching, and less eye fatigue.

The

46PFL9706’s only design issue is that it’s not the slimmest TV in town.

But there’s a good reason for this, namely that it employs direct LED

lighting, where clusters of LEDs sit directly behind the screen. The key

advantage of this approach is that it allows you to control the

brightness level of pretty localised sections of the picture, with

potentially huge contrast advantages. Especially when, as in the

46PFL9706’s case, the local brightness control is applied to a mammoth

224 separate LED ‘sections’.

The 46PFL9706’s flagship status is

further underlined by its comprehensive ‘smart TV’ functionality, its

full HD active 3D support, and its carriage of Philips’ most powerful

video processing system ever.

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