Another great strength of the 32PF9641D is its black level response. There’s impressively little of the flattening greyness that’s so often a feature of sub-£1k 32in LCD TVs, and even better, dark areas retain a fair degree of shadow detailing rather than looking hollow and empty. Couple this black level prowess with the sharpness mentioned earlier, and you’ve got a picture that exhibits exemplary scale and depth.
Philips TVs generally score well when it comes to colour vibrancy, and the 32PF9641D is no exception. Crackdown’s enjoyably rich, ‘comic book’ palette radiates forth with blistering intensity, while bright, colourful movie scenes look rivettingly rich and solid.
Crucially, though, unlike with one or two previous Philips LCD TVs, here the fulsome colour saturations aren’t delivered at the expense of tonal naturalism, meaning that all but the very trickiest of skin tones look entirely authentic.
The only significant negative to report about the 32PF9641D’s pictures is that with weaker analogue or digital standard definition sources, Pixel Plus 2 HD can leave images looking a touch gritty and ‘alive’ with processing noise – especially when compared with what Pixel Plus 3 HD is capable of. We should probably also say that although they’re great by sub-£1k standards, even subtler black levels can be had elsewhere, especially in the plasma world.
On the audio front, the 32PF9641D isn’t quite as much of a star as it is with its pictures, but it’s still eminently satisfying thanks to a fairly wide-ranging frequency response, plus plenty of clarity and raw power.
Whatever philosophical doubts we may have about Philips’ current TV policy from a branding point of view, if it keeps resulting in TVs as good for their money as the 32PF9641D, from a punter’s perspective we’ll have no problems with it whatsoever!