Philips 42PFL7666T Review

Sections

Pros

  • Very good 3D performance
  • Mostly good 2D performance
  • Above average audio

Cons

  • Black level response could be better
  • Online service still a little off the pace
  • Care must be taken with setup

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £820.00
  • 42in edge LED screen
  • Pixel Precise HD processing
  • passive 3D playback
  • Online services inc. video streaming
  • Multimedia playback via network or USB

People of a religious inclination should look away now. For terrifyingly
we’re about to review a TV with the numbers 666 in its name. Shudder.
Here’s hoping the mid-range Philips 42PFL7666 turns out to be at least a
bit easier to live with than Damien Thorn…

There’s certainly
nothing evil about the 42PFL7666’s looks, though you could perhaps call
it devilishly handsome. In fact, its metallic finish is very fetching
for its £820 price level, even though it’s applied to a somewhat
chunkier chassis than we might ideally like to find these days.

The
42PFL7666’s looks are enhanced by its provision of a ‘stereo’ version
of Philips’ Ambilight technology. This disperses coloured light from
each of the TV’s sides that can be matched – with surprising colour and
location accuracy – to the image content being shown. As noted in
previous Philips reviews, this can make your viewing experience feel
more immersive as well as giving the TV extra style points.

Philips 42PFL7666
Philips
tends to be very generous with features even on its mid-range TVs. And
so it proves with the 42PFL7666. Its connections, for instance, include
four v1.4 HDMIs, a D-Sub PC port, a pair of USB ports for playing back
multimedia files or recording from the digital tuner, and even built-in
Wi-Fi.

As you’d hope of a mid-range TV in 2012, this Wi-Fi system
can be used for both accessing multimedia files stored on a
DLNA-capable PC and accessing online ‘Smart’ services. The multimedia
files playable include a satisfactory amount of video, music and photo
formats, while the online platform is Philips’ NetTV system.

NetTV
is solid by online TV service standards, thanks to its inclusion of
such applications as the BBC iPlayer, Facebook, HiT Entertainment,
TuneIn Radio, iConcerts, Twitter, Viewster, Aupeo, Box Office 365 and
the Cartoon Network. Look more closely at the NetTV services, though,
and there’s no hiding the fact that there aren’t as many free video
services as you get with some rival smart TV platforms – especially
those from LG, Samsung and Sony.

There aren’t as many apps or
online features as you get with many other big platforms either. And
while the interface for NetTV is adequate right now, it’s likely to
become a little clunky as Philips (hopefully) adds more content.

Philips 42PFL7666

The
42PFL7666’s screen is a full HD one, illuminated by edge LED lighting.
Its pictures are ‘driven’ by Philips’ Pixel Precise HD engine too –
promising news, even though Pixel Precise HD is only around half as
powerful as the Perfect Pixel HD system sported by Philips’ 2012
flagship models. Certainly we’ve seen Pixel Precise HD do some pretty
eye-catching things to sharpness, motion and colour handling on previous
Philips TVs.

Philips has become the latest brand to offer a
mixture of active and passive 3D technology in its current TV range,
with the 42PFL7666 going the passive route. Which means there’s a
polarising filter sitting across the front of the screen that helps it
deliver 3D while you’re wearing simple, lightweight, flicker-free and
ultra-affordable passive glasses. Given how cheap passive glasses are,
it’s perhaps a pity Philips only gives you two pairs for free with the
TV. But at least adding extra pairs won’t cost you much.

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