And so to the moment of truth: does the 47in screen emphasise the greatness of Philips’ processing engine, or does it reveal some unexpected flaws?
Fed with the strikingly good HD DVD transfer of ”Blade Runner”, it doesn’t take long to choose the ‘greatness’ option. For starters, we’ve yet to see any flat TV of this sort of size deliver such a remarkably sharp and detailed picture. All the amazing detail that makes Ridley Scott’s vision of a city of the not too distant future so strikingly believable and beautiful is rendered with breath-taking accuracy, generating even more respect for the HD remastering of the film than we had before.
Colours are dazzlingly vibrant too, with the huge floating billboards that inch across the city sky exploding from the screen in a burst of retina-burning glory that perfectly captures their deliberate hyper-intensity versus the rather subdued palette of anything in the city that isn’t neon.
Crucially, though, the new 14-bit colour system ensures that the screen also does an immaculate job with all those subtler tones that play across faces and drab walls, even during ”Blade Runner’s” many tricky dark sequences.
Next to impress is the TV’s handling of motion. As Deckard chases the first Replicant down a crowded street, the processing makes every element of the image, from the camera pans to the reams of motion within the frame, pass by without a trace of judder or lost resolution. Admittedly there’s the occasional gentle shimmering ‘halo’ around the edges of some of the people, but for me this artefact is a small price to pay for the pleasure of not seeing the kind of motion blur you find on practically every other large LCD TV. In any case, you can minimise the halo effect by making sure you keep the screen’s various processing elements set to a pretty low intensity.
Last but certainly not least among the 47PFL9632D’s talents is its black level response. Thanks to the ClearLCD backlight system and what’s clearly a very adept dynamic contrast processor that dims the backlight in response to how dark the image content is, the night sky against which Deckard plays out his final confrontation with Roy Batty looks remarkably dark and unflattened by the usual flat TV greyness.
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