To save you the trouble of seeking out the 32PFL9603D review, I should probably quickly run through all the other, astonishingly numerous elements of the 42PFL9603D’s supercharged picture processing system aside from 100Hz.
The 42PFL9603D’s version of the Perfect Pixel Engine essentially improves on last year’s debut effort by introducing whole new processing ‘suites’ targeted at improving contrast and colours, tweaking the original motion, clarity and sharpness boosters, and driving them all with a much more powerful and faster processing engine.
To enhance colours, the 42PFL9603D employs a hugely powerful 17-bit Colour Booster processor (reaching a claimed 2,250 trillion colours). Not surprisingly, given that the umbrella name for all its latest image processing technology is Perfect Pixel HD, this colour-boosting technology delights under the title of Perfect Colours.
And ‘Perfection’ is the order of the day for the new Perfect Contrast system, too. Apparently this cuts down on light leakage from the LCD backlight during dark scenes while at the same time using digital processing to expand the differences between the dark and light parts of the image. Philips also claims that the system enhances shadow detail and reduces motion artefacts.
In terms of the improvements to the processing systems present in the original Perfect Pixel system, probably the most significant advance has been made with motion. Here Philips claims that it’s hugely reduced the instances whereby you might make out a shimmering ‘halo’ processing artefact around fast-moving objects as they pass across the screen.
In fact, Philips is so pleased with the improvements it’s made to the previous ‘HD Natural Motion’ component that it’s now called Perfect Natural Motion. Well, there’s a surprise.
With great processing power, of the sort we’ve just been describing, comes great complexity. For Philips has – very sensibly, actually – placed pretty much every individual element of its Perfect Pixel HD engine in the hands of you, the end user. The mammoth onscreen menus let you tweak anything and everything.
So it’s just as well Philips has gamely tried to make navigating these menus easier by designing a remote control that employs a navigation ‘wheel’ of the sort popularised by Apple’s iPod music players. This wheel is perhaps a little over-responsive if I had to be picky. But I’d still rather have it than not.