Turning next to the TV’s specification, as well as a full HD resolution and a pleasingly high claimed contrast ratio of 8,000:1, the 52PFL9632D also carries Philips’ Perfect Pixel HD image processing engine.
This rather boastful title describes a complex mix of different processing elements that take Philips’ previous Pixel Plus 3 HD image processing as a starting point but then throws in loads of new stuff for good measure.
The Pixel Plus 3 HD bit, if you’re not familiar with that technology, has displayed an uncanny knack for adding phenomenal amounts of extra sharpness and resolution to pictures, while also keeping noise levels down to an absolute minimum.
As for the new elements introduced by the Perfect Pixel HD engine, first up there’s HD Natural Motion, a much more highly powered version of Philips’ previous Digital Natural Motion system for reducing blur, judder and flicker from the presentation of moving objects.
Also on hand to improve motion is 100Hz processing, which doubles the normal 50Hz PAL refresh rate in a bid to reduce the LCD ‘step and hold’ effect that causes motion blur.
Then there’s a new 14-bit colour processor, which claims to significantly boost the amount of colours the 52PFL9632D can produce versus last year’s Philips LCDs, while a special 48Hz playback mode is on hand for purer playback of the 1080p/24Hz feeds now available from most Blu-ray players.
With so much heavy-duty picture processing going on, there’s always the chance that the picture will become bogged down by all sorts of unwanted processing side effects. And if it does, those side effects will likely be frighteningly clear given the 52PFL9632D’s prodigious screen size.
However, far from exposing flaws in the Perfect Pixel HD Engine, the 52PFL9632D’s screen size actually reinforces emphatically just how good the image processing is.
For starters, during a run-through of ”Pirates of the Caribbean” on Blu-ray, we couldn’t think of any other similarly-sized flat TV that’s able to deliver so much pure sharpness and detail. All the image minutiae that make ”Pirates…” such a stand-out Blu-ray is perfectly reproduced. In fact, the detailing in evidence is so profound that you almost start to think you’re looking at a picture somehow higher in resolution than even the TV’s native 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count.