Another substantial string to the 52PFL9632D’s bow is its colour response. The scene on the island in ”Pirates…” where Elizabeth sets fire to all the rum enjoys sumptuously rich, vibrant tones, together with some finely graded blends in the blues of the sky. But also, just as importantly, colour tones look natural during dark scenes like those on the night the Black Pearl attacks the fort.
The Perfect Pixel HD Engine’s prowess is evident, too, in the 52PFL9632D’s highly impressive handling of motion. The frantic action of the sword fight in Barbossa’s cave takes place with practically no judder or blur – a really refreshing change versus most LCDs we see.
The processing used to achieve this motion clarity does have one little side effect in the form of a shimmering halo around some moving objects. But this ultimately feels like a small price to pay for the benefits the processing brings.
The last big strength of the 52PFL9632D concerns its black level response. While not reaching quite the same black level depths as the best plasmas, the TV certainly goes deeper than the vast majority of LCD models. What’s more, it achieves its best black levels without compromising brightness levels to the same degree many LCD TVs do when their dynamic backlight systems kick in.
With some likeably clear, well-rounded and punchy audio to complete the 52PFL9632D’s truly outstanding AV efforts, the only significant ‘negative’ we can raise against it is that the sophistication and flexibility of its myriad features means you do need to be a little careful in how you set the TV up. For instance, leaving some of the noise reduction or Natural Motion options set wrongly for a particular type of source – sports footage, for instance – can severely damage the picture quality.
Even here, though, the 52PFL9632D has got your back. For if you’re a bit scared by the thought of tinkering with all the 52PFL9632D’s features on a fairly regular basis, you can activate a rather clever Active Control function which can adjust most facets of the picture automatically, based on an analysis of the incoming source. Sweet.
The bigger Philips’ PFL9632D TVs get, the more we like them. So given that the 52PFL9632D is the largest set in the range, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that we like it a lot. A very lot. Try one for yourself and see if you don’t agree.