While not among the top models in Philips new range, the 32PFL5522D does come with some nifty features like Pixel Plus and a pair of HDMIs. OK, so you don't get the all-new Perfect Pixel HD Engine processing or the eye-catching Ambilight backlighting system - but then this TV costs a mere £460.

Philips has delivered a great-looking product with this 32in LCD, which boasts a black glass table top swivel stand and a glossy all-black body that's nicely set off by the silver support column and buttons.

The speakers are discreetly housed in a narrow strip under the screen, and the support column has a built-in cable management loop for keeping wires well hidden. All this results in a compact, clean-looking TV.

The connectivity is also a strong plus point. We've already mentioned the two HDMIs (both located around the back), but there are also get component video and PC VGA inputs, so there are plenty of options for connecting hi-def sources. Also present are a couple of Scart sockets, and tucked away on the left-hand side panel are S-video and composite video inputs, plus a jack for headphones.

Both digital and analogue TV tuners are also included, so you can plug in an aerial to access Freeview, as well as a seven-day electronic programme guide (EPG) to give you a heads-up on current and upcoming TV shows and movies.

Setting up is a painlessly simple process, with clean, uncluttered menu screens and a responsive remote control. There are a number of picture and audio parameters that can be tweaked manually: the usual stuff like brightness, colour and contrast as well as Contrast+ (which switches on more dynamic contrast mode) and a picture noise reduction function.

Juddery let-down

There is also Active Control, which when turned on tweaks the picture automatically depending on the quality of the signal.

On the audio side of things, you can adjust the equalizer and switch on Incredible Surround, a fairly ineffectual surround sound mode.

Philips has included the basic Pixel Plus processor to enhance pictures. This can't be switched off or tweaked, which makes it difficult to test its actual effectiveness, but the picture quality is fairly good.

Hot Fuzz on HD DVD looks beautifully clear and detailed here, with crisp detail and strong colours, but there is quite a bit of juddering during motion. The Universal logo right at the beginning moves fairly jerkily, as do the fast-spaced car chases and gun battles.

While this juddering isn't enough to ruin your enjoyment of the movie (unless you're hugely put off by such things) but with more TVs featuring 24p compatibility that delivers smooth motion with HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs, it's a notable flaw.

Motion with other material is smoother, and the response time is speedy enough to keep even the fastest games looking sharp and smear-free.

Standard-def video looks quite tasty too, thanks to the strong black levels. Sound quality could be a little crisper and less bassy, but overall that's fine too.

Reliable buy

This TV isn't blow-your-face-off brilliant, but it's a solid performer in a stylish form - and a good buy for under £500.