Philips 40pfl7605 4

Good-looking on all fronts, the 40PFL7605 is a clever TV of real quality, but can you overlook its lack of a Freeview HD tuner? If forgiveness is in your heart – or you're fairly sure there's nothing to watch on BBC HD or ITV 1 HD, anyway – there's a lot to like about the 40PFL7605.

We liked

The remote control is a work of art. Light, comfortable, all-encompassing and easy to operate, it's also built to a high specification – excellent work, and not before time. It helps that the user interface is well laid-out and logical, too.

File playback from USB – especially for video files – is almost total, while having an open Internet browser is, in theory, a nice idea.

We disliked

A Freeview HD tuner isn't the only omission. The user interface could be a touch higher-res, the remote needs a tiny tweak or two to its brave design, and the sluggish Net TV arguably interrupts the 40PFL7605's otherwise easy going and likeable character.

Net TV needs more content, and its interface an injection of speed. And, seriously, who wants to plug their TV into a router? Wi-Fi or nothing, please.

Final verdict

With the flat panel TV market already over its predicted peak in Europe, we expect to see more and more 'premium' sets like the 40PFL7605. Philips, an all-European company that's for long sought to establish its brand of luxurious and top quality LCD TVs has here produced a feature-packed package with a look all of its own – and at a mid-range price.

NetTV needs more content and Ambilight is purely a matter of taste, but neither is integral to the 40PFL7605, which at its core is all about picture performance. The lack of Freeview HD might put you off, but as edge LED TVs go, you won't find a much slimmer, more attractive or capable set than the 40PFL7605.

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