Even without the high expectations, Philips' 40PFL8605H is a bit of a disappointment. The amount of crosstalk interference its 3D images suffer is evident and distracting, especially until the TV has properly warmed up. And so once again we're left turning to Panasonic's 3D plasma TVs - for all their reduced brightness.
The good news is that if you're not interested in 3D, the 40PFL8605H is an excellent 2D performer, with terrific contrast, colours and sharpness. It's a little complicated to get the best out of the TV, and the glassy screen Philips has put across the fascia causes a couple of minor issues. But if you can afford it, the 40PFL8605H is arguably the best 2D edge LED TV we've seen to date.
The 40PFL8605H is a very pretty TV indeed, with its slim profile and glossy presentation. It's also superbly well connected, catering for an exemplary amount of potential multimedia needs as well as the more prosaic video stuff.
Ambilight is always useful, the sheer picture processing power at your disposal is amazing and the lengths to which Philips has gone to make the fine-tuning options accessible is admirable.
The 40PFL8605H's contrast and black level performance is exceptional by edge LED standards, too. In fact, its whole 2D performance, with HD and standard def, is frequently a joy to behold.
The set even manages to sound respectable, which is really rare for such a self-consciously slender TV.
The £1,500 price tag is intimidating for a 40in TV, especially one that doesn't have a Freeview HD tuner.
The slight reflectivity and double imaging caused by the glass screen plate is marginally annoying too, but really in performance terms the only thing that really troubles us is the crosstalk noise with 3D.
The 40PFL8605Hs is another 3D TV that's proving difficult to reach a satisfying conclusion about. The thing is, in its standard state it's only a 2D TV, and as such it's largely beyond reproach aside from, inevitably, having to say it's a bit expensive.
Add its 3D features - for an extra £250 - though, and its appeal diminishes considerably thanks to its inability to deal satisfyingly with crosstalk noise.
If you're not in the least bothered by 3D, then the crosstalk issue will be of zero significance to you and you can just happily buy a 40PFL8605H safe in the knowledge that you've potentially bought the current state of the picture quality art where edge LED is concerned. But if you hold even the slightest thought of 'going 3D' at some point, then the 40PFL8605H's shortcomings in that area just can't be ignored.
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