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Philips 40PFL9704 LCD TV review

Pricey 40-inch LED screen that pulverises plasma

Philips 40pfl9704 lcd tv

For the last few years we've often wondered why some brands had dropped plasma in favour of LCD.

Although LCD tech continues to magnify even the slightest problem with images, Philips' LED Pro at last delivers on the tech's potential and achieves a picture quality that arguably tops the best plasmas.

Drenched in contrast and with minor blur, this elegant yet powerful LED set is decent value if you can afford it.

We liked:

Blu-ray discs with this much depth are something of a revelation, while accurate colours and a huge dollop of contrast make the 40PFL9704 a set to stun. There's very little motion blur and on-screen action is lent even more fluidity by Perfect Natural Motion.

Arguably what makes this set truly stand out from the crowd is its audio. Powerful and nicely balanced stereo sound with plenty of bass is a rare thing indeed on a flatpanel TV.

The cost, of course, is slimness - this is a fat-panel compared to most - but serious AV fans will thank Philips for ignoring the trend for super-slim TVs in favour of some seriously punchy sonics.

Also worth a mention is the 40PFL9704's versatility; it's particularly good with Blu-ray and HDTV sources, but its treatment of DVD and even digital video files is also impressive.

We disliked:

Though undoubtedly a TV high on quality, the attractiveness of the 40PFL9704's Perfect Natural Motion feature is ultimately down to personal taste.

We're prepared to live with the odd blemish in exchange for some giddy depth, though others may not be.

The occasional - though distracting - flicker from Perfect Natural Motion aside (it's best left on its lowest setting), the only other serious concern for some will be the 40PFL9704's treatment of digital TV pics from its built-in Freeview tuner.

Soft, noisy and looking over-processed, it's a serious low point on the 40PFL9704, though thankfully this slight weakness with standard definition doesn't stretch to DVD, making this as good an all-rounder as any LCD TV.

Final verdict:

A benchmark LED set it may be, but a good plasma - which costs half the price - remains a good alternative. Our advice is to bide your time and shop around for a lower price, but don't let the 40PFL9704 fall off your radar, because this is one luscious LED TV.

This review was written in conjunction with:

What Video & Hi-Def TV magazine

What video

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Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T
Number of HDMI Ports5
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyPreliminary
Brand NamePhilips
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11g
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
USBYes
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Dynamic Contrast Ratio5,000,000:1
RMS Output Power30 W
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Composite VideoYes
SCARTYes
Brightness60 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesAuto Program, Channel Labeling, Teletext, Picture in Picture, Favorite Channel Selection
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product Model40PFL9704H
Product NamePreliminary 40PFL9704H 40" LED-LCD TV
Product LinePreliminary
Manufacturer Part Number40PFL9704H/12
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Marketing Information

Be captivated by the immersive power of ambilight. Featuring the stunning perfect pixel HD engine, a Preliminary 40PFL9704H LCD TV and powerful sound, movies really come to life in your living room.

Package Contents
  • Preliminary 40PFL9704H LED-LCD TV
  • Power Cord
  • Remote Control
  • Net TV Brochure
  • Quick Start Guide
  • RF Antenna Cable
  • Warranty Certificate
  • Tabletop Swivel Stand
  • Legal and Safety Brochure
  • Batteries for Remote Control
Response Time1 ms
SpeakersYes