Philips 40pfl9705

When it comes to 3D, plasma sets from the likes of Samsung and Panasonic have the lead – and the 40PFL9705 does nothing to change that. What it does do is offer one of the most comfortable 3D viewing experiences – thanks to some incredibly lightweight glasses – while mustering a cleaner picture than you'll find on any other 3D ready LCD TV.

What those glasses also do is increase the perceived contrast on the screen to a level that is roughly on a par with plasma, but crosstalk still lurks; even in a still 3D image it's still possible to spot double images and echoes.

A moving truck in Open Season on 3D Blu-ray swings into a car park, causing a stepped image that's uncomfortable to watch. In another sequence a background of fir trees is a messy mix of left and right-eye images that looks totally unreal, while a solitary large red truck in the foreground of another shot appears to have a lot of company.

Back in the 2D world, the 40PFL9705 does a sterling job. Philips aptly named processing engine, Perfect Pixel HD, is here equipped not only with a 400Hz mode, but also a Super Resolution mode.

The most controversial effect is given by Perfect Natural Motion, which is available in three strengths and seeks to add some fluidity to Blu-ray discs. Neither setting is particularly subtle, with even the weakest setting introducing a shimmer around fast (and even some slow) moving objects during Open Season, though whether it's worth the trade-off with judder-free images will be up to the individual.

Super Resolution adds an extra few percent to both the still and moving image's full HD detail, while that 400Hz setting virtually obliterates any motion blur. Having said that, exceptional colour and contrast – thanks to than LED backlighting – are the key traits of the 40PFL9705's hi-def 2D picture.

Switch to Freeview and it's obvious that there's some powerful upscaling going on, though it's a shame there aren't any HD channels to gawp at on this highly capable set.

Across all sources the viewing angle doesn't appear to be a huge issue, though if you do watch the 40PFL9705 from the wings you will notice some colour drain.