Philips 42PFL5008 review

Sparkling looks and great value on this 42-inch LED TV

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The 42PFL5008 presents a lot of what's great about high-end Philips TVs, with one or two exceptions. For kick-off there's some terrific native sharpness, with fine Full HD detailing in close-ups obvious during our Blu-ray test disc Hugo. That's almost par for the course on any Philips TV, and with it comes some natural-looking colours and skin tones that just about convince.

We found that Dynamic Contrast was best switched-off, so as to create a more comfortable picture, though it's obvious that the 42PFL5008 can create some bright, sparkling peak whites. Colour Enhancement – also part of Pixel Plus HD – is likewise best left off to avoid overly rosy faces, while the Dynamic Backlight is most effective on Best Power mode.

Pixel Plus HD
Pixel Plus HD claims to enhance the picture of analogue transmissions.

Overall contrast is good, but shadow detailing is lacking: large black areas of images – which are usually pretty convincing despite having a slight blue tint – contain little detail within. Micro Dimming is therefore only partially successful, though there's not a trace of light leakage from the corners of this edge LED-backlit LCD panel.

Despite a decent colour palette and some excellent, fine detailing in still images, the 42PFL5008 does have a problem with motion. It's not explicitly bad, but its 300Hz Perfect Motion Rate feature isn't the most fluid around; as Hugo runs through the dark tunnels and passageways of the train station there is some noticeable loss of detail and blur.

While hi-def MKV files are treated well, the 42PFL5008 does less well with standard-definition TV channels. With the Noise Reduction switched off, pictures look grainy and really low bitrate, though switching it on to maximum power merely creates a clean but very soft image.

The 42PFL5008's performance with 3D has similar issues to 2D inasmuch as the image is studded with a nagging motion blur that it can't shift. Some won't mind at all that the 42PFL5008 lacks Perfect Motion Rate frame insertion tech, since it can create a video-like look, but we think 3D demands a sense of immersion that the juddery look of 'cinematic' images interrupts. So while the 42PFL5008 does create as much 3D depth as we could wish for, the opening sequences of Hugo seem a bit fake and unconvincing.

Ambilight options on the Philips
Ambilight doesn't really add much to the 3D experience.

Likewise, we're not convinced that Ambilight lends a hand to 3D and makes it more convincing per se, but it's a great effect nonetheless, and to find it on a £700 telly is a treat.

Horizontal lines are obvious throughout each frame of 3D, though we're willing to forgive that innate characteristic of the 3D filter used on Easy 3D screens. Those lines are always noticeable, and often visibly impact on the resolution of the image. As the camera zooms in on round objects, such as the clocks of Gare Montparnasse in Hugo, they have jagged edges that visibly break up. We do, however, like the bold and contrasty colour palette of 3D on the 42PFL5008.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG2), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product Family5000
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
Brand NamePhilips
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerSECAM, NTSC, PAL
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)15.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption46 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio500,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand646 mm
Width with Stand958 mm
Depth with Stand205 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports2
3D TechnologyPolarized
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year64 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation Technology300Hz Perfect Motion Rate
Height577 mm
Width958 mm
Depth34.4 mm
Brightness400 cd/m²
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Product Series5000
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesAmbient Lighting, Web Browser, Teletext, Sound Leveler
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product Model42PFL5008T
Product Name5000 Series 3D Ultra-Slim Smart LED TV with Ambilight 2-sided and Pixel Plus HD
Manufacturer Part Number42PFL5008T/12
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Journey beyond the screen

3D Smart Ultra-Slim LED TV with Ambilight

Immerse yourself in the action-online and off-with the Philips 5008 series 3D Smart LED TV with Ambilight. Enjoy the vibrant quality of Full HD LED, the endless possibilities of Smart TV and our most comfortable 3D experience to date.

Package Contents
  • 5000 Series 3D Ultra-Slim Smart LED TV with Ambilight 2-sided and Pixel Plus HD
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • Tabletop swivel stand
  • Power cord
  • Quick start guide
  • Legal and safety brochure
  • Warranty Leaflet
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)13.60 kg