Philips 42PFL6007T review

An affordable 42-inch TV that still cares about quality

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The mid-price 42-inch TV market is especially crowded right now. But the Philips 42PFL6007T has enough tricks up its sleeve to make its presence felt.

Its design gets the ball rolling nicely, thanks to its exceptional slimness and minimalist design. It's extremely well connected too, making it as comfortable with multimedia sources of all types as it is with HD and standard definition video.

The best thing about the Philips 42PFL6007T, though, is how well it performs. It's particularly outstanding with 3D, delivering some of the most watchable, immersive 3D pictures we've seen to date.

But 2D, too, competes very handily with the efforts of similarly priced TVs from Philips' main rivals, while pictures of all flavours are joined by a nicely tuned and reasonably powerful audio performance.

We liked

After grabbing our attention with its uber-svelte, Ambilight-enhanced design, the Philips 42PFL6007T continues to reel us in with its impressively wide-ranging multimedia playback tools and strong AV performance standards - especially in 3D mode. Its all-round talents make it look like solid value, too.

We disliked

While it's mostly good to find Philips giving you control over most aspects of its comprehensive processing engine, this approach also means that getting the best out of the Philips 42PFL6007T is a tricky business, requiring extensive knowledge of the TV's rather sluggish on-screen menus. Philips' online services are a bit off the pace by today's standards, too.

Final verdict

The Philips 42PFL6007T is in some ways the most significant TV we've tested from Philips' current range.

With its extremely flexible multimedia playback skills, sumptuously slender design and best of all its strong picture and audio credentials, it proves that Philips isn't just a 'high-end' brand these days; it's also able to perform at the mid-range in a way that competes with the other, bigger brands out there.

In short, the Philips TV renaissance continues.

Also consider

The closest TVs to the Philips 42PFL6007T in spirit are LG's 42LM670T and Panasonic's L42ET5 - sets that both adopt the passive 3D system and deliver well-rounded picture and sound performances.

The Philips outguns the LG and Panasonic sets in the contrast department, and Ambilight gives it a design edge too. However, both the LG and Panasonic sets are much easier to use, and have more content-rich online services.

Samsung's UE40ES6800 is another alternative for people who prefer the Full HD active 3D system. This set also delivers a superb online service, and some great (post-calibration) picture quality - though it doesn't give you as many free pairs of 3D glasses, and extra pairs soon start to push its price up. It doesn't sound as rich as the Philips' audio system, either.