philips 42pfl6805h

The eco-friendly credentials of the 42PFL680H are evident before you've even got it out of its its packaging, which consists entirely of cardboard with no sign of any polystyrene. Even the plastic bags usually used for wrapping up remote controls, screws and so on have been replaced by paper bags.

The 42PFL6805H is a vision in glimmering metal with a startlingly slender profile. Engineering geeks will find themselves salivating over a desktop stand that can be rotated to the TV's rear, enabling it to double as a wall mount.

Eco credentials

The set's lovely looks and rotating stand are both results of more serious green thinking, proving that eco-friendly wares don't have to be dowdy or bland. The latter, for instance, saves on materials as its spares the need for a separate wall mount. As for the metallic chassis, more than half of it is built using aluminium – a material that must be recycled, as opposed to to optionally recyclable stuff of which normal TVs tend to be made.

To underline this point, an estimated 70 per cent of the aluminium contained within each Econova is itself recycled in a process that uses between five and 10 per cent of the energy required to make new aluminium.

Look more closely at the Econova's fine form, and you'll also notice that it doesn't appear to have a normal back panel. This is because the entire chassis has been hewn from a single plate, rather than the usual wasteful approach whereby a decorative, separate fascia plate is cut out of a large chunk of material, the remainder of which just goes to waste.

There is still a little surplus from cutting even this single-chassis design, but since it is aluminium, it can be melted down again and reused.

Philips' focus on aluminium for the Econova's design has yet another eco benefit; it means that plastic accounts for just three per cent of the TV's weight and of that, much is recycled and all is halogen-free.

The power supply, cables and signal processing board are also made from halogen-free materials and the number of cables used has been reduced.

Power consumption

The last major green selling point is the the edge LED lighting, which delivers a picture from just 40W of power. This is remarkable when you consider that the Econova's only genuinely ecologically minded forebear, Sony's 40WE5, could only get down to around 88W.

The other two genuine green innovations are an 'eco meter' that displays how much energy the TV is using at any given moment and that solar-powered remote control mentioned earlier. The latter has a USB connection at the bottom so that you can recharge it via PC if you've left it in a darkened room all day and it's got no juice left.

Other eco features include a proper 'off' switch, a light sensor so the TV can reduce its brightness output when it detects the room is dark, the option to mute the screen and an auto switch-off timer. But these, or variations on them, are also found on numerous other TVs these days and are hardly headline news. Philips points out that the energy savings (up to a claimed 60 per cent compared to standard 42-inch TVs), as well as salving your conscience, will, over a few years, help balance out the hefty initial outlay for an Econova.

Aside from the eco stuff, the 42PFL6805H has some heavy-duty picture processing in the form of Philip's Pixel Precise HD.

While it might only be roughly half as the top-end Perfect Pixel HD suite found on the 9000 series, it still addresses every picture element with more processing power than the vast majority of rival image 'engines'.

Technical specs

As is typical, the vast majority of the adjustments are accessible through the onscreen menus, with other bits and bobs of note being the panel's full HD resolution, claimed 500,000:1 contrast ratio, 100Hz processing and playback of JPEG photos, MP3 audio files and H/264/MPEG-4 AVC/MPEG-1/MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video files via USB.

The set also carries four HDMIs and a PC input alongside the USB, along with most of the other usual suspects. The only connection disappointment is that there's no Ethernet port, meaning no access to Philips' NetTV online service (complete with its open internet access) and no DLNA PC capability.

There is no Freeview HD tuner – an annoyance across the entire current Philips lineup –and Ambilight has been sacrificed to the goal of greater energy efficiency.