Philips' high-end TVs are some of the most feature-packed on the market, boasting more high-powered processing than NASA mission control. But if the recession has forced you to set your sights a little lower, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to miss out on those enticing features completely.

That's because the processing modes inside Philips' mid-range sets do the same basic job as the versions on Philips' high-end sets, but with less grunt behind them.

So instead of Perfect Pixel HD Engine on the 9000 series you get Pixel Precise HD; 100Hz LCD replaces 200Hz Clear LCD; Perfect Natural Motion is substituted by HD Natural Motion – you get the picture.

The lower horsepower brings the 42PFL7404H's price down to around half that of the equivalent 42-inch 9000 series set, which is a pretty good saving in anyone's book.

Philips 42pfl7404h

This particular TV is part of Philips' 7000 series, which sits below the all-singing, all-dancing 9000 and 8000 series but above the 5000 and entry-level 3000.

The screen size is 42-inches, but if you need it smaller or bigger then the 7000 series also includes 32, 47 and 52-inch sets. They're all Full HD 1080p models, and as we'll discover they actually offer a much better range of bells and whistles than you may expect from a mid-range model.

And that mid-range positioning doesn't mean Philips has skimped on design either – the 7404H is a great looking set with an ultra slim, gloss-black bezel, which is designed to maximise the perceived screen size, plus the curves in each corner give it that distinctive Philips vibe.

Philips 42pfl7404h

Sadly, Ambilight is a casualty of Philips' cost-cutting and therefore you won't get the gorgeous picture-enhancing aura on the wall behind, but at this sort of price that's only to be expected.

The transparent plastic hood that surrounds the bezel would normally be used to catch the rays, but here it's nothing more than a sad reminder of Ambilight's absence.

It's worth mentioning at this point that the tuner inside the 42PFL7404 is a straight-up Freeview affair and not Freeview HD – getting that from a TV at this price really would be a steal.