The Philips 42PFL9664H LCD TV isn't the cheapest 42-inch set on the market by a long chalk, with some perfectly respectable alternatives from big-name brands such as Toshiba coming in at less than half the price.
The Philips isn't aimed at the budget buyer, however, and with that in mind is easily one of the best sets in its class, with a performance and features list that leaves anything significantly cheaper choking on its dust.
If you are after a set that offers all the spec you could conceivably need, a performance that equals (and frequently surpasses) the very best flatscreens currently available and, as an added boon, looks extremely pretty in your front room, then the 42PFL9664 is worth that grand and a half asking price.
This is an immensely capable set, with near-reference quality pictures that are a cut or two above most of its immediate peers.
The features list is also extremely impressive, from the class-leading image engine through to the five HDMI inputs via one of the few genuinely useful web-browsing setups in circulation. We also adore the effortlessly chic styling and the nigh-on flawless operating system.
The narrowish viewing angle is a slight niggle and Ambilight might be seen by some as a piece of unnecessary, cost-nudging frivolity. Standard-def isn't always to its rather refined taste, either.
A beautifully conceived and executed set for the serious (and better-heeled) AV fan.
This review was written in conjunction with: