If you're in any doubt about whether or not the Philips 46PFL7007 is hungry for high-definition content, the set up procedure clears things up.

After a short HD clip of some surfers, a message appears that says: "To enjoy more HD on your TV, tune to TV channels that broadcast in HD, or subscribe to premium content in HD. Also, Blu-ray Disc players can play movies in HD."

And while the Philips 46PFL7007 is clearly at its best with HD, we're not at all sure why Philips is so paranoid about this TV set not being used solely for HD, since it proves adept with all kinds of ropey sources, too.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

But let's start with the weird stuff; Perfect Natural Motion, a slab of motion compensation tech accessed through the Pixel Precise HD menus. It's designed to bring a fluid and judder-free look to moving camera shots. And in a movie, that's quite common.

It's here in three different settings, and though all create a more natural feel in terms of movement, there are noticeable side-effects during our Hugo Blu-ray disc. As Hugo runs through the train station, and even when he turns his head in an otherwise stationary shot, there's a crackle and flicker around him.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

That's on 'maximum', which is to be avoided, though the other settings are much cleaner than in previous years; we'd happily live with the 'minimum' setting for most kinds of footage.

For example, the train crash in Hugo's dream is almost menacing in its fluidity and detail, but this extra punch and detail is tempered not only by those artefacts, but by a sense that it looks more like a TV show than a movie.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

Perhaps it depends on what your preference is, but it's worth knowing that with PNM disabled, a sweeping camera shot across Hugo behind bars shows a noticeable blur and judder, though otherwise the image is preferable.

It's a question of balance and preference, which makes it all the more annoying that actually engaging or tweaking PNM settings on the fly is almost impossible. It takes at least six button presses to navigate from watching a film to the relevant part of the on-screen menus.

Contrast and black levels

With no trace of blue and with enough shadow detail to impress, we'd judge the Philips 46PFL7007's ability at reproducing true black to be almost spot-on.

Shadow detail can go missing on occasions - a shot of Hugo in his attic at night reveals a solid, almost silhouetted look to areas of black, and the same goes for shadows of train track, and even the depths of Papa George's long black coat - but it helps produce a stunning image more often than not.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

Take a mixed brightness scene; Hugo and Isabelle stand atop the station looking out to twinkling lights on Parisian buildings at night with no haloing or leaked light around those lights, and an immaculate treatment of the night sky.

As well as retaining that intensity when viewed from a tight angle, this 46-inch Phillips TV also manages to hide the fact that it is being lit by LED lights; there is none of the blotchy patches of light in corners all along the top and bottom of the screen, as with other LED backlit televisions from other brands.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

That black level capability feeds into the colour palette, too, which is wide and true.

The sharpness of images - as always on a Philips TV - is second to none, though here it looks cleaner and more 'real'. Sharp images don't tend to come with much, if any, background picture noise, but nor do they appear over-processed.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

That applies to a broadcast of England vs San Marino on ITV HD from the Freeview HD tuner, too, and though Top Gear on Dave doesn't look great, there are no jagged edges.

Game mode, employed for playing Pro Evolution 2012, provided a super-bright, detailed picture, though with some jagged edges.

3D performance

With Hugo in 3D mode we donned our Real-D-powered Philips PTA507 active shutter 3D specs. Colours hold up and contrast is deeper still, though we avoided engaging the 'more depth' setting; we got only increased echoes of each eye (crosstalk) for little gain.

The debate over PNM applies once again, but for 3D there's a different outcome.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

With PNM off, the initial sweeping shot over Paris and into the train station is dogged by judder - particularly the opening side-to-side camera pan - with the impact of the falling 3D snowflake flattened (and perhaps the whole shot itself) by a touch of crosstalk, while even the clock face hiding Hugo blurs and judders as the shot moves across it.

However, with PNM on its maximum setting, that same sequence is lent a smooth, almost giddily real life feel. When Maximilian the dog runs amok, there is some troubling artefacting around him, but such incidences were rare during our test: for 3D, PNM is a success.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

It can't prevent occasional crosstalk, which particularly remains within dark images; an overhead shot of Hugo descending a ladder in half-light renders a noticeable double image.

Converting our Children of Men DVD into 3D produced more frequent crosstalk and many inconsistencies and inaccuracies, but we'd still judge it to be superior to most such modes. Just as with native 3D discs, it was smoothest and most watchable with the Philips 46PFL7007's PNM engaged on full power.

SD upscaling

Upscaling of SD channels is relatively good, suppressing picture noise and artefacts reasonably well, though it tends to subdue rather than increase detail.

With DVDs it's a similar story, but here we had to employ PNM on its minimum setting to get rid of jumpiness to our Children of Men disc. It did cause the occasional burst of nastiness around moving objects, but otherwise proved clean and detailed enough.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

For a dodgy video on YouTube, that approach is critical, since it makes a paltry number of pixels appear watchable on such a high-res screen; there is almost constant moving mosquito noise on the Philips 46PFL7007, but it's suppressed enough to make it watchable.

Most impressively, we watched a video from YouTube in which a lecturer in a white shirt stood, brightly lit from the front but with no halo, against a black background. As in, totally, utterly black, with no hint of blotching or LED light leakage. Wow.