Best smart TV platforms
The Philips 46PFL8008S is a simple TV with few pretenses. The user interface's carousel of colourful icons for various features - inputs, smart TV and TV guide - is easy and very quick to skip around, thanks largely to the use of a dual-core processor. Moving between sources and using the eight-day TV guide is a cinch, and everything looks great.
As well as replacing the TV remote entirely, the Philips MyRemote app for Android and iOS devices enables you to stream photos, music and video from the smartphone or tablet it's installed on, as well as from networked computers.
The Wi-Fi smart screen feature clones the live TV channel you're watching and puts it on an Android or iOS device, but we weren't able to link the app to the TV in order to use it to inspect the TV's digital Guide features.
In theory it's possible, but the pairing code set-up information is wrong and it's not possible to generate a smartphone link code. We're surprised that nobody checked this.
Active vs passive 3D
Stick a USB flash drive into the side and the Philips 46PFL8008S supports MP3, M4A, WAV and WMA music files (adding lossless OGG and APE if you stream) as well as JPEG photos and AVI, MKV, MOV, WMV, AVC HD, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video.
Unfortunately MKV files can't be streamed. The media player software is also a bit fiddly, and needs streamlining.
Is this the best-sounding TV around? The frame-like desktop stand is a departure from 2012's stand-with-built-in-speakers idea, but the Philips 46PFL8008S does have thoroughly decent audio.
It's equipped with two 15W-rated speakers and a couple of rear-mounted subwoofers, which together produce a wide soundstage filled with treble detail and rich, bassy undertones. Both the Music and Movie modes are excellent.
It's always hard to judge value on a TV over £1,500, but the Philips 46PFL8008S makes a convincing case for its high price tag. Chief among our reasons are the unique Ambilight feature and those on-screen fireworks, though we're also conscious that few TVs even at this price-point are this well-made.
The remote control is also worth a mention - it's splendid - while the provision of two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses is pretty standard for this kind of 3D TV, whatever its price tag.