Philips 46pfl9705

The 46PFL9705H reads like a 'what's what' of current TV technology, with Philips throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it. In many ways, the brand's efforts pay off handsomely.

The set hits the ground running with a stunning design, combining an aluminium finish with the eye-catching Ambilight. It is also surprisingly easy to use for a Philips TV, thanks to an excellent remote control and icon-heavy main menu screen.

Exploring all the set's features, meanwhile, will take you hours, especially if you're the sort of person likely to benefit from its extravagant online and self-contained multimedia provision.

Where the 46PFL9705H most makes its premium status count, though, is where it really matters: with its all-round AV performance. Its audio performance is without peer among mainstream TVs, its 2D pictures are barnstormingly good and its 3D performance rates as the best yet from an LCD TV. Crosstalk noise, while reduced, remains sufficiently apparent to leave rival plasma technology some wiggle room, provided you can live without the 46PFL9705H's extra dynamism and brightness.

We liked:

The 46PFL9705H looks glorious. It's also extremely well connected, with plenty of HD video inputs and bags of multimedia sockets that are put to extremely good use by the TV's expansive format compatibility.

The set's picture processing is extremely powerful and combines with the direct LED lighting system to produce some of the best pictures ever achieved by a flat TV. Even the 46PFL9705H's audio is streets ahead of its competitors.

We disliked:

Some fairly evident haloing around bright objects appears during-off axis viewing. In keeping with most high-end Philips TVs, you need to exercise care with all the processing options provided if you want pictures to always look their best.

The external 3D transmitter might annoy some, too, though for some people the TV's most irritating flaw will be its lack of a Freeview HD tuner.

Verdict:

The 46PFL9705H isn't perfect. It lacks a Freeview HD tuner, its picture processing needs to be used with care to get the best out of it, and there's evidence of crosstalk noise with 3D pictures.

However, the latter are also spectacularly vivid and bright by alternate-frame standards. It's also an object of beauty, boasts unprecedented multimedia capability (including open internet access), delivers superb sound, and (provided you handle it with care) its 2D pictures are unrivalled.

If you're up to the challenge of exploiting all its potential to the full, it is a sensational bit of kit.

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