Philips 46pfl9706h

Few if any TVs shout 'flagship' at you quite as loudly as the Philips 46PFL9706. Its metallic silver bodywork looks posher than a Harrods hamper, especially when you've got all those lovely Ambilight LEDs turned on, and its feature list reads like a what's what of the cutting edge TV world.

Naturally this feature list includes 3D (of the active Full HD variety) as well as Smart TV functionality including DLNA support, playback of multimedia files from USB sticks, recording from the Freeview HD tuner to USB HDDs, and access to Philips' Net TV service.

Where the Philips 46PFL9706 most earns its corn, though, is with its picture technology - particularly its Moth Eye filter, its direct LED lighting system and its ultra-powerful Perfect Pixel HD processing engine.

We liked

The combination of the Moth Eye filter and direct LED lighting helps the Philips 46PFL9706 to deliver exactly what we'd hoped it would: the best picture quality yet seen from an LCD TV. With HD and standard definition alike, its images are ground-breakingly spectacular.

Its multimedia tools are superbly wide-ranging and brilliantly implemented too, and the design of both its remote and its on-screen menus is inspired, making a potentially brain-bending TV surprisingly easy to use.

The TV's audio is good too, with plenty of volume and even a bit of bass to keep you company.

We disliked

The set's biggest flaw is the appearance of crosstalk with 3D images. It's not terrible by any means, but at its worst it can make backdrops look slightly out of focus.

There's also some very minor light haloing around bright objects if they're against dark backgrounds, but really this only becomes a significant issue if you're watching from a fairly wide angle.

Another issue is that you will have to devote time - potentially quite a lot of time - to learning your way round the pros and cons of all the TV's many processing elements.

Verdict

Watch any 2D Blu-ray on the Philips 46PFL9706, and you'll scarcely be able to believe that the stunning picture before you is being produced from an LCD TV.

Its simply phenomenal contrast range helps it deliver a genuine leap forward in LCD picture quality that its hard to imagine any other brands being able to get close to for at least a couple of generations, if their current TVs are anything to go by.

The set also looks beautiful, and has every feature anyone could reasonably - or even unreasonably! - expect a TV to carry.

Crosstalk with 3D stops it from being a truly flawless gem, but it still represents a genuine TV milestone.