Usability

We like the new Philips user interface largely for its simplicity; hit the Home button and a carousel of icons appears. TV, Smart TV, Source, TV Guide, Recordings, Skype and Setup are included by default.

Net TV benefits hugely from the use of a dual-core processor inside the Philips 46PFL9707, though it's the 'magic' pointer remote control and QWERTY keyboard options we like most of all.

While using the pointer to operate the home screen of apps is nothing to get excited about, we're initially ecstatic to use it while operating the open web browser.

Philips 46PFL9707 review

However, beyond the easy clicking of tabs and web links on any given page, it soon becomes apparent that it's almost impossible to scan down pages if you want to read them. Sadly it's not possible to use the remote's arrow keys for scanning while the pointer is engaged.

The remote itself is impressive, with a brushed metallic finish and buttons within rockers that spread across the remote. Commands are clearly labelled and easily accessible, while the QWERTY keyboard on the reverse is sensibly divided into two parts either side of the battery cover.

The latter takes a little bit of time to get to know, but features handy shortcuts such as .com and www.

Philips 46PFL9707 review

Accessed from an icon on the Sources carousel, a USB's contents can be accessed without first having to choose between photo, video or music. In our test we managed to get AVC HD, AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, WMV and WMV HD video files, but only the JPEG format of photos.

Music support includes MP3, M4A and WMA. Choose Network on the source list and it's hence possible to browse a connected PC or Mac sporting UPnP software, though only AVI and MP4 video files were playable in our test.

Sound

The Philips 46PFL9707 has awesome sound; emanating from two 20W speakers in the desktop stand, War Horse's soundtrack of the bombs and blasts of the Somme are wide and detailed - especially on the excellent Movie mode.

Bass levels are just high enough to contend with films, though treble detail can be a touch harsh at the limits. However, Auto Incredible Surround 3D doesn't improve on Movie mode.

Philips 46PFL9707 review

Value

It's difficult to judge any television that costs £2,500 (around AU$3,833/US$4,029) as good value per se, but at least the Philips 46PFL9707 can be said to be a reference-quality product - though strictly only for 2D Blu-ray.

It's got all the features one might want from a TV, including myriad HDMI ports, Wi-Fi and a luscious metallic design that's backed up by quality manufacturing.

However, with disappointing 3D and a smart TV platform that lacks pizazz, the Philips 46PFL9707 is hardly the bargain of the year.