Philips 50PFL7956T review

Philips' ultra-widescreen Edge LED TV sets the gold standard for movies

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Philips 50pfl7956t review

Although those with no interest in watching Blu-ray discs in full super-widescreen glory will see nothing but novelty in the Philips 50PFL7956T, the TV's got more going for it than mere dimensional rarity.

Using an Edge LED backlight, the Philips 50PFL7956T's 2560 x 1980 pixel panel can show 3D material and make 2D-3D conversions on the fly from any source. Its thoroughly advanced Pixel Precise HD video processing is fitted with 400Hz Perfect Motion Rate, HD Natural Motion and Super Resolution.

For a full examination of the Wi-Fi-powered Net TV, read our Philips 42PFL7666H review, but for now know that you'll find BBC iPlayer, YouTube, TuneIn Radio, Aupeo, Picasa, Acetrax and Box Office 365. Attach a wireless keyboard and you can type straight into the likes of Facebook and Twitter, as well as into a dedicated web browser.

Philips 50pfl7956t review

Ambilight Spectra 2, Philips' two-sided version of this unique lighting tech, makes an appearance on the Philips 50PFL7956T. It's actually a bit of a let-down - although the dynamic light show that accompanies a film or TV is technically as impressive as ever, the two sides are so far away from each other that the effect is not as cohesive or enveloping as it can be.

A third strip of Ambilight LEDs along the top of the TV is needed, although its no-show simply helps to explain the Philips 50PFL7956T's relatively low price.

That said, there's a surprise in store for gamers. Although they're not the target audience of the Philips 50PFL7956T, the extra-large screen can be used for two-player full screen gaming, if both players use adapted 3D specs.

Philips 50pfl7956t review

Two pairs of regular 3D glasses are included in the box, but for this feature to work you'll need to either buy the £50 PTA436 pack of two special gaming glasses from Philips, or make them yourself – the pack contains one pair that uses two left eye lenses, and one that has only right eye lenses in. Geddit? Forget 3D effects – the 3D glasses are used here not to create depth, but to make only half the pixels visible to each player.

Connections on the Philips 50PFL7956T are fairly standard for a high-end TV; four HDMI inputs (including one on the side panel, and one that's Audio Return Channel-compatible) are joined by a set of component video inputs, an RGB Scart, a couple of USB slots, an Ethernet LAN port, an SD card slot (for Net TV downloads only), an optical digital audio output, ports for a PC link and a headphones slot.

One of those USB slots can be used to make recordings from the Philips 50PFL7956T's built-in Freeview HD tuner, as well as power a record/pause feature. Streaming digital files across a home network is also possible.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyCinema Gold
3D Type3D
Brand NamePhilips
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio21:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Memory Card ReaderYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)24 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption114 W
Standby Power Consumption150 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio500,000:1
RMS Output Power34 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand633 mm
Width with Stand1242 mm
Depth with Stand253 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Component VideoYes
3D ConversionYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate400 Hz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD)
Height580 mm
Width1242 mm
Depth32 mm
Brightness450 cd/m²
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Product SeriesGold
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1080
FeaturesAmbient Lighting, Web Browser, Auto Program, Teletext
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product Model50PFL7956T
Product NameCinema 21:9 Gold Series Smart LED TV with Ambilight Spectra 2 and Multi-View
Product LineCinema
Manufacturer Part Number50PFL7956T/12
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

World's first cinema-proportion Smart TV with Ambilight and Multiview
Be blown away as you watch Blu-ray movies or HDTV on this spectacular 127 cm (50") ultra-wide TV. The Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold series LED TV offers a true cinematic widescreen experience that perfectly matches the original 21:9 movie format.

Package Contents
  • Cinema 21:9 Gold Series Smart LED TV with Ambilight Spectra 2 and Multi-View
  • Safety/Legal Instructions
  • Power Cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Remote Control
  • Tabletop Swivel Stand
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • Wall Mounting Bracket
  • Smart TV Quick Guide
  • Wi-Fi MediaConnect Voucher
Response Time2 ms
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)22 kg