With a decent stereo effect and more power than most TVs, the Philips 50PFL7956T is certainly one of the better audio performers. However, despite the 34W power – and maybe because of its sheer width – we weren't blown away by the various audio modes.
Almost all Philips TVs have better-than-average speakers, but the absence of separate woofers on the rear slashes the bass on offer and produces a soundstage that despite being powerful, seems a little thin in the mid-range.
Considering the almost exclusively movie-based diet of the Philips 50PFL7956T, we'd suggest hooking it up to a home cinema system, which we'd expect most potential buyers to already own.
The 50PFL7956 is Philip's most affordable attempt at CinemaScope, but that's tempered by the fact that this is a smaller TV. In our opinion, it's a much better fit for the average living room than bigger versions, and deserves to sell well despite its high price.
It's the rarity of the CinemaScope-shape screen that you're paying for here; most of the same tech and special features can be found on Phillips' circa £800 TVs, which puts into perspective just how much of a treat the Philips 50PFL7956T is. And, make no mistake, movie fans will love this television – there are few better ways to watch a 2D Blu-ray disc.
Gamers might be attracted by the Dual View option, although this feature is possible on any passive 3D TV; regular fullscreen gaming – as with all regular widescreen 16:9 footage, including all broadcast TV – is zoomed in on to make it fit the screen. Heads can disappear in the process, so a movie lover's dream could be an annoyance for those watching prime-time TV.
The Philips 50PFL7956T, then, isn't an all-rounder, but instead a specialised, highly capable and surprisingly versatile choice.