Philips 50PFL7956T review

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

TODO alt text

Philips 50pfl7956t review

Is the Philips 50PFL7956T the first affordable CinemaScope TV? Not quite, but this effort from Philips halves the price of a 21:9 aspect ratio telly while also halving the resolution of 3D. Using Edge LED backlighting and passive Easy 3D tech, the Philips 50PFL7956T is a noticeable step down from the flagship 58-inch – and £4,000+ – 58PFL9956, but here the experience is smaller, so those compromises on ultimate quality are less of a problem.

We liked

With no flickering or crosstalk, and an overall more versatile, watchable experience, we'd rate Easy 3D a success on the Philips 50PFL7956T. A fabulously made TV, the Philips 50PFL7956T's headline act of removing black bars from Blu-ray is where it impresses most, displaying bags of detail and well-judged colour, though some games also benefit from a stretch.

We disliked

Aside from games, the way the Philips 50PFL7956T handles anything that isn't in the 21:9 format leads to occasionally bizarre decapitations, while engaging the 3D mode on anything other than 3D Blu-ray is long-winded, and can look soft. Meanwhile, the two LED strips that power Ambilight are simply too far apart to be fully immersive, Net TV's provision of BBC iPlayer is really all the online platform has going for it, and there's a slight lack of contrast that's more noticeable because of the stretched display.

Final verdict

A living room-sized version of a CinemaScope TV aimed at those who mostly watch Blu-ray movies, the Philips 50PFL7956T comes with a raft of must-have features – including a clean and easy 3D mode. The fullscreen option for split-screen games provides a tempting trickle-down tech from 3D, and some games look fabulous in a 21:9 shape, although this TV is at its best when it's simply removing the black bars from Blu-ray discs – and presenting them with more detail than ever.

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