Philips 50pfl7956t review

Sound

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.

Value

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.