Philips 32PFL9705
The ambilight halo has been extended to the top of the screen for a more immersive effect

Philips 32pfl9705 2

Thanks to the sheer number of features and picture tweaks they carry, Philips' high end TVs are notoriously tricky to use if you want to get the best out of them. And in any ways this remains true of the 32PFL9705, but there a couple of touches that really do make your life easier.

The first, massive improvement is the remote control. As well as looking gorgeous with its unusual stretched oval shape and brushed metallic finish, it's a masterclass in button minimalism. When we first saw how few keys it carried we couldn't comprehend how it could provide an adequate interface with such a complex TV. But it streamlines the whole interface experience superbly well in conjunction with Philips' new menu structure.

The other handy improvement concerns the set-up guide that automatically kicks in the first time you turn the TV on. This uses a series of photos to help you choose your favourite picture settings, and then also helps you set up your sources. It further automatically guides you through setting up your Wi-Fi connection, and even takes you through setting up an SD card for storing your video downloads, so have a suitable card to hand, if you can.

Philips 32pfl9705 remote

Final welcome touches find this initial setup menu helping you choose your preferred audio tone from the TV and even optimising Ambilight, including a new option that lets you tell the TV what colour your wall is, so Amiblight can adjust its tones to compensate.

As usual with Philips TVs, though, even after this installation process we'd still recommend regular visits to the TV's picture adjustment menus so that you can optimise the video processing for different source types.

In particular, you need to familiarise yourself with the HD Natural Motion, 200Hz, noise reduction and sharpness tools, so that you can reduce the potential for unwanted processing side effects with certain types of footage.

This makes the 32PFL9705 way more labour-intensive than your average TV if you really care about getting the best from it. Let's hope your efforts are amply rewarded.