Skip to main content

Philips 19PFL3405 review

LED panel and good-looks aside, this basic 19-inch LCD TV struggles with movies

Philips 19PFL3405
With obvious signs of motion blur, this LCD TV is best considered for Freeview only watching


  • Contrast
  • Simple interface
  • Freeview pictures
  • Low price


  • Black & white graphics
  • Flimsy build quality
  • Motion blur

An HD ready, LED-backlit panel is key to this 19in Philips LCD. Though there's no sign of the Dutch firm's signature Ambilight feature, the 19PFL3405 is better looking than most TVs of this size.

A gloss black surround is flanked by a red plastic lip at the bottom of the screen that most recalls Samsung TVs rather than Philips' past efforts.

Though its interface is identical to its high-end brethren, it's somewhat stripped-down; on the main screen you'll find icons for Watch TV, Add New Device, Setup and Browse USB.

Add New Device brings a list of inputs and labels, so if you plan to attach a DVD player permanently to, say, the 19PFL3405's HDMI input, the Home screen can host a dedicated icon. Browsing USB is a simple affair, but limited to MP3 music files and JPEG photos.

It's equipped with a very sensitive digital tuner, but, oddly, the EPG is black and white, and though it's nicely presented and easy to read, it blocks out both the pictures and sound of the channel you're watching. That programme guide displays eight channels over two hours, though checking the next day's schedules is a very slow process.

Picture quality from Freeview is good, with plenty of vivid colours and a contrast-heavy image looking relatively clean and involving.

There's a slight sheen of picture noise across all other video sources – DVD and Blu-ray – and there's a lack of fine detail to hi-def. Colours do have a cinematic quality, helped by this set's excellent black levels, though the appearance of some considerable motion blur is a huge worry and consigns the 19PFL3405 to the position of Freeview-only. On that note, it's good to see a Common Interface slot available for Top-Up TV viewing cards.

For a tiny TV the 19PFL3405's sound is excellent, with the surround option in particular impressing; there are absolutely no surround effects, but the soundstage is widened nicely – quite something on a TV with such small stereo space.

A good-looking and attractively priced second room set with an interface that's better than most, though the latest LED technology masks an inadequate panel.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: