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Philips 37PF9631D review

Philips keeps pulling at that LCD thread

Our Verdict

By no means perfect but the pros certainly outweigh the cons


  • Responsive and detailed picture

    Decent sound


  • Slightly limited colour range

    Some lack of detail from dark images

Another day, another of Philips' seemingly endless run of LCD TVs. Today's effort, the 37PF9631D, is one of the brand's higher-end TVs - something that's immediately apparent from its looks, which combine exceptionally heavy duty build quality with real designer panache. Not to mention the fact that coloured light can spill from the TV's sides thanks to its inclusion of Philips' ever-likeable Ambilight technology.

Its connectivity ticks the right boxes too, by including two HDMIs, a component video input, Scarts and a PC jack.

Where the 37PF9631D really makes its 'high-end' presence felt, though, is with its features. Probably the single most significant one is Pixel Plus 2 HD processing. This may not be the company's latest version of Pixel Plus technology, but we've still seen it previously do a great job of improving colours, edges and especially detail levels.

The 37PF9631D also sports a digital tuner, Philips' love it or loathe it Digital Natural Motion for smoothing the appearance of moving objects (thankfully you can turn this off if you don't like it), a handy setup routine that uses a series of split-screen options to help you choose your preferred image and audio settings, and loads more besides we simply haven't the space to cover.

As with the vast majority of Philips' more extravagant TVs, the 37PF9631D's picture quality is mostly excellent. A high definition feed of Face/Off reveals, for instance, black levels reasonably free of greyness, as evidenced by the dark corners on show during the shootout in an aircraft hangar.

The speedboat sequence, meanwhile, benefits from the 37PF9631D's striking colour vibrancy, with colours also being delivered with some good blending subtlety and without overt colour noise.

Given the movie's endlessly action-packed nature, it's just as well too that the 37PF9631D is unusually talented by LCD standards at handling motion, with hardly any of the common blurring or smearing issues.

It's not just with HD that the 37PF9631D excels, mind: Pixel Plus 2 HD for the most part works superbly with standard definition, adding noticeably more sharpness and detail to proceedings.

Running the gamut

In an ideal world the set's colour range may be slightly more expansive. Also, Pixel Plus 2 HD does slightly exaggerate any MPEG noise there may be in a source (something Pixel Plus 3 HD improves on). And finally dark picture areas sometimes look a touch short of shadow detail.

But overall the picture strengths far outweigh the flaws, and combine with a crisp and powerful soundstage to make the Philips 37PF9631D a cut above its rivals.