Skip to main content

Philips 40PFL8605H review

Philips' first 3D TV arrives on our test bench, but can it impress in all three dimensions?

Philips 40PFL8605H
Sadly this TV doesn't have an in-built Freeview HD tuner so you will need to buy a seperate receiver


  • Excellent 2D picture quality
  • Elegant design
  • Lots of connections and features
  • Superb remote control
  • Good sound


  • Crosstalk issues ruin 3D
  • It's expensive
  • The reflective screen is prone to double imaging when viewed off-axis

It's been months now since Panasonic, LG and Samsung first launched TVs compatible with the new full HD 3D format.

So it seems rather odd, initially, that Philips, a brand so often associated with the cutting edge of TV technology, should only now be joining the 3D revolution with the 40-inch 40PFL8605.

Philips claims its prolonged 3D abstinence was due to its reluctance to launch a premature 3D product, the implication being that perhaps some of the quicker 3D brands may have rushed things a bit.

Whether this turns out to be true or just marketing spin, of course, will depend entirely on how the 40PFL8605H performs with the Sky 3D broadcasts, 3D Blu-rays and 3D games we're about to throw at it.

The 40PFL8605H has actually been out for quite a while, but crucially only in 2D form.

The necessary 3D bits have been added via the just-released PTA02 3D upgrade kit, which contains a transmitter that connects to the TV, two pairs of active shutter glasses with enough bridges to fit a variety of nose sizes.

This kit will cost you £250, which is not an unreasonable sum when you bear in mind that most brands charge £100 or so just for a pair of active shutter glasses. It does, however, bump an already high price up to £1,750.

The only TVs in Philips' new range that have 3D built in as standard are the upcoming Cinema 21:9 Platinum models; the 8000 and standard 9000 series models all need the external kit.

Philips' lower level 7000 and 5000 TV series aren't 3D capable, though intriguingly they all use LED rather than direct CCFL backlighting technology.

The 5000 series use direct LED lighting with no local dimming; the 7000 series uses edge LED, as does the 8000 series we're looking at here, while the top-level 9000 series use direct LED with local dimming.