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Philips 15PF5121 review

A positive performance from Philips

The glossy, black bezel is cute, robust and immediately sets the 15PF5121 apart from most rivals

Our Verdict

Comfortably justifies its price with both its feature count and its performance


  • Not many onscreen features


  • Vibrant images

    Good sound

The Philips set is a touch of class. The glossy, black bezel is cute, robust and immediately sets the 15PF5121 apart from most rivals.

Connectivity continues the high-end theme by including a DVI jack remarkably able to take 720p/1080i HD video as well as digital PC feeds, ready for playback on the 1024 x 768 resolution screen.

This doesn't mean the set is HD Ready as the resolution is 4:3 rather than widescreen in configuration. But even being HD capable at this sort of size is highly unusual.

Next to the DVI sits a Scart, in turn accompanied by S-video and composite video inputs, and an (analogue) RF tuner jack. Plus there's one further asset - an aerial connection, which, it turns out, is for receiving FM radio channels.

A search for more features doesn't actually turn up that much - which is fair enough. The only oddity is a widescreen mode that doesn't actually show the full widescreen picture, but rather a sort of compromised section of it.

Controlling all the TV's features, by the way, is pretty straightforward, thanks to a cute and reasonably ergonomic remote, and some decent onscreen menus.


Standard-def pictures are crisp and detailed and the set manages to deliver a sense of the extra quality of HD sources. The screen suffers only a little with motion blur.

There's good news too in how strikingly vibrant the image appears, thanks to a combination of some exceedingly rich colour saturations, a high brightness output and some solidly deep black levels.

The set's sound is no slouch either. The seemingly small speakers sound great with standard TV footage and not bad with a good action movie.

It ain't perfect, though. There's minor backlight seepage along the top and bottom edges, that curious widescreen mode won't appeal to all, and dark picture areas can look a touch forced and lack shadow detail. Overall, though, the positive easily outweighs the negative.