Philips 32PW9309 review

Older technology means lower price

TechRadar Verdict

Naughty Philips. Releasing a 32in Pixel Plus TV of any flavour - be it first or second generation - at this sort of price just doesn't seem fair on everyone else

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While Philips is currently bigging up its new Pixel Plus 2 technology, this screen only carries the first generation. This means the 32in 32PW9309 seems like an odd TV at first glance, but of course Philips has its reasons for this seemingly nonsensical state of affairs - and those reasons are pretty much solely to do with price.

The brand's 32in CRT Pixel Plus 2 TV, the 32PW9509, will set you back £1,100. The 32PW9309 can be yours for just £800. By opting for Pixel Plus 1, you naturally miss out on Pixel Plus 2's myriad improvements - which number into their teens, as it happens. However, the original Pixel Plus still gives you bags of extra fine detail, and smoother motion - potentially both good finds on an £800 32in telly.

If this TV's core technology isn't state of the art, at least it's housed in a modern-looking body. The light silver, gently glinting finish makes the Philips a pleasingly dedicated follower of today's fashion. There's a big disappointment in store with the connections. The provision of just two Scarts seems unduly stingy for a TV that otherwise has so much to offer to a home cinema groupie.

Thankfully, however, our ire quickly faded once we settled down for another run-through of Troy. For although it may lack the finesse of Pixel Plus 2, Pixel Plus 1 can still blow your socks off... Detailed scenes, like the return of Paris, Hector and Helen to Troy - with its ticker-tape and screaming crowds - take on an almost frightening intensity via Pixel Plus, gaining extra textures and depth of field to a degree simply not seen on any other 32in TV at this price point.

Also contributing to the immense field depth is the 32PW9309's class-leading black level response. For instance, all the dark nooks and crannies of the swift scrap that takes place in Apollo's temple are immaculately rendered, with plenty of background details and subtle greyscale nuances to keep things solid and involving.

The terrific contrast range helps the Philips conjure up simply gobsmacking colours, too. When Paris reveals to Hector that he's got Helen stowed away aboard his boat, the deep blues of the two men's outfits and the sea, together with the golden sun reflections on their skin, look sumptuous.


Of course, the 32PW9309's pictures aren't perfect. Pixel Plus 1's tendency to cause a shimmering halo around moving objects, and slightly over-stress strong, bright edges, both remain. But none of this amounts to much when set against the masses of good that the processing does.

The screen's sonics are rather more average. While far from bad - the assorted sounds of the battlefield during Agamemnon's assault on Troy are rendered with plenty of soundstage width and dynamism - a bit more bass is needed to help the TV avoid moments of harshness.

But frankly, so what if the audio is mediocre? You'd surely be using a separate sound system with the screen anyway. Thanks to Pixel Plus, the Philips 32PW9309's pictures are in a class of their own, and this is enough to make it a huge bargain. was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.