Philips 37PF9731D review

Philips takes on the budget boys with a cheapie 50-inch TV

The wealth of picture processing from the top line of Philips TVs is all here

TechRadar Verdict

It's laden with treasures most of the models of this size can only dream about. If money's an object, look away from the screen now


  • +

    Fantastic HD performance

    Peerless picture quality


  • -

    1:1 pixel mapping problems


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In nautical terms this TV would be launched as a ship of the line without having the firepower to be flagship of the Philips LCD fleet.

For those who prefer their analysis to be more literal - it's a 1080i model offering a 'full HD' resolution of 1920 x 1080 matching every one of its plentiful pixels from its source to its ample screen.

Its slight limitation is that it won't be able to show a 1080p movie in its fullest glory as its 1080 performance is restricted to de-interlacing a 1080i signal.

No 'i' in 1080p

Still, the 'p' this screen won't take, isn't that big a loss on a 37in screen. What was once considered big now looks quite average alongside the cinematic vastness of projected pictures and today's superscreens. It also has plenty of brainpower to boost the quality and quantity of pixels and we'd advise you to turn on and tune into these before judging it harshly.

The wealth of picture processing from the top line of Philips TVs is all here from Pixel Plus 3, Digital Natural Motion, and Clear LCD to its quirky Ambilight whose three sides threaten to turn our living room into a third dimension.

These work on images of all shapes and definitions from a scanning backlight that smoothes out the movement, scales it up, hushes its digital noise, and adjust its contrast and colour as it sees fit.

Happily, a spin of POTC 2 from a Denon upscaling DVD player proved it to be more HMS Victory than Mary Rose. The brains inside can be trusted to do their job even if it holds back on the processing to give you the richest and most detailed picture. With processing On, it created a smoother, more nuanced picture if slightly less detailed.

We also liked the cut of its jib with HD material from Sky HD. It couldn't deal with everything we fed it especially when the MPEG artefacts headlined with the stars, but hey, you can't blame it for the faults of others.

We did find a problem with 1:1 pixel mapping and Sky HD though, when a bright green line appeared at the screen top. Using the auto aspect ratio rid the screen of this green-gilled intruder but cost us the 1:1 mapping, too.

Plaudits for the audio might sound flat after all the prizes and bounty earned by its picture - but flat only in the metaphorical sense. It does a highly competent job though we have a sneaking suspicion that those discerning enough to demand this picture quality will have an amp tucked away nearby. 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.