Philips 40PFL7605 review

Edge LED with added Ambilight & Net TV, but where's Freeview HD?

Philips 40PFL7605
The new ambilight on this Philips LCD TV can be set up to work with any colour wall, an omission from earlier sets

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Philips 40pfl7605 3

Clash of the Titans on Blu-ray provides ample evidence of the 40PFL7605's stunning picture prowess. Swirling mists are picked out in a finely detailed still image, while the raw LCD panel doesn't suffer much from blur of judder.

The 40PFL7605 deals with digital broadcasts really well, with plenty of upscaling producing a clean picture, though they're best watched with the brightness toned down; it hides what few jagged edges exist to produce a superb picture. Meanwhile, fast-moving credits on a black background cause only a tiny amount of blur,

Minimal motion judder

Movement benefits enormously from HD Natural Motion. You do have to take some care with this feature, because as it inserts video frames – to compensate for movement and reduce judder – it can create a nasty flicker around moving objects.

Left on its minimum setting, HD Natural Motion is clean enough, though we did notice flicker and stepping when the Titans swing their bows and arrows. In this regard, fast-moving fare often looks better with HD Natural Motion deactivated, especially if the 100Hz mode is left switched on.

Purists will prefer HD Natural Motion switched off, which leaves the 40PFL7605 to rely on its innate contrast and colour skills.

Black levels

Black is reproduced well and there's plenty of detail in costumes and backgrounds, though there is a slight issue with brightness; the panel is lit by LEDs only around the sides, which means that dark objects in the centre of an otherwise bright picture lack subtle details. It's only noticeable in contrast-heavy images, but the panel's brightness obviously isn't totally uniform.

Bright objects on black backgrounds are noticeably more luminous if they're nearer the edges of the screen, where a touch of haloing is visible. And while shadow detailing is generally excellent during Blu-ray playback, dark areas of digital TV broadcasts do sport a 'black hole' look.

There are a lot of picture modes, wizards, settings and tweaks available on the 40PFL7605, though they're not difficult to navigate. A Smart Picture wizard guides you through some simple settings based on your preferences with various images, while demos of HD Natural Motion and 100Hz are worth a look if you want to know what you've just paid for.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),