Our Verdict

A bit small for 3D, perhaps, but nothing touches this direct LED TV for sheer image quality


  • Brushed aluminium casing
  • 2D Blu-ray pictures
  • Colour and contrast
  • Remote control
  • Ambilight
  • Speakers
  • Built-in Wi-Fi


  • No Freeview HD tuner
  • Messy 3D transmitter kit
  • 3D pictures suffer from crosstalk

Sandwiched between two very well reviewed 32-inch 32PFL9705 and 46-inch 46PFL9705H sets in Philips' high-end 9000 Series, the 40-inch 40PFL9705 is an expensive TV and is closer to the spec of the stunning £4,000 58-incher 58PFL9955H than it is to supermarket cheapies.

Alongside Philips' unique Ambilight mood-lighting feature, the 40PFL9705's cutting edge credentials include direct, – or 'full' – LED backlighting, connected TV status and 3D readiness.

The light source arranges 224 individually controlled diodes behind the LCD panel to enable local dimming and therefore wider contrast and deeper blacks. It's the costliest, but most effective way of implementing LED backlighting.

It's largely being phased out by other brands, which are increasingly relying on cheaper, and slimmer edge LED designs (where LEDs fire only from the sides of the panel), so it's nice to see Philips' high-end credentials continue.

The 40PFL9705 is also 3D capable, though you'll have to attach the bundled 3D transmitter to add that third dimension.

There is, however, one small omission that may seriously hamper the 40PFL9705's chances of mass-adoption (apart from its high price). Due to a misjudgement concerning Freeview HD's popularity, the 40PFL9705 is fitted with a bog-standard Freeview tuner only.

That could compromise the appeal of this otherwise delectable TV – and that's a huge shame, because nothing in the 40-inch category touches the 40PFL9705 for sheer image quality.