It's lacking slightly in the mid-range, but there's no denying that the 40PFL9705 has the finest speakers you'll find on a 40-inch TV. With plenty of room to play with, Philips has put a subwoofer at the centre of the back of the TV and reserved the underslung space for the tweeters.

A sound field high on low frequency and treble detail proves just about right for movies, and music doesn't sound too bad, either – a motley collection of MP3 files on a USB stick get a decent treatment. Meanwhile, the Surround mode on the 40PFL9705 proves a little disappointing, with no noticeable widening of the stage.


Few TVs enjoy the serious build quality of Philips' high-end sets, and the 40PFL9705 maintains that tradition. Direct LED technology is expensive and it's certainly possible to bag a much bigger plasma TV for less cash.

The lack of Freeview – or even a built-in 3D transmitter – might also put some off, but the 40PFL9705 does have some unique talents. Net TV still isn't up to much, despite the open web browser, but Ambilight is as impressive as ever, and the remote control is something else: you won't find anything nearly as slinky partnering a cheaper.

Add some cutting-edge 2D images and acceptable 3D pictures and the 40PFL9705 seems well positioned.