Philips 42pfl7404h

Play about with those picture settings and you can get some superb-looking pictures out of this TV.

They're not quite as incisively sharp and clean as the 9000 series sets, and the quality can suffer if you pile on the processing too heavily, but on the whole we're very pleased with what's on offer.

Blu-ray pictures are naturally the most impressive. The set is more than comfortable with the breakneck action in Transformers – HD Natural Motion reproduces the fast movement of robots and helicopters with unerring smoothness, while 100Hz masks motion blur effectively.

Amazing colours

Set to maximum the effects of HD Natural Motion look a little unnatural, but overall it's hard not to be impressed by such effective judder removal.

It also displays 1080p images with the sharpness demanded by the format, and when coupled with impressive black levels they possess an entrancing depth and punchiness. Dark scenes contain plenty of detail too, and it's easy to pick out the shading within the bleached white desert sand.

Colours are simply stunning – Optimus Prime's paint job looks bold, bright and convincing, yet the Philips also conveys subtle skin tones and shading in the same frame with equal aplomb.

It's not all hunky dory however – the picture suffers from some break up and shimmering around some edges with HD Natural Motion and 100Hz LCD engaged at the same time, and noise reduction compromises the sharpness of the picture.

Freeview pictures look fine apart from a dusting of mosquito noise and processing artefacts, while DVDs are displayed with reasonable sharpness and depth, although once again there's a little too much noise in the picture to nail that five star picture rating.