Philips 46PFL7007 review

Edge LED backlighting at its blackest and best

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One glance of the remote control suggests that Philips has a new outlook on interactivity; it's a double-sided affair with the 'normal' side complemented by a keyboard on the reverse.

It's a surprisingly snug design, and though it's one that never caught on for mobile phones, it might just work for TVs.

Sony has performed a similar trick this year on the remote for its Google TV box, and the reason for its appearance on the Philips 46PFL7007 is to make easier to use its web browser.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

Find a link on a BBC website to something stored on the iPlayer, and one click will launch both that app and the programme you chose. However, the browser won't enable you to watch video on most websites - it doesn't support Flash - so its usefulness is limited.

Despite having admired many a Philips TV in the past, their lack of a compelling smart TV platform has been a major reason not to buy. But no longer.

Apps for both BBC iPlayer and YouTube are on the Philips 46PFL7007, and so too is Skype, which requires the purchase of a PTA317/00 Skype TV camera from Philips.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

A Social app sensibly makes it possible to read and post messages to both Facebook and Twitter while watching live TV.

Picasa, iConcerts (a guilty pleasure if you like watching random live concerts from largely 'archive' artists), Aupeo and, err, TomTomHD are there too.

The BBC Sport and BBC News apps are missing, and some will bemoan the lack of movie streaming apps, but anyone who's actually browsed the online movie libraries of the likes of Lovefilm, Acetrax or Netflix will know that there's a whiff of emperor's new clothes about them anyway.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

Besides, Philips informs us that both Blinkbox and YouTube's movie rental service will soon be available, the latter of which could render all others pointless.

Meanwhile, you'll find no emperor's clothes within adult apps from Hustler and PRIVA (both can be put behind a PIN number), while other apps include Funspot, Euronews, eBay, Napster, CNBC Real Time, Absolute Radio, Aupeo, Viewster, Films and Stars, Ted Talks, MeteoConsult and MyAlbum.

We shouldn't get too down on the Philips 46PFL7007's apps, since Philips promises that an upcoming update to its MyRemote app (which is available on iOS and Android devices) will get a new feature (initially only for iPhones and iPads) called Wi-Fi Smart Screen.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

This will make it possible to pull live TV showing on the Philips 46PFL7007 to phones and tablets on the same Wi-Fi network.

Elsewhere, the Philips 46PFL7007 doesn't have the top spec, but its advanced Pixel Precise HD suite of processing circuitry isn't bad value for money.

800Hz Perfect Natural Motion is onboard to lessen blur and resolution loss in fast-moving television, such as football.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

It proves a key technology, especially for 3D, where what Philips calls 3D Max Clarity 700 (the 700 refers to visible lines of resolution in a moving image) reigns supreme.

That's code for active shutter 3D, for which the Philips 46PFL7007 can offer a depth adjuster and a 2D to 3D converter for any source.

Connectivity is nothing short of utterly comprehensive. There is no other brand that offers five HDMI inputs, which takes the high-definition source count up to six if you include component video, which is also here.

Philips 46PFL7007 review

Three USB inputs add even more versatility, including a pause/rewind/record live TV feature (simply hook up an HDD and go through a short formatting process) and that optional Skype camera.

Also on the rear (left side) is an optical digital audio output, RF-in to power the built-in Freeview HD tuner, a VGA hook up for a PC or laptop, a headphones jack, and a Common Interface+ slot.

As well as adding convenience to those smart TV apps, the inclusion of wired LAN and Wi-Fi enable home networking of various digital music, video and photo files.