Philips 46pfl9705

Philips now includes its originally optional 3D kit as standard within the set's (recently reduced) £2,300 price. This 3D kit gives you an external 3D transmitter and two pairs of 3D glasses.

It almost goes without saying that the 3D system supported by the 46PFL9705H is the latest full HD, active shutter one.

As part of its efforts to tackle the crosstalk issues associated with 3D on LCD TVs, Philips has equipped the 46PFL9705H with 400Hz processing. Or to be more precise, 200Hz accompanied by a scanning backlight, a system that, with a claimed panel response of 0.5ms, reportedly makes the 46PFL9705H the fastest LCD in the world.

This is on top of the fact that direct LED lighting should carry more innate resistance to crosstalk than the edge-mounted array of the 40PFL8605, because the scanning backlight in direct-lit displays only generates light in parts of the screen where pixels have already 'settled down', rather than when a pixel is first addressed.

The other string to the 46PFL9705H's picture processing bow is Philips' formidable Perfect Pixel HD engine. With 500-megapixels of raw power at its disposal, this applies itself to contrast, colour, sharpness, noise reduction, motion clarity, judder... if it's involved in building a TV picture, Perfect Pixel HD will try to improve it.

Of course, heavy processing won't be to everyone's taste, so it's reassuring to find that Philips has provided the tools to adjust the intensity of all the key components of the Perfect Pixel system.

Turning to less technical matters, the 46PFL9705H's design could fairly be described as a feature, for as well applying a metallic silver face to a strikingly svelte (for a direct LED set) rear end, the frame also carries Ambilight.

This strip of LED lights down the TV's edges pumps out pools of light coloured sympathetically to whatever is onscreen and, while there is a whiff of gimmickry about it, Philips is able to cite scientific research that suggests that Ambilight makes long-term viewing more relaxing and immersive.

A scan of the 46PFL9705's sockets delivers a swift reminder of another of its key features: it's got a USB input, an Ethernet port for hooking up to networked PCs, and most impressively, built-in Wi-Fi. What's more, the amount of file formats supported via these inputs is truly exceptional, running well beyond the now-standard JPEG, MP3 and DivX options.

The Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections can also be used to access Philips' NetTV online service, which combines a selection of handpicked content with open internet surfing via a built-in Opera browser.

The ring-fenced stuff is a bit uninspiring compared to what Sony and Samsung are offering these days, with precious little non-subscription video streaming; even the subscription stuff is lacking in volume and short on appeal. But the open browsing is a real boon, especially as Philips has made a surprisingly good job of enabling you to input web addresses and navigate links via the remote control.

It's a nice touch, too, that you can save downloaded content to SD card via a provided slot.
A final interesting multimedia touch of the 46PFL9705 finds it able to reproduce your PC desktop on the TV screen, using software supplied with the TV.

Given that the 46PFL9705H appears to have been built without compromise, there is one surprising absentee from the features list: a Freeview HD tuner. This is clearly an oversight, given how commonplace these have suddenly become and in recognition of this Philips recently reduced the price of the TV by more than it would cost you to buy a typical external hi-def terrestrial set-top box.