Philips 55PFL6007T review

Depth effects are anything but passive on this slender Easy 3D telly

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To test the 55PFL6007T's polarised 3D features we set off with London 2012: 3D Review, recorded on a TiVo box from BBC HD back in August.

The horizontal lines across the 55PFL6007T are immediately obvious, though so, too, is a window-like 3D effect.

Looking into the Olympic Park's crowds there's rarely a confusing 3D effect, and though the faces of the athletes are soft and sometimes blurry as they march past the cameras in the Olympic Stadium, there's a massive amount of depth.

It's due in no small part to some excellent contrast, which shows itself in pure black backgrounds in some of the arenas, bold colours, and an all-round level of detail that we wouldn't normally expect on an Easy 3D telly.

It's not perfect, though; crosstalk appears instantly if you watch in 3D from a tight angle, particularly in the backgrounds, while during the 100m sprint we also noticed crosstalk on the hands of the sprinters. Perhaps they were moving too fast for any TV tech to cope with.

Moving on to some basketball, and we think we may have found 3D's ideal sport; there's not a trace of shimmer or flicker as Argentina take on Russia, with the scoreboard graphic lifted into the foreground of a depth-tastic image packed with perspective.

The O2 Arena has never looked this good, though through all of this giddy depth we did notice frequent shimmer in the court markings and slightly blurry faces in the crowd behind.

Generally speaking, it's worth engaging HD Natural Motion for 3D Blu-ray discs, simply because it removes the judder.

Wandering panoramic shots, such as the opening of Hugo, benefit enormously from a small dose of HD Natural Motion, with the slight side-effect in this particular scene not being crosstalk, but a slight 'cardboard cut-out' look to people as the camera rushes past.

If HD Natural Motion is left on Maximum it does cause a modicum of crosstalk (images meant for each eye only start to overlap) and fizz around rapidly moving elements of the picture, though arguably the downsides of HD Natural Motion during 3D are far less than when the mode is used on 2D footage.

Incidentally, there is also a 3D Depth adjustment option, either 'normal' or 'more', though we couldn't discern much of a difference.

The 3D picture isn't as detailed and as pristine as on an active shutter set, but nor does it come with any stability issues, such as flicker or crosstalk.

We just can't make up our mind between the two competing 3D TV technologies, and obviously neither can Philips, but we do know that the 55PFL6007T offers one of the best polarised 3D performances we've yet to see.

If only we'd had the 55PFL6007T back in the heady days of the sporting summer…

Remarkably, the 55PFL6007T manages to get round the whole 'problem' of our brain getting used to 3D after about an hour; we were still getting a 3D fix towards the end of the London 2012 action during the volleyball final, gymnastics and canoeing. On the 55PFL6007T all three sports make for truly awesome 3D spectacles.

Later … With Jools Holland in HD from Freeview HD reveals a highly-detailed 2D image that, in the dark, moody confines of the studio, is encroached by areas of (albeit convincingly pure) black that lack fine detail within.

The startlingly contrast-heavy opening sequence of Hugo in 2D sees HD Natural Motion – on its lowest power – remove virtually all the otherwise-distracting judder, adding barely a twitch in terms of artifacts.

We know some people hate the video-look this kind of frame interpolation adds, but on Hugo it makes everything just look more real. However, it's here that we really notice that although contrast is good and black levels strong, there is little shadow detail within large areas of black, which appear crushed and indistinct.

On standard definition the 55PFL6007T manages a decent effort. A broadcast of Rising Damp on ITV 3 was marred by a certain amount of contouring and a sheen of picture noise, but it's blessedly not as stark as on some TVs.

Meanwhile, our test DVD Children of Men did appear to be very soft, and there wasn't much we or the 55PFL6007T could do about it.