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Philips 37PFL9632D Review
When I reviewed a less expensive LCD television from Philips six months ago, I remember not being terribly impressed with its calibrated picture quality, but I did point out that almost none of the technologies which made Philips famous were implemented on that particular model.
Now that I've got my hands on the Philips 37PFL9632D – fully loaded with their proprietary picture-enhancing wizardries including Ambilight, Perfect Pixel HD, HD Natural Motion and 100Hz Clear LCD – let's see if it fares better in our tests.
The Philips 37PFL9632D showcases a chic double-frame styling: the LCD screen is framed by a glossy black bezel which is accentuated by silver borders; this bezel then sits forward from a larger black frame that sports a perforated appearance and more silver trim.
The matte finish of the trim matches that of the swivelling pedestal connecting the panel to an elegant black glass base featuring a transparent rim. The pedestal stand comes pre-attached to the panel out-of-the-box which is always a plus in my books given the number of televisions I set up and test each month.
Turning our attention to the back, the cabinet is flanked by a pair of light panels constituting Philips' trademark Ambilight technology. Overall build quality is sound with a well-screwed chassis and little evidence of cheap plastics.
The Philips 37PFL9632D's connectivity could probably be best described as slightly quirky. For starters, its digital audio output is of the coaxial rather than the optical variant. And whereas most other HDTVs offering three HDMI inputs would feature one on the side, all three on the Philips 37PFL9632D are found at the back, perhaps due to space limitations imposed by the physical presence of Ambilight at the sides.
|Rear connections (downwards): 3 x HDMI, aerial, CI slot, audio outs|
Also notable are the absence of VGA input (those wishing to connect a PC would have to take up a HDMI port via the DVI-HDMI route), and the replacement of the more conventional dual RCA/ phono connectors with a single 3.5mm mini jack socket for component audio feed (i.e. you'll probably need to buy a dual-RCA-to-mini-jack cable/ adaptor separately).
|Rear connections: 2 x Scarts, 1 x component (note 3.5mm jack audio socket)|
Philips has thoughtfully included a USB port on the side though, that you can use to listen to MP3s, view JPEG photos and slides, and update the firmware on Philips 37PFL9632D.
|Left side: Svideo, comp, headphone, USB
||Right side: control buttons & Ambilight