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Philips 42PFL7662D Test Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
6 July 2007

SUMMARY
While it may dazzle in showrooms, 42PFL7662D is found lacking in key Philips technology, connectivity and calibrated picture quality.

PROS
> 1:1 pixel mapping over HDMI and component (1080i)
> Independent input memory settings
> Extremely speedy user menu and channel navigation

CONS
> Average blacks with persistent dynamic dimming
> No backlight control
> No VGA input nor analogue/ digital audio output

Pros

  • 1:1 pixel mapping can be achieved over HDMI and component (1080i)
  • Independent input memory settings
  • Extremely speedy on-screen menu and channel navigation
  • Semi-transparent user menu background
  • Soothing EPG layout
  • Almost silent operation
  • Solid swivelling glass-base stand

Cons

  • Average blacks with persistent dynamic dimming
  • No backlight control
  • Red push could not be completely eliminated
  • 1:1 pixel mapping [Native Resolution] available only on 1080i and not 1080p
  • 1:1 pixel mapping [Native Resolution] setting cannot be saved
  • Failed to detect 3:2/ 2:2 cadence and apply film mode deinterlacing over 480i/ 576i
  • No VGA input port
  • No analogue or digital audio output
  • Judder present when fed with 1080p/24 PS3 signal
  • Average viewing angle (drastic contrast/ colour drop-off beyond 45° off-axis)
  • Backlight bleed and vertical banding (may be specific to my unit)

Conclusion

To me, Philips is a company that has mastered the art of producing flat panels that dazzle in showrooms. When Colin and I started this website back in February 2007, the very first HDTV we went out and buy was the Philips 42PF9831D, because we were so impressed by its picture performance which outshone a Sony W2000 and a Panasonic PX600 flanking it in the Trafford Centre John Lewis AV room.

However, once we brought it back to our test environment, we discovered to our dismay that achieving D65 with the 42PF9831D was more difficult than Pete Doherty quitting drugs. It's a similar story with the 42PFL7662D – Philips appeared to have hardcoded some gamma manipulation and colour decoder deviation designed to make the panel stand out from rival televisions in showrooms... at the expense of colour and greyscale accuracy.

My point is this: some people like this sort of picture, and I can understand why. It's sharp. It's bright. It's vivid. Ultimately you should buy what your eyes prefer, and if cool colour temp floats your boat, the Philips 42PFL7662D deserves some consideration. Having said this, it lacks most of the illustrious technologies that define Philips as a respected flat screen TV manufacturer, so it may be worthwhile waiting for better models arriving later this year that will incorporate Ambilight, Perfect Pixel HD, HD Natural Motion or 100Hz Clear LCD.

If – on the other hand – you appreciate an accurate picture and want to watch a movie the way the director intended it to be watched, then the Philips 42PFL7662D is not for you. In my opinion, this TV is a product that has been hastily slapped together as an afterthought by Philips to jump on the 1080p bandwagon, with poor connectivity and picture quality given its price.

P.S. Back to the Philips 42PF9831D story. We later reviewed the Sony KDL40W2000 and Panasonic TH42PX70 (successor to PX600) on which we achieved D65 greyscale with no colour decoding error fairly easily. Post-calibration, their picture quality simply blew the 42PF9831D away (in the eyes of two D65 zealots of course).


Back To: 42PFL7662D Review

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