If you’re looking for a flatscreen TV to watch the World Cup on, then the 1080p Philips 47PFL9664 is well worth a look. The handsome brushed aluminium bezel and smart two-tone styling mark this out as one of Philips’ premium sets. And like all of the brand’s upper-end models, apart from the super skinny Essence, it comes with the familiar Ambilight illumination.
It’s Ambilight Spectra 2 in this case, which provides pools of light behind the TV on two sides that sync closely with the colours on screen. It’s an appealing effect and one that improves the set’s perceived contrast ratio. Unconvinced? You can always switch it off with a single button on the similarly stylish remote control.
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Philips 47PFL9664: Sound and picture quality
Despite packing decent 2x 15W stereo speakers and two 15W rear mounted subwoofers along with the extra LED lamps, this is a slim set that bulges to just 5cm at its deepest point. It’s not as narrow, or as bright, as the LED backlit screens here, but the substantial speakers ensure this set sounds the most powerful and precise of them all.
And thanks to the revved up Perfect Pixel HD Engine – the fancy name for Philips’ video processor – this set does a fine job of tidying up standard definition material to fit the native high definition screen. The powerful chip goes further to sharpen edges, minimize motion blur and generally freshen up the colours. It works well, but we’re glad you have the option to fine tune and tone down each enhancement, which can begin to make the picture look unrealistic.
Philips 47PFL9664: Features and connectivity
Boasting a fifth HDMI port, 2x Scart, component, composite, this is an exceptionally well connected TV and there’s Wi-Fi in addition to the Ethernet port for joining your home network and accessing the online Applicast features like Tunin.fm, YouTube and eBay. Philips’ web content goes further than other brands to offer a full browser, so that you can type in any URL you like. Using the remote to type is a little fiddly, but it could be an appealing feature for armchair web surfers. Content is still no match for the excellent Bravia Internet TV we saw on the Sony Bravia KDL-46EX503. There’s no 3D either, like the Samsung UE46C7000, although the 3D Philips 9000 series is on its way.
There’s no LED backlight to boost the brightness or contrast of the picture, but the Philips still manages to offer an appealingly sharp and focused image. As this set came out before Freeview went all high definition on us, it doesn’t come with a Freeview HD tuner, which rules out any free HD broadcasts, you’d get from the Panasonic P46G20B, but you can always add your own set top box like the Humax Foxsat T2.