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Philips LCD 42PFL9532
Design and Features
Like all Philips TVs, this comes in an all-black bezel with a glossy finish. The stand is rectangular, with a similar exterior, though the neck of the stand is in metallic silver. The TV has a slim, horizontal black speaker attached to the bottom of the frame, while the left side has the buttons for operation. All in all, this is a good-looking TV that eschews curves and other costly design facets, yet fits easily into a classy décor.
In the rear are 3 HDMI connections, the norm these days. Component, composite and the rest are also present. A USB inlet plays JPEGs and MP3s, though not videos (that would be the day)! Though I feel that viewing JPEGs on such a large screen will definitely lead to pixelation, Philips deserves credit for adding the feature.
The PFL9532 has a large number of features: some proprietary, some generic. Like all full-HD panels, this one too plays up to 1080p 50/60 Hz, and everything below, so resolution is not an issue. Philips has clearly jumped on to the frame-rate doubling bandwagon, so we get some interpolated 100 Hz frame rates: but how useful it actually is a topic of discussion.
Perfect Pixel HD and HD Natural Motion are the proprietary features; these have performed well in the past. Dynamic contrast is 8000:1, brightness is 550 cd/m2, and the color chip uses 14 bit processing. That’s what’s stated – if accurate, the colors are sure to be good.
And... it’s got the Ambilight, arguably the ‘bestest’ feature ever!
Our expectations are high, thanks to the Blu-ray players we have been reviewing. We plugged the PFL9532 in to our PS3 first, as we are familiar with the content on it. But before I start gaming (oops, now you know how TVs are reviewed here), the necessary calibration disc was pressed into service. The DVE disc, which has never failed us, is practically part of the family now.
Blacks were not the blackest, though in comparison with some other brands it impresses. Even with contrast the limits are good, but not spectacular – nowhere near a plasma, for instance. What was good was the color accuracy: it was intricate and lovely to look at.
The menu system in Philips TVs consist of a blue-and-white GUI that takes up the whole screen when turned on, and can be a little irritating as a blue screen constantly intrudes in your frame of vision. When you go into the actual setting of each parameter, however, a normal level indicator strip comes on the side of the screen.
I turned on all the features: pixel plus, HD natural stuff etc. The outcome? A decent image flow, with motion frames being treated well. Jaggies and blur were present here and there, and an acute amount of background noise lingered – especially in open, monotone images. But all this was in tolerable amounts; only if you are a fanatic would all this make a difference.
We're seeing a gradual improvement in LCD TVs, with each new model. The question is: it possible to get full-HD fun at an affordable price? I think yes. The PFL9532 costs Rs 1,19,990, and that is a good thing. After all, not all of us can afford Rs 1.7 lakh and above. You wouldn’t get the best picture quality, but you do get solid value for money.