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Philips 52PFL9703 LCD TV
LCD TVs are commonly reviewed by us, and today is no different. Except for the fact that this model is larger than normal. It’s a 52" LCD TV by Philips, and first things first; we had to lug our AV room’s sofa back a good two feet, so as to accommodate a nice viewing distance for this giant. It's not the largest size available of course but still, it will be fun watching a high def disc on this one. The model name is Philips Cineos 52PFL9703.
Design and Features
This TV is quite different from the smaller size Philips TVs we've covered in the past, in terms of design. Firstly, there is a thick transparent hardened glass border around the rectangular frame of the TV, while the bezel itself is on the narrower side. Thus at a perspective glance and due to its curved corners, the border gets quite a bit of prominence. The stand is elliptical, and of a similar finish to the bezel, which is a glossy black. Yes fingerprints will prevail, and the war against them will never be won.
The speaker system is at the bottom of the back panel, and is well concealed, and functionally I'm sure there is no problem with its position. The back panel has the usual grilles and connection window at its right side, and a small connection slot resides on the side panel itself. The connectivity options are plenty - 4 HDMI 1.3 slots, 2 component video ins, an USB slot, PC input( VGA), headphone out, digital audio out (coaxial cable) and the regular RCA style composite video and audio inputs.
Feature wise the TV is a buffet, what with every modern LCD technology incorporated in some way. We have 24p frame rate for watching films, 100 Hz viewing, Perfect Pixel HD Engine, Perfect Natural Motion (these are proprietary names for Signal processors in the TV that enhance the images), Wide Color Gamut display, 3/2 - 2/2 motion pull down, 3D Combfilter, Active Control + Light sensor and more.
The screen is 1920 x 1080, with a dynamic contrast ratio of 55000:1. Did I hear anyone say 'meaningless'? Anyways, I have quite complied with the stupid marketing norms these days... Also the response time is a mere 2 ms, which is great if actually true. Please see pic for complete specs.
The first thing to be noted are the numerous options and element in the menu, which is only to be expected with such a high number of features. Calibrating this beast is not only fun, but also quite mentally engaging.
First, the user preset was used, and the best option obviously was to keep it as unscaled 1080p screen format, as we were testing with 1080p signals itself. Though later, the Xbox and DVDs would come on, to see what the screen can do with images not of its native resolution. The black levels are very deep, here, the TV was passing all the black and white test patterns in Display mate.
We could get a vibrant contrast level by switching dynamic contras in the menu to medium, and also sharpness levels kept at half made the pic quite splendid. Though here, I would like to make one point: the gamma level of this TV is a little off normal levels, and it is suggested to connect it to a PC, and run the gamma optimizer of your graphics card (we have a NVIDIA 9800 GTX, so we used its wizard).
The colors are absolutely spot on, we watched Ratatouille on Blu-ray, and were quite transfixed, to be honest. Next, I got the gamers to play GOW2, this time connected via component cables, and this too looked spectacular in terms of color and contrast. We played Pure on PC via HDMI, to see motion images. Even here the TV fared very well. There was a level of accuracy in the details, and a noticeable difference when 100 Hz was on. Motion blur was not totally eliminated, nor were jaggie edges but the overall experience was still good. The picture was not as spectacular on a simple VGA analog connection, or a DVD player component video connection.
2,20,000 is the price, and expectedly so, as Philips intends this to be its premier series. A 52-inch, powerful LCD will most definitely be expensive, and I feel it's worth it for someone who has already had a good HD system like a PS3 or HTPC with a Blu-ray drive etc. Great for gamers, 1080p movies, digital set top boxes etc.