March 15, 2010 The test team at Televisions.com brought all its extensive experience and skill into play to test the Philips 52 PFL 9704, a 52 inch Full HD Flat Panel LCD TV through a combination of subjective analysis and objective laboratory measurements. The Philips 52 incher scored 8.1 points on a scale of 10 in the Editors Rating owing to its highest contrast, multimedia capabilities, high motion clarity, accurate 24p reproduction and superb sound. The only negatives associated with the TV are unnatural colours, artifacts from local dimming and lack of user friendliness. Televisions.com editor-in-chief, Florian Friedrich said: The Philips 52 PFL 9704 exhibits the highest contrast ratios that we have ever tested a TV for. Extremely cinematic picture and good sound make it an interesting package.
The subsequent part of the review describes other features of the Philips 52 PFL 9704. The multimedia capabilities of this TV are extensive with Philips Net TV feature available which allows the playback of even YouTube videos, along with multimedia playback from a USB, the network or WLAN. The test team was visibly impressed with the Ambilight technology which looks splendid and also does not strain the eyes of the viewers. The local dimming reduces the power consumption to an impressively low 95 Watts. The tuner accepts analogue TV, DVB-T, and DVB-C, including HDTV signals, and also supports CI+ the forthcoming digital pay-TV standard. The review states that the remote control is well designed and fits snugly into the user hand, but the menu operation is complicated, not user friendly and suffers from lag. The Cinema preset is recommended for the most natural picture. A set-top box lacking format switching will cause problems as the PC Mode only display pictures in correct format when the 4:3 aspect ratio is up scaled to HD. The optimum motion clarity can be obtained at a contrast setting of 75. The test team found the performance of the Philips 52 PFL 9704 extremely impressive for the Blu-Ray playback. The performance is such that the bright spots are displayed in all their splendor and the blacks possess rich deep quality. The test team found that though the high contrast is excellent it does have its side-effects such as colour flicker and haloed edges which are more pronounced when viewed from the side. Local dimming adds to the woes here and inserts unnecessary shades of colours which can turn to be quite distracting even in the case of black and white pictures. The sound quality of the 52 PFL 9704 impressed the test team with equally good performance for music and speech. TV Reviews then provides a list of ideal settings derived by reviewers in the test lab for realistic playback of HDTV/Blu-ray via HDMI interface in a darkened environment. Friedrich said: Though the Philips 52 PFL 9704 suffers from side-effects of local dimming and colour fidelity, its high contrast, good sound and extensive multimedia capabilities make it a quality buy.