It looks pretty and pictures are excellent, but it’s a bit of a pain to set up and useWrite your own review
- Gorgeous looking set with Ambilight on or off
- fantastic detail and edge definition
- one of the most balanced and natural colour performances around
- great spec
- decent sound
- Pointless processing modes
- ill-conceived remote
- more noise than most
Styling-wise manufacturers have two options: make a flatscreen that blends in, or make one that looks lovely.
Once you get above 42in, though, blending in isn't much of an option, so it's good news that this top-of-the-range (Full HD and four HDMIs) 47in Philips is a real stunner.
However, initial set-up isn't so great – you get pleasant menus, but you also get a nightmarish picture calibrator, which is exacerbated by an unresponsive click-wheel remote.
The problem is the glut of picture options – on top of the standard adjustments, you get a whole host of Perfect Pixel HD preferences. We spent hours experimenting with each one, and in the end decided that our favoured picture involved turning them all off. That's right: every one.
An extremely natural colour palette
Once that's done, the picture this Philips produces is lovely. The colour palette is one of the most natural and neutral around, so the Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray looks as vibrant as the Saving Private Ryan DVD looks subtle and subdued.
Both optical formats and the onboard Freeview tuner benefit from one of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of any TV in this class, revealing wrinkles on faces as well as delivering lovely three-dimensional scenery, the depth of which is enhanced by the Ambilight.
There is a price to be paid for this detail, though – noise. There's fuzziness in areas of flat colour, even when viewing high-definition material. This can be fixed by turning the noise reduction feature on, but this increases motion-smear.
Nevertheless, we're still very keen on the 'PFL9603D thanks to that exceptional detail and colour balance. Throw in a terrific sonic performance and you've got a great premium TV