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Philips 42PFL9664 review

Utterly brilliant. £1500 might sound a tad pricey but this is one of the most exciting sets we've seen in years Tested at £1500.00

5 Star Rating

Our Verdict

£1500 might sound like a lot of money, but just one look at the Philips in action proves it’s worth every penny


  • Astonishing detail and sharpness creates brilliant images
  • spot-on colour balance
  • largely excellent motion handling
  • robust sound


  • Not the easiest set to calibrate
  • some offer slightly greater black depth

TV Product of the Year 2009

Philips' new range-topper is an absolute stonker, and replaces the 42PES001 ‘Essence' that won a previous 40-42in TV Supertest.

The 42PFL9664 doesn't have the Essence's two-box arrangement. Instead all of the processing chips and connections are built into the main unit like a ‘normal' telly.

But what a unit it is – the quality of materials and construction is miles ahead of the competition. It's not as slim as others, but the Philips has a fifth HDMI, wi-fi, and depth-enhancing Ambilight built in.

Picture detail is incredible
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is an excellent tester, and right off the bat the Philips is stunning.

Just as the film begins, the Warner Bros. and Harry Potter logos fly at the screen, and vast amounts of extra detail are visible in the craggy surface. This detail combines with incredibly sharp motion to create an image so three-dimensional it's as if the formations are emerging from the panel.

The 200Hz motion processing continues to impress as the camera pans over the sleepy town, with the pattern of houses failing entirely to confuse the screen.

It's not always perfect, though, and there is the odd peculiar bit of ghosting that some rivals don't suffer. But given how much more detailed the Philips is – and the gap is remarkably wide – that's a small price to pay.

The Philips has even more neutral colours, too, which means Harry's face is as youthful as Dumbledore's is leathery.

Impressive sound for a flatscreen
The Philips' onboard scaler is a little soft, so if your source will upscale, that's where to do it. Do so and the TV once again proves to be the most detailed and balanced by some way.

It seems the Freeview tuner is good enough to make up for the upscaler's shortcoming, so softness is less noticeable than the excellent vibrancy and stability.

Finally, as if picture supremacy wasn't enough, the Philips rounds-off its performance with audio that's got decent bass weight and definition, clear vocals and surprisingly good rhythmic precision – mighty impressive by flatscreen standards.

In short, the Philips is a brilliant TV, and genuinely one of the most exciting sets we've seen in years. What's more, Philips has just dropped the price from £1700 to £1500.

Watch our Awards video of the Philips PFL9664

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General Information

Product Series9000
Product NamePhilips 42PFL9664
Product Model42PFL9664H
Manufacturer Website Address
Brand NamePhilips
Product TypeLCD TV
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number42PFL9664H/12


Total Number of HDMI Ports5

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand26 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate21.10 kg
Width with Stand100 cm
Weight Approximate18.30 kg
Height with Stand69.1 cm
Width100 cm
VESA Mount Standard300 x 300
Depth5 cm
Height62.8 cm
ColourBrushed Aluminium
Dimensions62.8 cm (H): 100 cm (W): 5 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesChannel Labeling
Aspect Ratio16:9
Internet AccessYes
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")

Network and Communication

Wireless LANYes


RMS Output Power30 W
Sound SystemDolby

Energy and Performance

Standby Power Consumption150 mW
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Operating Power Consumption208 W


Digital TunerDVB-T
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz


DLNA CertifiedYes
Package Contents
  • 42PFL9664H LCD TV
  • Tabletop Swivel Stand
  • RF Antenna Cable
  • Power Cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Certificate
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries for Remote Control
  • Legal and Safety Brochure
  • Net TV Brochure

Power Description

Input Voltage220 V AC