Philips 32PFL9604 review

There's no doubt that the '9604 is a hugely impressive set, but for £999 it can't quite pick up the full five-stars Tested at £999.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The '9604 is one of the best 32in sets we've seen this year, but it doesn't push performance to a level that can justify its price


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    Huge aesthetic appeal

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    sophisticated menus

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    fantastic with Freeview and Blu-ray images


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    Price, price, did we mention the price?

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Following the demise of Pioneer TVs, it has fallen to manufacturers such as Philips to produce high-end flatscreens to fill the void.

With a price-tag only a few pennies short of a grand, the 32PFL9604 certainly falls into the top end of the 32in LCD TV pricing spectrum.

Its look and feel is undoubtedly that of a premium TV: the real aluminium, charcoal frame comes over all sultry and sophisticated, while the slick remote control simply adds to the allure.

Philips' funky new menu system looks great and uses bold, neon blue graphics to guide you around a mind-boggling number of picture settings.

All manner of features
The Philips' connectivity and feature count is also befitting of a premium TV and includes five HDMI inputs and wireless internet connectivity.

Pleasingly, picture performance is also of a high standard. Freeview images are exceptionally stable and clean.

The absence of any significant on-screen noise allows the TV to extract impressive levels of detail. The Blu-ray of Training Day is a notoriously difficult test disc, but the '9604 never panics and displays a balanced, detailed picture.

Black tones boast solidity while movement and detail are generally handled confidently.

But for all its strengths, class-leading sets costing several hundred pounds less can match this set when it comes to performance.

The Philips is very good, but not quite good enough to justify five stars at the price.

See all our 32in TV reviews

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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