Philips 37PFL9604 review

Once again Philips has produced a thoroughly premium set; the only snag is that thoroughly premium price to match Tested at £1000.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Philips certainly delivers enough to justify the price. Money no object? This is the 37in set you should select


  • +

    Full HD spec with Ambilight and integrated wireless

  • +

    premium build and finish

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    class-leading picture and sound


  • -

    You have to pay for that performance

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It's clear that all our senses come in to play when it comes to discerning how we feel about something.

Dine out at a swanky restaurant and it won't just be the taste of the food, but the way it appears on your plate, the look of the staff and even the feel of the cutlery and chairs.

Similarly, drive an old banger and the sound of the door and feel of the steering wheel will tell you as much as a look at a rust-raddled bumper.

A quality product all round
This set exudes premium quality in every sense. From the feel of the TV itself, to the rigidity of connections and remote control, to the look of the Ambilight design and the sound of each button press.

It has the spec to match, with a Full HD resolution, four HDMI inputs (one on the side) and Ambilight Spectra 2 and perfect pixel picture technologies.

Not content with all that, this set also boasts an integrated wireless connection, allowing you to connect to your home network and stream content from your PC or use the Net TV service to view content such as YouTube and other video websites.

Setting a Philips TV up is always liable to take a little longer than the average, thanks to the wealth of features at your disposal, but big, clear menus make it a fairly simple process.

Switch picture technologies off
As ever, we prefer the majority of picture technologies off, or at least on low. The Ambilight Spectra 2 means you get two sides of glowing lights.

When the set is up against the wall, it does serve to create a sense of extra contrast and drama, not to mention easing strain on your eyes.

Showing the Blu-ray of Terminator Salvation the Philips is immediately massively impressive. There's a sheen to the image, with thick, plasma-like black levels, vivid colours and a level of detail that ensures a rounded picture that's given real texture.

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DVD images show smooth motion handling and a welcome absence of any digital noise.

Switch to the TV tuner and it's again a step above, with sharply drawn edges, natural colours and a clean finish ensuring solid off-air viewing.

A reassuringly authoritative, clear and detailed set of speakers caps things off.

It looks like a premium product, feels like a premium product and performs like a premium product. The one drawback is that premium price…

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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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