Philips 42PFL9703 review

This is one of the best 42in screens out there. Whether it's worth the money, only you can decide Tested at £1600.00

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Our Verdict

This is one of the best 42in screens out there. Whether it's worth the money, only you can decide


  • A handsome, distinctive TV
  • superbly detailed images
  • superior sound


  • Byzantine set-up process
  • seems pricey, even for this level of performance

Some manufacturers seek to persuade you it's possible to make a 42in LCD TV discreet. Philips knows that's nonsense, so instead chooses to make its big tellies as elegant and interesting as possible.

The extensive specification, Philips' unique Ambilight technology (here on three sides) and fine build quality all bolster the good early impressions.

But then there's that sharp-intake-of-breath price-tag.

Set-up is complicated. There's sub-menu within sub-menu, and it's more of a trial to get a Philips screen looking the part than with any nominal competitor.

Detailed images and distinct audio
Perseverance brings rewards, though. The 42PFL9703 eventually delivers lavishly detailed pictures from the Blu-ray remaster of The Godfather, and shows a deft touch with colours, contrasts and skin tones.

Though it's not quite the 'blackest' LCD we've seen, low-light scenes retain fine details, and depth of field – an Ambilight strong suit – is prodigious.

On a lesser scale, these traits are apparent in both DVD playback and from either tuner.

TV reception, in particular, impresses with its natural colours and secure edge definition. In all circumstances, the Philips sounds chunkily distinct.

The Philips doesn't do enough to warrant five stars, though. We've no issue with picture or sound – and we're au fait with the idea of a premium product.

Compared with the Sony KDL-40W4500 that took our Product of the Year Award, though, the '9703's performance isn't the improvement the price suggests it should be.


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General Information

Manufacturer Website Address
Brand NamePhilips
Product Series9000
Product TypeLCD TV
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number42PFL9703
Product NamePhilips 42PFL9703
Product Model42PFL9703


Package Contents
  • 42PFL9703 LCD TV
  • RF Antenna Cable
  • Power Cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • User Manual
  • Warranty Certificate
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries for Remote Control


Total Number of HDMI Ports4

Technical Information

FeaturesFavorite Channel Selection, Picture in Picture, Auto Program
Aspect Ratio16:9
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")

Energy and Performance

Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080

Power Description

Input Voltage220 V AC


RMS Output Power30 W
Sound SystemDolby


Digital TunerDVB-T
Scan Format1080p

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate22.70 kg
ColourGlossy Black