Philips 46PFL9704 review

The Philips 46PFL9704 is now a discontinued model. Tested at £2200.00

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Our Verdict

It’s still superb, but the Philips should no longer be the only telly on your shopping list

For

  • Stunning looks and build
  • effective depth-enhancing Ambilight
  • detailed, punchy pictures all-round
  • great sound

Against

  • New rivals offer even greater black insight and motion
  • no Freeview HD

Where most manufacturers tend to announce and launch their new telly ranges in one great push, Philips has a much more staggered approach.

That's why the 46PFL9704, though theoretically one of 2009's sets, didn't make it to our shores until our April 2009 issue, and will continue to be available until its replacement arrives in around October.

Since its original First Test we've been keen to put the Philips up against its new rivals, and now we have, we can confirm that, while it remains an excellent premium TV, it's no longer the very best in its class.

Good-looking and well built
It is, however, still the best-looking. Others are slimmer, but none is as stylish or as solidly built. Besides, that extra thickness is a result not only of a full-array LED backlight, but also of three-channel Ambilight, which projects the colours from the edge of the screen onto the wall behind.

It's a feature we're very keen on, as it adds extra perceived depth to images, making 3:10 to Yuma's awesome scenery shots more epic and enveloping.

Given Philips' track record it's no surprise that the 46PFL9704 also proves to be one of the punchiest and sharpest performers with this Blu-ray transfer.

The faces of Russell Crowe's band of outlaws are as weather-worn and craggy as they should be, and the regular fire-fights benefit from the accomplished contrast levels.

This Philips could improve
The new competitors do highlight a couple of areas in which the Philips could improve, though. Blacks look deep, but there's not as much insight into them as offered elsewhere, so the last few details can be lost in dark corners.

It's also fair to say that, while many manufacturers are more than competent in terms of motion processing, this Philips is a little further behind.

There's occasionally a touch of smear to horizontal pans, and it doesn't quite grip fast action as well as the best.

Of course, the 46PFL9704 is still impressive – you can add excellent stability and detail retrieval from standard-def DVD and Freeview to its list of accomplishments.

What's more, it's still the best-sounding flatscreen in its class, with weight, detail and directness that its rivals just can't match. Overall, though, there are now alternatives that just pip it to the top.

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Specifications

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General Information

Product Series9000
Product NamePhilips 46PFL9704
Product Model46PFL9704H
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Brand NamePhilips
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number46PFL9704H

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
VGAYes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports5

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand28 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate29 kg
Width with Stand112.3 cm
Weight Approximate42 kg
Height with Stand76.7 cm
Width112.3 cm
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Depth8.9 cm
Height70.1 cm
ColourAluminium
Dimensions70.1 cm (H): 112.3 cm (W): 8.9 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesAmbient Lighting, Picture and Text (PAT), Child Lock, Sleep Timer, Auto Program, Favorite Channel Selection, Channel Labeling, Teletext
Aspect Ratio16:9
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Internet AccessYes
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Screen Size116.8 cm (46")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Audio

RMS Output Power30 W
Sound SystemVirtual Dolby

Energy and Performance

Standby Power Consumption150 mW
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Operating Power Consumption104 W

Video

Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Package Contents
  • 46PFL9704H LED-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