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Philips 32PFL9705 review

This Philips backlit LCD certainly falls into the 'desirable' category, but a lack of HD tuner and its high price work against it Tested at £1100

Our Verdict

It’s a good set, but the 9705 should be both a better deal and a better performer

For

  • Great styling, finish and features
  • impressive Blu-ray performance

Against

  • No HD tuner
  • issues with standard-def content
  • high price

A high-end 32in TV might seem a frippery, yet there's an appeal to the 32PFL9705's elegant styling and extensive spec.

The Philips might not be a telly that you really need, but it's definitely one you'll want.

Unless, of course, you want Freeview HD. Over the years Philips has excelled at the unique – think of another manufacturer that produces a 21:9 TV, for example – but even so, we'd imagine it rues the decision to omit free-to-air high-definition TV from its current range.

It's especially germane when you consider that rivals such as the Award-winning Panasonic TX-L32D25, have both Freeview HD and Freesat tuners.

Picture-enhancing tech abounds

Still, the 9705's other attractions are many. It's a local-dimming LED-backlit set armed with every picture-enhancing feature in the company's arsenal, from 200Hz Clear LCD and Perfect Natural Motion to Ambilight Spectra 3, the three-sided variant of Philips' system designed to make viewing comfier and more enjoyable.

There's no 3D, but that's no criticism: it's a matter of debate as to whether it matters in screens of this size.

So, to performance. At first glance, the 32PFL9705 impresses hugely: it's got all the colour vitality and sharpness we've come to expect from the company's range, and for all its standard-definition limitations, the Freeview tuner's respectable enough, barring a hint of noise.

Blu-ray pictures have dense blacks and pristine whites too – but peer closer, and you'll find that the darkest points suffer from a lack of insight.

Tweak the set's menus – and this being a Philips, there are plenty of options to play with – and you can improve things to a degree, but all the same, some rivals offer more variety.

Online wi-fi works well
The rest? The wi-fi-enabled online services work well, but are currently limited by a lack of useful content: again, others offer you more, at least for now.

Upscaling is a mixed bag with DVD – noise can be intrude on some discs – while sound is excellent: few firms can rival Philips in that regard.

That's not enough to redeem the 32PFL9705, though. It's a decent set and, as we said, a very desirable one – but that price, the lack of HD tuning and some other niggles conspire to undermine it.

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Specifications

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General Information

Product Series9000
Product NamePhilips 32PFL9705
Product Model32PFL9705H
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Brand NamePhilips
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number32PFL9705H/12

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
CI+Yes
VGAYes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports4

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand22 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate17 kg
Width with Stand76.7 cm
Weight Approximate16 kg
Height with Stand52.6 cm
Width76.7 cm
VESA Mount Standard100 x 100
Depth6.6 cm
Height49 cm
Dimensions49 cm (H): 76.7 cm (W): 6.6 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesAmbient Lighting
Aspect Ratio16:9
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Internet AccessYes
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Screen Size81.3 cm (32")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemSurround Sound

Energy and Performance

Standby Power Consumption140 mW
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080

Video

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

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes