Philips PFL5907 sequence assessment: One of many higher LED TV values

Its strengths embody deep black ranges and good shadow element for an LED TV, natural-looking shade in most scenes, and a very good mixture of options — together with a singular mirroring resolution for appropriate TVs. Sure, its image has its dangerous factors, too, and people mixed with lack of 3D make it an inferior worth in contrast with the wonderful Vizio M3D0KD, for instance, or one of many higher low cost plasmas just like the Samsung PNE450 sequence. That stated, the Philips PFL5907 continues to be value contemplating by individuals who desire a well-balanced, aggressively priced midrange LED TV.

Philips PFL5907 sequence a very good worth amongst LED TVs (photos)

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Sequence info: I carried out a hands-on analysis of the 46-inch Philips 46PFL5907/F7, however this assessment additionally applies to the opposite display screen sizes within the sequence. All sizes have similar specs and in keeping with the producer ought to present very comparable image high quality.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Fashions in sequence (particulars)

Whereas its rivals toss out rectangular items of plastic that masquerade as the only real assist of 80-pound glass weapons, Philips has adopted a extra elegant and sturdier method to TV stands. The Philips PFL5907 includes a swiveling, heavy, tempered-glass base that provides to the load of the TV in an anchoring, quite than dangerous, method. The design of the TV is in any other case nondescript, with a piano-black gloss body surrounding the display screen.

The distant will not be very intuitive to make use of. Sarah Tew/CNET

How do I put this delicately? Philips’ distant is bizarre! It is the gadget equal of a one-bedroom condo with two loos — it has two again buttons. Moreover, the horizontal (quite than vertical) association of its Channel and Quantity buttons is counterintuitive.

Philips’ menu design is paying homage to these iconic

T-shirts from a couple of years in the past, with an analogous black-on-white starkness and modern really feel. It is pretty simple to navigate, too, even when the VU meter-like icons for every setting’s worth could be higher changed by precise numbers.

The menu has a recent look however may very well be extra informative. Sarah Tew/CNET
“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Key TV options “=””>Different: MediaConnect PC Mirroring

Show know-how LCD LED backlight Edge-lit
Display end Shiny Distant Normal
Good TV Sure Web connection Constructed-in Wi-Fi
3D know-how No 3D glasses included No
Refresh charge(s) 240Hz Dejudder (clean) processing Sure, No
DLNA-compliant Photograph/Music/Video USB Photograph/Music/Video

Philips’ MediaConnect service, launched final 12 months, helps you to mirror no matter’s in your PC display screen. Because it suffers from important lag, making mousing and typing a irritating expertise at greatest, its primary goal is to stream music and video. In use I discovered it to be very fiddly, and it could solely run with my PC set to 1,024×768-pixel decision over a state-of-the-art router (an older router, regardless of being Wi-fi-N, would not enable it to work in any respect). Final 12 months this characteristic was nonetheless distinctive, however as WiDi and AirPlay mirroring have gained extra assist, it is grow to be even much less related than it was earlier than.

MediaConnect permits PC mirroring. Sarah Tew/CNET

In any other case the PFL5907’s options are typical for a midrange edge-lit LED TV. Because it would not have 3D, you do not have entry to 3D Blu-ray content material, however that additionally means you do not have to pay by means of the nostril for peripherals you in all probability will not use. The 5907 features a new 240Hz movement compensation engine for smoothing/dejudder that Philips calls Excellent Movement Charge. This characteristic joins Philips’ Pixel Plus HD image processor.

Good TV: Till LG and Philips’ Good TV Alliance comes into impact, Philips continues to make use of its NetTV platform. Its charcoal-gray interface appears to be like a bit dated and somber in contrast with the slick, wealthy 2012 sensible TV choices of LG, Samsung, and others.

The NetTV interface is a bit of drab. Sarah Tew/CNET

Philips’ newest growth is Good Cloud, which signifies that the put in apps are up to date mechanically, without having to root round in an app retailer your self. Sadly, the addition of Good Cloud icons does confuse the interface a bit of. The App Gallery perform is complicated, too, because it looks as if it needs to be an App Retailer, but it surely merely offers an much more restricted number of apps than what’s provided by the entrance web page.

The standout apps listed here are Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora; the principle video service lacking is Amazon. Whereas Philips has the compulsory Fb and Twitter apps, it does lack a Net browser or the useful Skype. For those who’re a puzzle recreation fan, although, the free inclusion of Bejeweled 2 ought to maintain you busy for a time.

For a take a look at the total Philips NetTV suite and the way it compares with rivals’, verify right here.

Image settings: One in all my colleague David Katzmaier’s complaints about final 12 months’s Philips was its lack of image controls. Nonetheless, in 2012, tweakers like ourselves will rejoice! The TV features a two-point grayscale in addition to a Colour Administration System (CMS). Whereas it would not work that effectively (see the calibration notes for extra on this) at the very least it is a begin. My solely gripe is that as quickly as you contact a management in a single mode — Cinema, for instance — it instantly switches you over to Private, which might be complicated. Philips is not the one producer to do that, although.

Extra annoyingly is that while you’re watching NetTV content material, the TV switches to Normal mode, which permits the smoothing dejudder mode by default and cannot be modified. For those who’re a videophile and a fan of Netflix, this is not the TV for you.

Connectivity: Although the PFL5907 is Philips’ present flagship, by way of the place it sits out there it counts as a midrange TV, and from that perspective its appointments are usually spectacular. Customers will recognize its 4 HDMI ports and two USB ports, although with out something apart from a USB media browser obtainable and no Skype digicam accent, you in all probability will not want the second USB port. The TV additionally has a part enter and a composite enter. Web connectivity is dealt with by each an Ethernet port and onboard wi-fi.

Image high quality
Philips’ best accomplishment within the PFL5907 is that it may well talk deeper blacks than TVs twice the worth or extra and but nonetheless convey intricate shadow particulars. Whereas TVs just like the LG LM7600 are higher in some methods, they can not conjure up as a lot distinction as this Philips can. Uniformity was fairly good with solely a bit of purple tinge within the corners, and whereas I did use the dynamic backlight perform it fortunately lacked the blooming of the price-competitive Vizio M3D0KD whereas providing virtually as a lot distinction.

The place the Philips falters, nonetheless, is in shade constancy. Whereas the inclusion of a CMS is laudable, it did not work effectively in apply, and colours lacked the richness seen on competing units. Pores and skin tones appeared pure, however reds lacked saturation and got here out wanting orange, whereas blues have been additionally a bit of purple. In the meantime, inexperienced was simply nice!

Click on the picture on the proper to see the image settings used within the assessment and to learn extra about how this TV’s image controls labored throughout calibration.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Comparability fashions (particulars)

Black degree: The Philips was a powerful performer on this space. In my lineup the one LED TV with deeper blacks and a punchier image was the Vizio M3D0KD, which suffers from extra backlight blooming than the Philips. Whereas the Samsung ES8000 is a beautiful-looking tv that does provide a good image, the Philips simply had it licked by way of absolute black. Each the Samsung and the Philips provided stable distinction from vibrant lights to deep shadows — one thing that the aggressive LG LM7600 struggled with, wanting duller general — however the Philips got here out on high with its deeper blacks.

However at this worth, you’d anticipate there to be some compromises, and there have been. Blacks had an inclination to veer towards purple; this was evident through the “Creation” chapter from “The Tree of Life,” which includes a largely black display screen. The sides of the display screen would flip purple, and I discovered this wasn’t a aspect impact of dynamic backlight — the issue was worse with it switched off. By (ahem) distinction, the entire TVs we in contrast it with, from the Vizio as much as the ES8000, confirmed a extra pure shade of black.

Colour accuracy: Total, the Philips PFL5907 confirmed a naturalistic contact with shade that will not have been as eye-popping because the ST50 plasma’s, however was comparable at instances with the ES800 — a TV we praised for its wonderful shade response. Whereas greens and pores and skin tones have been naturally rendered on the Philips, and to human eyes these are two of probably the most essential issues to get proper, the tv wasn’t as profitable with the R and B elements of “RGB.”

How can a TV be good at pores and skin tones however weak at wealthy reds? Some TVs with deeply saturated reds can even have unrealistic pores and skin tones: everybody finally ends up wanting a bit feverish. Pores and skin tones on the Philips have been understated with out making individuals look pale, however robust reds generally turned out orange. Blue was additionally problematic with sci-fi motion pictures particularly — they have an inclination to favor robust monochromatic blue scenes — and whereas the entire different screens in my lineup appeared constant through the bluer scenes in “Avatar,” the Philips stood out as wanting virtually lilac. The consequences have been rather a lot subtler than they could sound, although, and would solely be seen in case you have been watching one thing on the PFL5706 aspect by aspect with one other TV.

Video processing: Video processing was one of many strongest factors of the Philips’ efficiency, with a very good displaying in each of our exams. Within the 24p check — a flyby of the Intrepid plane provider in “I Am Legend” — the display screen was freed from the lurches of lesser TVs that are not in a position to correctly parse a 24-frame-per-second supply. On the 1080i check there was no moire seen within the seats of the sports activities stand, and the sluggish digicam motion was clean.

Moreover, the Philips was in a position to clear up video supply issues with out overprocessing. The PFL5706 was in a position to do away with the inexperienced ring within the halo that seems on the 24:22 mark in “The Tree of Life,” whereas the LG LM7600 could not.

Uniformity: The Philips had first rate uniformity for an edge-lit tv with not one of the backlight clouding — actually cloudlike blobs of sunshine — obvious on each the LG LM7600 and the Samsung ES8000, and solely a bit of gentle leakage within the corners.

One downside was the unusually tight candy spot on the PFL5907. Sitting only one seat to both aspect of the very best one immediately in entrance of the display screen resulted in duller colours, lowered distinction, and bluer blacks. You would need to get pretty far to the aspect of any of the opposite TVs within the lineup to expertise the identical factor.

Vibrant lighting: The TV has a semigloss coating, which meant it was pretty reflective with direct gentle. The TV was higher than the even-glossier LG at minimizing indirect-light reflections, reminiscent of your face or clothes.