Philips 55PFL6007T review
We reviewed the 55in model in the 6000 series, but 32in (32PFL6007T), 42in (42PFL6007T)and 47in (47PFL6007T) models are also available. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.
Its a tricky balancing act designing a TV, the manufacturer needs to include all the features that you want, but without also stuffing in a load of stuff you don't need, and so pushing up the price. Philips thinks it has the right balance with the 6007, a stylish set that sacrifices some of the high-end features found in other sets but retains all the ones you’d expect from a modern TV.
From the outset, the 6007 makes a good impression with its thin 1cm bezel and classy looks. The included stand just swivels, but there are also standard VESA mounting points if you prefer to use your own stand or mount it on a wall instead.
Naturally for a Philips TV, the 6007 also includes AmbiLight: two strips of LEDs on the back of the set that illuminate the walls to enhance the effect of the images on screen. Also on the back is a good selection of I/O ports, including four HDMI ports, VGA, component and SCART (via adaptor), a digital optical input, a 3.5mm headphone output, three USB ports, a Common Interface card slot and an Ethernet port.
If you prefer to take the wireless approach rather than run a cable across your living room, you'll be pleased to hear the 6007 has built-in Wi-Fi as standard. Once connected, you'll be able to stream content from any networked PC or NAS device using DLNA, as well as from a USB flash drive. None of our multimedia files gave us any trouble, so we were able to watch MKV, DivX, MP4 and MOV files smoothly.
You can also connect a portable hard disk to turn the TV into a rudimentary PVR. You'll need a disk 250GB or larger, and it must be formatted to a Philips-specific filesystem that isn't recognised by Windows, but recording programs is a one-button process once it has been set up. You can also pause and rewind live TV, but the screen goes blank for about a second every time you do so.
With internet access, you'll also be able to use Philips' Smart TV system. The company is working hard to expand the number of services, with the on-demand movie streaming service BlinkBox being the latest addition. Unfortunately, Philips still lags behind the competition. You get YouTube, AceTrax and catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer, but there's still no Netflix (at the time of writing) and the downloadable app library is very limited. It's presented beautifully, and we appreciated the picture-in-picture for keeping track of a currently playing program, but it's not as good as that seen on Sony and LG’s TVs. There’s a web browser, but it's difficult to navigate using the remote control. The remote itself is made from what feels like cheap plastic, and you don't get the full QWERTY keyboard on the reverse.
What really matters is picture quality, and the 6007 certainly impressed. A consistent backlight is no mean feat from an edge-lit 55in set, but we only noticed a small amount of light leakage from one corner of our review sample. Otherwise, it handled dark scenes beautifully, creating rich blacks that look much better than we’d expect from this technology. It's not quite up to the same level as Sony's HX853, or as inky black as Panasonic’s plasma panels, but it's still very impressive. Colours looked rich and inviting, yet managed to appear natural, even in darker scenes.
It does a reasonable job at upscaling standard definition content without introducing too much noise or motion artefacting, but was no better or worse than any other mid-range TV we've seen recently. High-definition content fared much better, looking sharp and staying smooth during fast motion. The two-sided AmbiLight setup isn't quite as immersive as the three-side version found in high-end Philips TVs, but it still added a welcome extra layer to Blu-ray films.
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