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Philips 60PFL9707 TV review

Philips 9000 series TV

Latest flagship due with Ambilight, active shutter 3D and revamped Smart TV system

Philips used its first IFA in partnership with TP Vision to announce a new flagship LCD TV, the 60in 9000-series. Despite the company changeover, it looks set to continue the Philips tradition of minimal styling and niche features with integrated Ambilight mood lighting, a dual-purpose remote control, smartphone integration and a massively improved Smart TV system.

Philips 9000 series TV

The 60in behemoth was revealed in rather unusual fashion this morning, on stage at the Philips press conference. It has the same curved, brushed metal bezel as previous high end Philips sets, as well as a three-sided Ambilight Spectra XL system which adds an extra sense of immersion to films, giving the impression of an even bigger screen than the one you’re sat in front of. In the relative darkness of the show floor, it looked incredibly vibrant, although you’ll probably want to tone it down a little if you get one for your living room.

The impressive Moth Eye screen coating makes a return here, creating startlingly clear images with deep blacks and almost no light reflection. It’s notoriously difficult to calibrate correctly, but hopefully the updated system used here will be a little more user-friendly. We’ll know for sure once we get one into our labs for testing. The direct LED backlight micro-dimming system helps improve black and white images even further, combining bright whites and dark blacks in the same image, with almost unnoticeable halo effects.

Philips 9000 series TV

Philips claims a rather arbitrary 1,200Hz Perfect Motion Rate, which should mean pin-sharp images even during fast motion, although of course this figure is dependent on more than just pixel refresh rates. There were only a few demo videos available for us to see during our hands-on, but they all looked incredibly smooth. Toy Story 3 in particular looked fantastic. Naturally for a flagship TV, the 60PFL9707 also includes active shutter 3D technology, but unfortunately there was no 3D content for us to watch.

There are ample connections around the back and sides, with 5 HDMI inputs, three USBs, SCART and component video in, digital optical audio out, Ethernet and a common interface slot. You also get USB media playback and hard disk recording, plus DLNA media streaming, so you won’t run out of content quickly.

Philips 9000 series TV

The updated Smart TV portal looks much more streamlined compared to previous years, with a live preview window letting you keep an eye on one TV channel while searching for an app or on-demand film. We were shown AceTrax integration, which will let you save your credit card to memory and pay for films with a four-digit pin code, rather than entering the entire card number each time. Unfortunately there were no signs of either LoveFilm or Netflix, but that may change by the time the set makes its way to the UK and licensing deals have been ironed out. With a dual-core processor powering the system, it’s snappy and responsive even when loading demanding video streaming apps.

With a renewed emphasis on interaction, Philips has sensibly redesigned the remote control to suit text entry and pointer-based movement. The rear of the remote now has a split-design QWERTY keyboard which should be much faster than using an on-screen system, even if you’ll have to get used to the sizable gap in the middle left to make room for the batteries. It also acts as a pointer, letting you select apps in a similar style to a Wii remote.

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