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Philips 40PFL9704

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Written by Marcus Longhans   
Friday, 07 May 2010 10:11

When we gave the 2009 TV Product of the Year Award to Philips 42PFL9664, it was hard to imagine a better television, such was the degree to which it trounced the competition. However, it has now met its match.

Well worth the extra premium

It's not simply that the Philips 30PFL9704 is the best set here (you'd expect that given that it's the most expensive). It's that the rise in performance is significantly larger than the rise in price. It's an easy tv to sum up:take the awesome 42PFL9664 and add superb, LED-backlit contrast.

Not only does this have the obvious effect of increasing black depth and white punch, it also has a positive influence on other areas of the picture, like greater edge-definition and deeper, more vibrant colours.

Of course, that's not to say you should rule out the 42PFL9664. That $300 saving is significant, and the face remains it is as detailed as the supertest winner - meaning it's a tonne more detailed than every other rival. It also boasts all of the high-tech featuresaf its pricier siblings, including Ambilight (though admittedly "only" from the left and right), five HDMIs and full network connectivity via wi-fi.

What more could you possibly need? If your answer is "Freesat", you've got a premium option, too, in the form of the Sony KDL-40Z5800. It's not got perfect backlighting, but it's better than many recent Sonys. However, we'd be tempted to try streching to the Philips, or save your cash and buy the Samsung with a separate Freesat box.

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