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Philips Cineos 42PFL9603D Ambilight LCD TV

Enjoy the HD experience, now with added Ambilight

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So you don’t need to know that contrast and motion are what you’re configuring – just go with your gut feeling. Of course, if you want to, you can later adjust every one of the telly's settings manually to your satisfaction. Sound settings follow, and your preferences are stored.

Philips 42PFL9603D LCD TV

An otherwise perfect remote is let down by the scroll wheel

Remote controls are often a disappointment on flatscreen TVs – you’ve spent over a grand and you’ve got a plain, plastic-feeling remote with dull oblong buttons. The gloss black model that accompanies this TV looks great and is easy to use, with a straightforward layout and clear buttons for items such as Ambilight.

It’s slightly let down by a scroll, wheel which isn’t as accurate as it should be – you sometimes find it takes you an item further in the menu that you want. Never mind, you can still use it as a direction pad to go up, down, right and left.

Philips 42PFL9603D LCD TV

Rear-facing sub-woofers use the wall behind the TV to bounce bass back at you

Image processing is a real Philips strength – though in the past its Pixel Plus system has divided critics, many of whom have felt it can sometimes make images just too sharp and detailed for comfortable watching. Here, the image processing engine is called Perfect Pixel. Not only is this quite a claim, you do wonder where Philips will go to better Perfect next time around. Divine Pixel, perhaps...

When the Philips experts dropped off the TV, they recommended settings that reflected the belief that the overall Perfect Pixel engine can handle most things itself so that Perfect Motion and Dynamic Contrast can be safely left on minimum settings. Certainly the picture performance bore this out.

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