Philips 46PFL9705H Ambilight 46in LED 3D TV
Review The latest Philips Ambilight TV features the same neat, curved-edged styling as the 32in 32PFL9705 set Reg Hardware reviewed in September 2010. Although a lot of the features are the same, this one has that new feature du jour, 3D.
It's considerably bigger, too, but like the 32-incher, the slim bezel means it’s nearly all screen – a world away from earlier LCDs with whacking great speakers mounted on the side, for instance.
Fortunately, Philips appears to have recognised that not everyone wants 3D - or at least not yet while content is still rare. So instead of pushing the 46PFL9705H as a 3D set, the company is describing this as a TV with exceptional picture quality, lots of other features and, by the way, if you do fancy 3D, no problem.
There are two kinds of 3D TV tech: active and passive. Passive specs are like the ones you nicked when you saw Avatar. Active ones have polarised shutters which open and close in turn, synchronised with the left- and right-eye images show alternately on screen.
LG is the only TV maker offering a passive technology - cheaper specs make for less expensive mass viewing, but the sets are pricey - unsurprisingly, active glasses are included here.
To enable 3D on the 46PFL9705H, you just need the bundled 3D upgrade kit, which contains two pairs of said specs and a small sync rsignal transmitter which sits at the base of the screen. It’s neat, but as it’s not built in it slightly spoils the design.
Next page: 3D, if you happen to want it
That's a distraction I could do without. The only way that could irritate me more is if it came with a pair of curtains and a cross-dressing ice-cream attendant shouting "Albatross!".
To pairs of active 3D specs are included?
"But if only Philips had included a Freeview HD tuner"
That kills it stone dead right there for a lot of people - especially at £2100 a pop. There is some controversy about picture quality on Freeview HD, but it's going to look a lot better than SD on a TV this size, so the omission seems perverse. However, when did Philips behave any differently?
Composite not an issue
OMG! I would have to go out and pay 90p for a SCART -> RCA connector.
How dare they remove an outdated connection type, even if the picture quality it produces is complete shite, and every device that uses it that was ever shipped in this country comes with a SCART adapter.
They should knock at least £500 off the cost of the unit!
3D TV doesn't work
I've tested a few sets in stores and the elephant in the room that no one seems willing to admit to is that there is a very small sweet spot for 3D TV. For a screen this size, you need to sit around 2m away from it - no more and no less. Sit too far away and your brain interprets scale incorrectly. I watched a demo of some stage dancers on a 46" Samsung set and when you were 2m from the screen the effect was very good but as you pulled back to normal domestic viewing distances, the performers appeared to shrink in stature so the looked like puppets.
The reason 3D in a cinema works at all is because the screen is so large but even in the cinema if you sit too close or too far away the effect is ghastly and gives you a terrible headache. I saw Up in 3D and sat dead centre in the cinema and the effec was very convincing, but for Avatar I was stuck up close and left of the screen and it drove me nuts and ruined the film. Watching it at home on my 100" HD projector from BD is a much better experience. 3D? No thanks, I'll pass.