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Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV

Philips 42PFL7666 42in 3D LED Smart TV

Passive aggressive

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Image quality is high, although getting the best picture from this set requires some effort. Ostensibly, Philips makes things easy with a simple visual Picture Wizard. Just select the best in a series of two still images to calibrate the set to taste. But follow this routine and I guarantee you’ll end up with a TV picture that’s virtually unwatchable.

Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV

Rear interfacing – USB, SD card, CI slot and another HDMI appear on the side panel

Remember, the set’s HD Natural Motion processor is a bit of a misnomer, as it can impart a distracting glacial sheen to almost everything. I generally preferred HD Natural Motion off. Once deactivated, there are no motion artefacts, although pans can judder.

With HD Natural Motion on Minimum, these smooth out but artefacts are introduced around certain moving objects; there’s also a momentary blur before the set locks to the image. Crank HD Natural Motion to Maximum and motion artefacts become more aggressive.

Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV

User interface is clean and simple

The set offers deep, smooth blacks with plenty of shadow detail. Just keep the Sharpness control one notch up from zero to preserve genuine clarity. Also ensure you keep the Clear LCD setting on. Switch it off, motion resolution turns to mush.

When it comes to 3D, the set’s Passive implementation is in line with what we’ve seen from LG models – unsurprising given the Philips 42PFL7666 uses an FPR panel sourced from LG Display.

Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV

The display needs tweaking to get the best out of it, but a good performer in several areas

The 42PFL7666 features an accomplished USB media reader which makes short work of assorted files loaded from a flash drive. AVI, MP4, MKV and VOB files all play. Audio support is equally comprehensive, with MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC and AIF tunes all working. Across a network though, this compliancy may be reduced. My NAS-served MKVs were roundly ignored. Results vary depending on the media server software being run from your devices.

Verdict

Overall, the Philips 42PFL7666 is a solid proposition. Image quality is good – once you’ve mastered the copious image processing modes – and the smart net portal is well stocked. Indeed, the Series 7000 screen is idiosyncratic but classy nonetheless. ®

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80%
Philips 42PFL7666 Smart TV

Philips 42PFL7666 42in 3D LED Smart TV

Ambilight Smart TV with overhauled net portal and Passive 3D to boot.
Price: £899 RRP

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