We’ve managed to get our mitts on a Philips 42PFL9803 LCD television, one of the very first HDTVs to feature LED backlighting. Our first impressions: it’s a cracker that challenges – and maybe beats – Pioneer’s Kuro televisions in the contrast ratio stakes.
Most LCD televisions have poor black levels due to the lights behind the screen, which can’t be turned off – so light leaks through the black parts of the picture, making them look grey. Not so with this “LED Lux” TV – it uses hundreds of LED clusters to light the picture, each of which can be completely switched off when needed. So while you might have a bright object in the middle of the picture, any black areas around it are unlit – so they actually look black.
This morning we stuck on the Blu-Ray version of Sunshine and were blown away by the Philips’ handling of the backgrounds. It’s outer space, so it’s obviously supposed to look black, but it rarely does on any LCD television. Except this one, which succeeds in delivering both very black blacks and very white whites.
It also comes loaded with Philips best picture processing and 100Hz tech, which helps by smoothing out motion judder, cleaning up noise and enhancing colours and contrast.
The TV also looks a bit different to the average LCD. Rather than glossy black it’s framed by brushed silver metal. Eye-catching indeed.
The only bad thing we’ve noticed so far is the price. At over £2,000, it’s one of the most expensive LCDs around – but we guess that’s the price you pay for innovation and performance…
Out now | £2,000 | Philips