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Philips 40PFL8605H review

Philips' first 3D TV arrives on our test bench, but can it impress in all three dimensions?

Our Verdict

For

  • Excellent 2D picture quality
  • Elegant design
  • Lots of connections and features
  • Superb remote control
  • Good sound

Against

  • Crosstalk issues ruin 3D
  • It's expensive
  • The reflective screen is prone to double imaging when viewed off-axis

Detail 2

The 40PFL8605H's sound is unusually good for a very slim TV. And the reasons for this are visible as soon as you look at the TV's rear and spot a pair of cheeky, rear-facing woofers. These work in tandem with angled tweeters in the TV's frame to produce a soundstage that combines harshness-free treble detail with a credible, distortion-free and open mid-range. There's even a bit of genuine bass rumble too, which works wonders with action movies.

Philips makes no bones about the fact that it's more focused on the premium end of the TV market these days. We have no problem with this so long as the brand continues to make TVs that look better, perform better and offer more features than the vast majority of other TVs out there.

However, in today's market it's hard to shake the feeling that £1,500 is pushing it a little for a 2010 TV with no Freeview HD tuner and where you have to spend another £250 to enjoy its 3D capabilities, especially when those 3D capabilities are pretty underwhelming.

Ease of use

It's nearly impossible for a TV as packed with features and adjustments as the 40PFL8605H to bag a perfect score for ease of use. We also found ourselves wishing Philips at least did an optional keyboard to make surfing the Internet less fiddly.

However, considering how much it's got going on, the 40PFL8605H's onscreen menus are clear and quite well organised. It also has an ace up its sleeve in the form of its remote control.

This is a radical departure from anything Philips has employed before, combining a gorgeous and comfortable elliptical, metallic-finished design with a startling dearth of buttons. It's hard to believe that so few buttons can possibly work, but it feels completely natural and never leaves you wanting for anything.

The only thing we might have liked to find on the remote that isn't there is a dedicated 3D button to take you straight to the option where you have to manually set the TV's 3D mode to side by side for viewing Sky's 3D channel. But then the TV is only 2D capable straight out of its box.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product Family8000
3D Type3D Ready
Brand NamePhilips
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Memory Card ReaderYes
EthernetYes
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)20 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard200 x 300
Operating Power Consumption116 W
Standby Power Consumption140 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio500,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 1.4
DVIYes
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand636 mm
Width with Stand965 mm
Depth with Stand248 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
3D TechnologyShutter
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD)
Height600 mm
Width956 mm
Depth50 mm
Brightness500 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Product Series8000
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesAmbient Lighting, Child Lock, Favorite Channel Selection, Teletext
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Product Model40PFL8605H
Product Name40PFL8605H 40" LED-LCD TV
Manufacturer Part Number40PFL8605H/12
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Marketing Information

Add a new dimension to your viewing experience with Ambilight Spectra 2. This patented Philips technology enlarges the screen by projecting a glow of light, on the 2 sides of the TV, from the back of the screen onto the surrounding wall. Ambilight automatically adjusts the colour and brightness of the light to match the picture, creating an immersive viewing experience.

Package Contents
  • 40PFL8605H LED-LCD TV
  • Power Cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Certificate
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries for Remote Control
  • Legal and Safety Brochure
  • Net TV Brochure
Response Time1 ms
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)20 kg