back to article Philips 40PFL9704 40in LED backlit TV

LED backlighting is all the rage at the moment; it can dramatically improve the contrast ratio of LCD panels, helping them towards the deep blacks seen on plasma displays. But many of the sets available at the moment, including the LG we recently reviewed, use LEDs that aren’t individually addressable – so it’s still really all …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    TV's OS is Linux too

    TV's OS is Linux, and Philips provide details of all the open source libs used on a separate leaflet in the box.

  2. Albert Stienstra

    re TV's OS is Linux too

    Is that an advantage? If you think so, why?

    1. Steen Hive
      Thumb Up


      For starters, it is one less part where the costs of some patent-trolls makey-uppy property "rights" are factored in to the product?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Why?

        "But it does come with a hefty price tag."

        So, any better reasons? You know, like one that at least has an apparent positive effect on the product delivered?

        If there are indeed lowered costs in here as a result of the use of open source, all that's done is fatten Philips' profit margins and pardon me for not giving a rat's arse about their shareholder value.

  3. Kevin Dwyer

    Black is black?

    It was "Los Bravos" they got to number two in July 1966

    It's the one with the Guinness book of hit singles in the pocket.

  4. Robert E A Harvey


    "Users outside the UK may be able to take advantage of the MPEG4 decoding, and the CI+ slot too, but for those of us in Blighty, an external source of some sort will be needed if you want to watch HD programming."

    Does that mean I can buy one at Schiphol and watch HD freeview when it launches? I don't understand this paragraph at all. Are you saying a chunk is left off the tele in the UK, or that the decoder it has is the wrong one for us?

    At this point I need the blue tefal-head icon, but upside down.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      No HD in the UK

      No, you can't. It does not have DVB-T2 (rest assured, when we get out hands on such kit, we'll make a big fuss about it).

      You will only be able to take advantage of this set's MPEG4 decoder if you're using it outside the UK, in a country where they broadcast MPEG4 over DVB-T.

  5. Gary F

    Well overpriced

    Why not buy a much cheaper LED backlit TV and also a £150 Acer Reevo computer that's so small it will attach to the back of the TV. Then you can run the web browser of your choice on Linux or Windows, plus email, etc.

    1. Scott Mckenzie


      Did you read the article, it's better than cheaper LED tv's because of how it uses LED technology.

      Sure if you want a worse picture, go right ahead and buy a cheaper TV. As for internet, I use a MediaPC anyway so kinda have that covered... i just want the best picture available for vaguely sensible money...this looks to fit the bill nicely so i'll check it out further - maybe read a proper review!!

  6. Neil 7
    Thumb Up

    @ Well overpriced

    My guess is you haven't understood what is different (and better) about the LED back lighting in this set and the other, cheaper, LED backlit (ie. edge-lit) sets you suggest people should buy.

    DLNA and internet access in most TVs is currently just a gimmick and waste of money, certainly not something which should make or break a deal. I would agree with you and suggest using an external box to provide internet or media hub functionality.

    Ambilight on the other hand is not , as the author wrote, something you "either like or hate" - anyone with an Ambilight TV will more often than not love it, and wouldn't consider buying another TV without it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Talking of not understanding the difference...

      What's different about the LED backlighting on say something like this:

      reviewed a year ago on these very pages, now available for about half the price of the Philips? I know there's a premium for new ones and the ambilight magickry but guy isn't a million miles off the mark with the overpriced comments.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Freeview HD

    As has been discussed several times on this board the UK is going for completely new and incompatibe modulation system for terrestrial HD broadcasts known as DVB-T2. This TV like many others for the past 2 years will receive French HD services but not the Freeview HD services that started broadcasting in December. Despite the promises of Ofcom receivers were not available for the Granada switchoff and are still not available.

    No one without access to early samples can currently receive Freeview HD.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You missed a trick on the EPG...

    I have a similar Philips set with the NetTV feature, and once you've signed up for the NetTV service, the built-in EPG uses data pulled from, so you get a comprehensive 7-day lookahead with full programme information, with much faster response than Sky's, for example (although your broadband speed may determine this).

    Finally, a use for internet connected televisions!

    "Why not buy a much cheaper LED backlit TV ...?"

    Ah, the marketing confusion machine is working nicely. The cheaper sets don't have individually-addressable LEDs in the backlight, so they're pretty much comparable to CCFL backlights (and some LED-backlit sets I've seen have horrible colour fidelity). All of the sets with local-dimming LEDs are similar prices (i.e., very expensive).

  9. Mark Jan

    You'd be crazy to buy a TV at the Moment

    With HD Freeview just around the corner, you'd be crazy not not wait for DVB-T2 equipped TVs.

    Even if yours has just blown up, you may as well dust off that trusty CRT sitting in the garage (and be amazed at how good a picture it has - at least on SD) and wait a couple of months.

    1. Scott Mckenzie


      Wait and buy a set top box with built in hard disc recorder and attach it to your existing TV?

  10. Matware
    Thumb Down

    DLNA support

    I bought my Samsung for its DLNA support (mkv, divx, h264, etc) and now I couldn't go back. Releasing a TV in 2k10 with DLNA and not supporting these formats is a complete joke, and no optical out, what were they thinking.

    1. Scott Mckenzie

      Why is it a joke?

      Just because it doesn't suit your needs? Personally i welcome the lack of unnecessary, superfluous crap on a TV... i'd rather simple design and spec, with the focus on the best quality.

      Other people may want every feature under the sun on the set, and to be frank that is usually handled in the 'budget' range of sets.

      Take a look at a Pioneer Plasma - universally accepted as the best picture out there on a TV - no fancy features at all, and hideously expensive. But those folks that want the best quality pay for it and are rarely interested in other add ons.

      And while i'm at it WTF is 2k10 - an 'abbreviation' of 2010 with the same number of characters :S

  11. Steve Lupton

    You could just buy a plasma...

    ...instead of an LCD using LED backlighting in an attempt (and failure) to be as good as a Plasma!

    They are half the price as well...

    1. Jim 64
      Thumb Down

      False economy!

      A plasma uses SOOOO much more energy, that you will pay more over the lifetime of the product even at half price. This is partly why they are becoming obsolete and are half price...

      1. Steve Lupton

        You just completely made that up...

        You'll be telling everyone you need to re-gas it every three years next...

        Panasonic TX-P42S10 average power consumption is 175W

        Philips 40PFL9704 typical power consumption 104W

        So... 71W difference in power consumption, £900 price difference.

        That £900 will get you 7825 kWh of electricity where I live... which is over 110,000 hours or 12 years.

        So yes, if you keep it for 12 years, you will see the benefit of the energy savings.

  12. Robert E A Harvey

    ethernet port

    Can't really tell without seeing one, but it looks like the webTV access is pre-configured and won't include the BBC iPlayer. What about ITVonline? C4od? you've obviously played with it, el-reg, did you try that bit out?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Robert E A Harvey

    UK Freeview HD is different to HD anywhere else.

    At the moment, there are no UK Freeview HD receivers in existance - or rather I should say, none on the market at the moment. It looks as if Humax will be the first, which should be available fairly soon.

    So if you buy a tv with integrated HD receiver abroad, then the answer is no, it won't work in the UK.

    Any Freeview HD receiver, in order to work in the UK has to be badged with the DVB-T2 and Freeview HD logos These logos are a statement that the product supports the required standards to permit the TV / receiver to receive the UK based Freeview HD.

    If the receiver or TV does not have these logos on them then it will not work in the UK.

    That's the easiest way to identify whether it is compatible with UK HD or not.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark Jan

    I don't think it matters whether a TV has an integrated Freeview HD receiver or not, I'd rather go for a separate box receiver and feed HDMI to the TV.

    I think there's a bigger issue of being able to record Freeview HD. From information I read at the end of last year, Freeview HD recorders won't be available until the end of the first half of 2010.

    So my strategy wouldn't be to wait for a couple of months for a TV with integrated Freeview HD receiver, what I'd do, is either buy a Full HD (1080 line) either now, or wait 6 months, and then purchase a Freeview HD receiver/recorder (PVR) in the summer of 2010 along with the 1080 line TV and prices would have dropped a bit further in that time.

    So if you're current TV is dead now, then one might as well go out and buy a 1080 line TV now, and hook up the HD receiver in the next couple of months when they're on sale, or wait until the summer when the hard driver recorders should be available.

    One of the primary design aim of manufacturers with the TVs with integrated receivers is to keep the television slim, and so they tend not to include hard driver recorders, so my view is, forget the integrated Freeview HD TV receiver.

  15. Mark Jan

    @ RotaCyclic

    I would respectfully disagree, but each to their own.

    Buying a new TV now, (say this one for pushing £2K) and then in a couple of months time buying a tuner, meaning another box and remote just doesn't make sense to me, especially when you know what's just around the corner.

    Avoid the TV manufacturer merry-go-round as well as the instant gratification!

    But as I said, each to their own.

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