Philips PVD900/37 review: Philips PVD900/37

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.3
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Affordable, compact portable DTV with 9-inch wide-screen display; built-in rechargeable battery; clear picture quality when you can get a signal; comes with remote; can pull in over-the-air (ATSC) and basic cable (QAM) DTV stations; decent battery life of up to 3 hours.

The Bad Resolution could be higher; no way to swap in standard alkaline batteries for use during power outages; external antenna required for DTV reception; no AV inputs; can't control volume or power from the remote.

The Bottom Line The Philips PVD900's relatively large screen, decent battery life, and built-in QAM tuner make it a better-than-average portable DTV.

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Philips makes a few portable DTV models, including the 9-inch PVD900/37 reviewed here, as well as the step-down 7-inch PVD700/37 and PET729/37, which combines a portable DVD player with a 7-inch DTV.

The PVD900, which online costs a little more than $150, looks and feels like your typical inexpensive tablet-style portable DVD player (sans DVD player). That doesn't mean it's ugly, it's just fairly basic and generic-looking, though at 9 inches diagonal, its screen is larger than some of the portable DTVs we've reviewed previously, like the Eviant T7 7-inch portable LCD TV and the Envizen Digital Duo Box Pro ED8850A . The TV is also surprisingly lightweight (1.5 pounds), so you can easily carry it. However, like all products that have shiny black finishes, the unit will attract its share of fingerprints if held in hand.

To prop up the TV for viewing, there's a kickstand on back that folds flush against the unit when not in use. To be clear, this is not a high-definition TV, but it can pull in high-def stations and display them on the TV's 600x220-pixel screen.

As for the DTV side of the equation, the PVD900 pulls in any TV signals being broadcast in your area, but you do have to attach a small, wired external antenna (its base is magnetized).

On the bright side, this model does have a built-in QAM tuner, so you can connect this to a cable TV outlet and receive basic unscrambled digital and HD stations via cable (so long as you have a cable TV signal coming into your house). We tried it out at home and had no trouble bringing in a wide variety of stations. However, on our cable system, the available channels were mostly the same we'd get via an antenna; don't expect to get CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ESPN, or any so-called "premium" cable stations.

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Where to Buy

Philips PVD900/37

Part Number: PVD900/37

MSRP: $159.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Diagonal Size 9 in
  • Type LCD TV