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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Overview

Profile

Connectivity

Remote

Glass stand

Bezel

Menu

MediaConnect

Smart TV

Picture menu

Picture quality

As the prices of LCD televisions continue to erode, it's now possible to pick yourself up a decent television for under a grand. While spending more will get you better quality, televisions like Vizio's M3D470 and Philips' 46PFL5907 demonstrate that you can get a good TV for a Grover Cleveland and still have change for a Blu-ray player and a few movies.

The Philips' strengths are excellent blacks for its price while retaining shadow detail, natural-looking scenes, excellent picture processing, good mix of features, and good price. But its bad points mean that it's not as good a deal as the Vizio M3D470, namely poorly saturated and inaccurate red and blues, and no 3D!

When you throw in improvements like greater picture control, better blacks, and an improved apps suite, the PFL5907 is a welcome evolution of last year's TV, and a decent value. While you're looking at a second-tier brand like Philips you may want to also consider looking at the better value and picture available from the Vizio. Or, you know, get any of the Panasonic plasmas (bar the X5).

Read the full review of the Philips PFL5907 series here.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The PFL5907 is fairly slim.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Philips has four HDMI ports and two USB ports.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The CH and VOL buttons are horizontal instead of vertical, which takes a bit of getting used to.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
For a sub-$1,000 TV, the tempered-glass stand is a luxurious addition.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The TV features a piano-black bezel.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The menu system is the same as last year's and looks a little dated.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Philips allows users to connect the TV to their PC for watching video content, but it isn't great for browsing or gaming due to the 3-second lag.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The NetTV interface offers Hulu Plus and Netflix.
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The picture menu is pretty funky-looking.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Philips' greatest accomplishment with the PFL5907 is its ability to communicate deeper blacks than TVs twice the price or more and yet still convey intricate shadow details. While TVs like the LG LM7600 are flashier, they can't conjure up as much contrast as this Philips can. The TV's tendency for purple/blue blacks could be overlooked given its low price.

On a related note, uniformity was pretty good with only a little purpleness in the corners, and while I did use the dynamic backlight function, it thankfully lacked the blooming of the price-competitive Vizio while offering almost as much contrast.

Where the Philips fails, however, is in ultimate color fidelity. While the inclusion of a CMS is great, it wasn't very good, and colors lacked the richness of its competitors'. While skin tones looked perfectly natural, pure reds lacked saturation and came out looking orange. Blues were also a little purple. Meanwhile, green was just great!

Read the full review of the Philips PFL5907 series here.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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