Philips' widescreen 17PF9945 LCD TV is HDTV ready, comes with Faroudja DCDi to eliminate onscreen jagged images and Virtual Dolby Pro Logic Sound.

P>Upside: The 17PF9945 is HDTV ready, supporting 1080i, 720p and 576p screen modes. Combine that with DCDi (Directional Correlational Deinterlacing) by Faroudja and Philip's Active Control technology that purportedly keeps screen display settings at optimal levels, and you should be viewing very sharp and clear pictures indeed. The 17PF9945 comes with virtual Dolby Pro Logic Sound -- not as good as the real thing, but in environments outside the lounge room -- say, perhaps a kitchen or small study environment -- it's a solid space-saving option that obviates the need to set up a complicated speaker array. For radio junkies, it's even capable of FM playback.

Downside: If you're used to real surround sound, virtual sound never quite matches up to the real thing. As with all LCD Televisions, you're paying a real premium for screen space -- at the smaller end of the market as this is, that's less pronounced than in truly massive sets like the Sony KLVL32MRX1 or Samsung LS40A23W, but it's still a definite hit against the unit.

Outlook: The 17PF9945 combines a solid feature set within a relatively thin and light unit. It won't appeal to high-end audiophiles, or anyone looking for a main TV set, but as a secondary smaller unit it appears to measure up quite well.