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Philips 32PF9830 review: Philips 32PF9830 LCD TV

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The Good Superb picture quality. Simple or complex setup. Comes with motorised stand. Plenty of inputs, including DVI and HDMI.

The Bad DSP can make poor quality pictures look uneven. No integrated digital tuner. Speakers only average. Expensive.

The Bottom Line If you're after a TV to impress people with the quality that LCD can deliver, there are few models that can line up with Philips Philips 32PF9830 for pure picture quality -- as long as you've got plenty of high definition content to display it with. With the perilous state of digital TV in Australia, that's hardly a sure thing, but even with standard definition signals the Philips 32PF9830 impresses.

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Review Sections

Design
Whether the 32PF9830 features a good design or bad design is a matter of personal taste; on the one hand it's a very stylish looking 32 panel suitable for either wall mounting (a bracket is provided) or free standing, and a motorised stand is provided as part of the package. Some of our test viewing participants/subjects did note that the main bezel is rather thick, and this has the perceptual drawback of reducing what you'd presume the visible area to be, in the same way that very thin bezels can seem to enhance the perceived screen size. As a 82 cm (32-inch) panel, it's a tad smaller than the current industry darling size of 106 cm (42-inch), although depending on your room configurations, an 82 cm screen is actually better suited for smaller rooms.

The panel itself measures in at 1000 x 605 x 96mm with an overall weight of 20Kg -- more if you're including the motorised stand. Initial installation is very simple indeed, as once you've got it unpacked and screwed into the stand (or mounted on the wall), the setup process takes you through a very simplified process for initial contrast and brightness settings. It uses a series of visually split pictures with differing contrast levels, and you simply pick which one looks best in your situation. While it's no substitute for finely tuning your panel, it's a good way to quickly get a decent picture out of the 32PF9830. It's worth noting that each individual input on the 32PF9830 can store its own picture settings, so you can have both real theatre blacks for your flicks and radiant colours for those late-night gaming sessions.

The included remote is on the chunky side, but it's very well laid out and common functions are exceptionally easy to locate even in a darkened room. Likewise, the on-screen display -- which includes features for picture-in-picture display and automatic or user-selected zooming as required -- is clear and easy to understand, with plenty of hidden depth for tinkerers who like having their picture settings to be fractionally perfected.

Features
The 32PF9830's 82 cm panel has a top resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels in 16:9 format. This makes it suitable for all the HD video formats, as well as most PC applications. In terms of signal processing, it supports Philips Pixel Plus 2 HD and Digital Natural Motion technologies -- these are essentially designed to enhance picture quality and smoothness which is a common complaint for LCD TV viewing.

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