Philips 7000 (37PFL7605H/05) review: Philips 7000 (37PFL7605H/05)

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The Good Great sound for a smaller TV; good HD picture; superb styling.

The Bad Picture processing is very heavy-handed; expensive.

The Bottom Line A pretty cool TV all round. We love the styling and, once we turned the picture processing off, the picture was fairly likeable, too. As always, Philips manages terrific sound on this 37-inch TV, far better than most competitors.

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8.3 Overall

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Philips has managed to create one of the nicest-looking TV ranges we've seen from any manufacturer in a long time. The Philips 37PFL7605H/05's styling isn't especially revolutionary, but the metallic grey bezel makes it look smart and it will fit well into any room. Philips has also spent some time recently reworking other aspects of its televisions, which we'll go into later in the review. Suffice to say, we're impressed by most of the changes.

The Philips 37PFL7605H/05 costs about £800 online, which is still a little pricey for a 37-inch TV, but Philips has included loads of extra features on this LED-backlit LCD set, which might convince you to part with a little more money. Only if we say it's worth it, though, right?

No Freeview HD? Disappointing

We're inclined to moan about an £800 TV not having Freeview HD. However, with this being the first year of the high-definition terrestrial service, we're also forced to cut the company some slack. There are several legitimate reasons it might not have been possible to include such a tuner. While it's disappointing, it's not a show-stopper for us, as external receivers are available and there are plenty of other ways to get HD on your TV.

Basic Ambilight

Unlike the more expensive TVs in Philips' range, this set has only a two-sided system, where there are LED strips on the left and right of the TV, but nothing across the top or bottom of the screen. This means you get a slightly less immersive experience than with some of the company's higher-end TVs, but it's still something we like having.

Philips packs loads of features into a slim, LED-backlight display.

If you've never used Ambilight, we think you're missing a treat. It's one of those things we never thought we'd get on with but, in the end, turned out to be something we like a great deal. For watching movies in a darkened room, it really does add something special. It won't appeal to everyone, but give Ambilight a chance and it has the potential to change your viewing experience.

LED-illuminated LCD

This TV does away with the traditional fluorescent tube-based backlight, and opts for an LED-based edge-lighting system. We like this, because it means the TV is beautifully thin, and has an improved contrast and better power consumption. Of course, this technology comes at a price. The LED backlighting is part of the reason -- along with Ambilight -- why the TV is a little more expensive than we'd expect.

Sounds good to us

If there's one area in which Philips rarely disappoints, it's audio performance. The speakers on this TV seem to be no exception. They sound tight, well-controlled and have a good range. They produce enough sound for a room of moderate size and they don't distort at the higher end of the scale, either.

Of course, nothing will convince us to change our advice for AV enthusiasts. If you're buying a TV, spend some money on external speakers and a good surround-sound amp. These extras will pay for themselves with the warm feeling of bass in your belly.

Picture-processing nightmare

If we've said it in one Philips TV review, we've said it in them all. The company's picture processing is beyond a joke. Philips honestly won't be happy until every piece of video you watch on its TVs looks like it was shot on a cheap camcorder.

On its default settings, the 37PFL7605H/05 annihilates films and most other video content, too. The processing is so heavy-handed we can't bear it for more than a few moments. The good news is that these extra processing modes are configurable, and can be switched off. We suggest you head to the picture menu and disable anything that sounds like it might be a marketing buzzword, because it's likely to be destroying the picture.

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