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Philips 9000 (37PFL9604H/12) review: Philips 9000 (37PFL9604H/12)

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Terrific pictures
The 37PFL9604H/12 also sports Philip's ultra-powerful Perfect Pixel HD video-processing engine. The speciality of this system is, in our opinion, its ability to make standard- and high-definition pictures look sensationally detailed and sharp, while making motion appear fluid and clean. It also applies its formidable power -- it can handle 500m pixels a second -- to improving contrast, colour and noise reduction.

So powerful is this TV's video-processing engine that some aspects of it can cause processing artefacts with certain sources. Philips has sensibly provided all the tools you'll need to keep on top of any such problems in the set's enormously long and comprehensive on-screen menus.

The fact that you really ought to delve quite regularly into the menus makes this TV more labour-intensive than your average 37-inch set. But your efforts will be rewarded with one of the finest picture performances that the flat-TV world has yet produced.

Standard-definition pictures are so sharp and detailed that they honestly look more like HD at times. And HD pictures look unbelievably crisp. The clarity remains intact even when there's plenty of motion in a scene, thanks to the peerless efforts of Philips frame-interpolation and motion-compensation circuits. Provided you don't leave the Perfect Natural Motion setting turned up high, you even get the motion enhancements without having to put up with much of the shimmering-halo side effect that used to plague Philips' earlier motion-processing efforts.

Other picture highlights include outstandingly rich but remarkably natural colours, and some of the deepest black levels seen on any LCD TV without LED backlighting. The 37PFL9604H/12 also has an uncanny knack for suppressing video noise from even the most low-quality of source signals.

This TV's talents don't end with its terrific pictures, either. Its sound leaves the bass-light, flimsy audio offerings of most flat TVs for dead, thanks to Philips' inspired decision to have a couple of mid-range drivers on the TV's rear running in harmony with two dome tweeters tucked somewhere underneath the bezel.

The Philips 37PFL9604H/12 isn't a TV for the technologically or financially faint of heart. It's been uncompromisingly designed by and for people who value raw AV quality above all else -- no matter how much time and money it costs them.

Edited by Charles Kloet

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