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Philips 32PF9830: Ambilight of my life

Philips' 32PF9830 is a 32-inch HD Ready LCD, but like some sort of technological peacock it raises up a beautiful show of lights from the fluorescent Ambilight panels on the rear

Regular LCD TVs are just so boring -- they're all so preoccupied with 'HD Ready' badges and HDMI sockets that they forget about design. At £1,500, the Philips 32PF9830 may be more expensive than most 32-inchers, but its Ambilight panels produce a veritable firework display of colours as you play Grand Theft Auto. This mix of technological power and design extravagance is like dining on a juicy steak of high definition, and washing it down with the finest red wine.

The Ambilight LCD may well be the most gorgeous-looking LCD we've had in the office, but it's not been at the cost of all the usual Philips high-definition gubbins. The TV not only has HDMI and DVI inputs (both HDCP ready for Sky HD), but it features the latest Pixel Plus 2 processing technology optimised for high definition. Philips dropped off a Shuttle PC filled to the brim with HD video clips for us to look at, and the results are so crisp, colourful and jaw-droppingly smooth that we had trouble going back to regular TV afterwards.

Our preliminary look at the 32PF9830 is impressive, with amazing results from the Xbox 360 but slightly less awe-inspiring pictures from DVD. It's also a shame that the TV is more expensive than the competition but doesn't include an integrated digital tuner. We'll have the full verdict on the Ambilight LCD in the next couple of weeks. -GC

Update: a full review of the Philips 32PF9830 is now live.