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Philips 7603D Ambilight TVs: 2008 LCD range invades Blighty

Philips has announced the arrival of its new LCD TV range with all sorts of Ambilight and magical picture processing to improve your TV viewing -- and no doubt the rest of your life

After something of a wait, Philips' new range of LCDs are finally hitting the shores of our fair island (Holland is a long way away... oh) and bring with them an intriguing range of features that build on the success of Philips' previous Ambilight tellies.

The range is made up of four models, starting with the 32-inch 32PFL7603D. It's a 720p TV and Philips claims it'll cost £800, but we've seen it online for less than £650. The other three screen sizes are all 1080p models. The 37-inch 37PFL7603D starts at £999 (Amazon lists it for £799 with free delivery), then there's the 42-inch 42PFL7603D and the 47-inch 47PFL7603D, which have list prices of £1,199 and £1,499 respectively (£975 and £1,195 on Amazon).

All of the TVs can handle 1080p/24 material (the 32-incher downscales it) and Philips claims that they reduce any film motion judder substantially. Like all TVs, some bold claims are also made about contrast ratio, with Philips boasting an especially impressive figure of 30,000:1 here. There's also an even more awe-inspiring 4 trillion colours visible on-screen, while some other technology works magic on MPEG compression, and no doubt turns Freeview into Super Hi-Vision. Or not.

In the past we've found Philips picture processing to be a little heavy-handed, although when it's switched off the TVs perform pretty well. So it will be interesting to see how these TVs stack up against the competition. They have Ambilight on their side too, which is one of those things you'll either be desperate to have, or view as a total gimmick.

The design is also geared up for today's tastes, with a slim frame, invisible speaker system and in the two largest models, a special subwoofer system to beef up the sound. Happily there are also four HDMI sockets, which is about right for our high-definition lifestyles.

We'll be reviewing these screens soon, so do keep an eye on our reviews area for these TVs and many, many more. -Ian Morris