Another Full HD LCD
- Good picture quality, four HDMI inputs
- High price, 100Hz mode flickers, not many legacy inputs
It has all the right specifications, but an imperfect 100Hz mode and a lack of inputs for older devices stop the 42PFL903D being an easy choice.
Price$ 3,299.00 (AUD)
Philips' latest 42-inch LCD offers good picture quality and plenty of digital inputs in a design suited to modern decor. It's not perfect, however, with a 100Hz mode that doesn't work quite as well as expected and not enough support for analog connections. The 42PFL9703D is a model that's targeted directly at other class-leading LCD ranges, like Sony's latest Bravias.
The screen is styled to suit modern living spaces, rather than the traditional, conservative looks we've seen on panels like Sony's Bravia KDL52W4000. The main accoutrement is thin, clear plastic that runs around the edge of the panel. The rest of the television is gloss black; the combined result is a striking and attention-drawing device.
Connectivity is a mixed bag. The television's ports are all rear-facing, rather than angled downwards. While this has the disadvantage of making the prospective footprint of the television larger (you can't shove it up against a wall), it allows for cables to be connected with far more ease and less crawling on the floor. Four HDMI ports allow plenty of digital devices to be connected, but the combined VGA/component input means that if you have multiple analog devices you'll be stuck switching them around constantly. The inclusion of two SCART ports is somewhat confusing — SCART is common in European home-entertainment technology but somewhat rarer here — although the ports can be used for composite or component input with an appropriate adapter cable. Dedicated S-Video and composite ports are also built in to the side of the unit.
The 42PFL9703D also has a DNLA-certified Ethernet port, which can be connected to your home network to allow for media streaming directly to the television. The next frontier is including Wi-Fi to further cut down on cables, but that's still a pipedream for now. We weren't able to successfully connect the 42PFL9703D to our network, but home users with a simpler system may have more luck. The television lacks adjustability for more advanced network settings, so power users will be left wanting.
When it comes to the job of actually displaying content, the 42PFL9703D does well. When watching an HD-DVD copy of Transformers we found images to be well-balanced, with a more natural colour gamut than the vibrancy we found in the Sony Bravia KDL52W4000. Contrast levels were consistently high and stayed equal from side-to-side, including at extreme viewing angles. However, we did find that there was a dramatic loss in contrast outside of the optimal vertical viewing angle — this might present issues if you're not a sedentary couch potato.
The panel also handled standard-definition content well and didn't blur DVD-quality video excessively. There was a noticeable amount of interpolation, but this is the price you pay for buying a new TV and viewing older content on it.
Philips offers 'Perfect Natural Motion' 100Hz technology that it claims uses twice the processing power of other panels to provide a smoother, jump-free experience. You'll most likely want to leave it disabled when you're watching films due to the flicker it introduces in static scenes, but it definitely helped during fast-motion video games. First-person shooters and racing games alike have a lot of scenes with noticeable motion; with 'Perfect Natural Motion' enabled this content did seem noticeably more fluid. It was also a boon for television sports and racing, where panning and zooming shots are commonplace.
As a high-definition model, the 42PFL9703D sits equally with its competitors such as the LG 42LG60FD. It's not the best in its class, but it's a solid performer with a few extra perks, like network connectivity, which might make it slightly more attractive for consumers.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW
- TPProgram ManagerNSW
- CCLead DevOps Architect l AWS- Cloud- Linux- Puppet Ansible- JIRA-DatadogNSW
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTLevel 2 Help Desk SupportNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- CCPerformance AnalystVIC
- FTExecutive Sales ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Account ManagerACT
- CCMicrosoft Active Directory ArchitectACT
- TPAnsarada Data Room AdministratorNSW
- TPDynamics CRM Technical Delivery ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Applications Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- CCSenior Network ArchitectVIC
- CCICT Contracts ManagerSA
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCNetwork Systems Engineer l Application Support l Linux l Port MacquarieNSW
- TPTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- CCJava Developer/ Guidewire Developers - Brisbane basedVIC
- FTCheckpoint Firewall and VPNNSW