Philips Ambilight 46PFL5605/12 1080P Full HD LED Television Review

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Published: 20th December 2010
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Hoping to entice buyers with an inexpensive model, Philips has developed the 46PFL5605, an entry level model that lacks many key components that more expensive televisions have. Has Philips done enough to ensure that the visual quality of the 46PFL5605 is good enough to make buyers forget about its lack of features? Keep reading to find out.

Out of the box, the 46PFL5605 requires some minor assembly of the stand in order for the television to be placed onto it. While the television appears to be modern and sleek in construction, it does appear to be slightly inferior in quality to the higher priced Philips models. Despite their efforts, however, the television looks cheap with its shiny black frame. Because the 46PFL5605 is equipped with LED back lighting instead of side lighting, it is thicker than Philips' more expensive models. The remote control that comes with the television is of poor design, having few buttons and no descriptions of what the buttons that are there do.

Philips has sacrificed the 46PFL5605's connectivity by reducing the amount of options in order to justify its low price in comparison to top models. The television features 2 HDMI slots, VGA, RCA, and component video connections, a SCART connector, and a headphone jack. Absent from the 46PFL5605 is an Ethernet port, which is available on more expensive televisions. Fortunately, the designers of the 46PFL5605 have arranged the ports so that they face downwards, making it easy to wall mount the unit.

The 46PFL5605 does have one thing in common with its more expensive counterparts - its poorly implemented menu and setup functions. Philips designed the system to be user friendly, but more often than not, the design proves to be clunky and inefficient. Philips has made it difficult to navigate through the menu system with its poorly designed remote control and the sheer number of steps required to change one setting is annoying.

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Philips has removed two key features including a Freeview HD tuner and an Ethernet port, which could have been used to connect to the internet. Philips' Pixel Plus HD and HD Natural Motion have been included in the 46PFL5605, giving the television better video quality. The television can display up to 4 trillion colours with Pixel Plus HD and remains blur free in high speed scenes on the screen thanks to HD Natural Motion.

Surprisingly, the visual quality of the 46PFL5605 is quite good, despite its price point. Images are sharp and crisp in 1080p and colours are vibrant. Perhaps the only complaint about the picture quality is the poor black levels the television produces. This is probably due more to LCD technology's limitations than the actual performance of the TV.

The 46PFL5605 features a 2.1 speaker sound system. The speakers are average, producing satisfactory sound, which can be tweaked in the setup menu.

Buyers should keep in mind that this is Philip's entry level model. Although the Philips 46PFL5605 lacks many features and has a cumbersome navigation system, the good picture quality will make the budget conscious shopper consider it as a contender.

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