Review: Philips 46PFL5507H

 
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Published: October 29, 2012 9:00 AM
By Pierre-Jean Alzieu
Translated by: Hugh Ehreth
This is the 46" instalment in Philips' 5507 Series... Which in no way means that the quality and performance will be the same as the 40" models we tested a few weeks ago. In fact, it's an entirely different TV with a PSA panel by Samsung. All the basic features are the same: 3D, proprietary online services, 400 Hz PMR motion interpolation (actual refresh rate: 100 Hz)...

However, moving from a PVA panel on the 40PFL5507H to a PSA panel here can change the screen's rendering in all sorts of ways: viewing angles, colour accuracy, clouding, ghosting, 3D... you name it. Hence the better rating on this model!

Design4/5



The metal bezel is finely designed with quality materials. We like.

46pfl5507h menu


The 46PFL5507H includes access to Philips' online services and apps that, now as always, fail to entice us.

The media player has a lot more going for it: it's DLNA-compatible and reads almost any file format via USB. Pretty much the only format it doesn't play is the aging MKV. However, it doesn't read chapters and internal and external subtitles; this is an area where Samsung, LG and Panasonic hold a slight advantage.

46pfl5507h telecommande

The whole show is run with a rounded-edge remote control that feels perhaps a bit too plasticky, but has enough shortcuts to make it a handy device.

2D Image Quality4/5



46PFL5507H sous pix

Like the second versions of the 40PFL5507H line now being manufactured, the 46PFL5507H has a panel built by Samsung. But the similarities stop there. Instead of PVA, this time Philips went with PSA, as you can see in the shape of the subpixels (shown above).

46PFL5507H de test
Colours in Cinema mode: Average Delta E = 3
Série 5500 Effective anti-glare filter

Using our recommended settings (see inset), the image was more precisely rendered than on the 40" PVA panel. The colours are more accurate than on the 40PFL5507H—our sensor showed us an average Delta E of 3, which is just perfect. And the nuances of grey were just as excellent, with a gamma of almost 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6,527 K (where 6,500 K is the target).

The only thing that isn't as good on the 46PFL5507H is the contrast. We detected black at 0.09 cd/m² and white at 201 cd/m², giving a contrast of 2,370:1, compared to 3,380:1 on the PVA screen (FYI, higher contrast is better). If you tend to watch movies with the lights on, even low ambient lighting, you won't notice the difference; but if you watch movies in the dark, you may prefer the slightly deeper blacks on the 40" PVA screen.

Responsiveness
philips 42pfl7606h remanence
                                               Light background     Black background          Average
 
This graph shows ghosting time, which is measured in milliseconds and indicates the time it takes for the TV
to remove each frame after displaying the following frame. The shorter the ghosting time, the more fluid the moving image will appear.
.

The 40PFL5507H and 46PFL5507H are basically equally responsiveness. We found a 9.5 millisecond ghosting time on this 46" version, which is just 0.5 milliseconds faster than the 40" PVA models. The good news for gamers is that the input lag is very low, ranging from just 0 to 33 ms, which gives this TV one of the best input lags we've ever seen.

46PFL5507H LED

To reduce costs and energy use, Philips decided to go with a single LED bar along the right-hand edge. You'd think this would make the panel less homogeneously lit across the screen... But you would be wrong! The end result is surprisingly good for Edge LED (a technology in which the screen is lit with LEDs lining the edges of the screen), with only 9% variation in light across the panel.

Clouding4/5



46pfl5507h couding 2

Apart from the right-hand corners, which are just slightly lighter than the rest of the screen, the 46PFL5507H doesn't have any major clouding issues, putting its rating at 4 stars.

3D Image Quality3/5



Naturally, the 5500 series has active 3D. But the glasses aren't included, so you'll have to dish out a bit more if you want to watch 3D with friends and family. Each pair costs around £30. They're light, comfortable and rechargeable via USB.

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With more crosstalk than average, the 3D rendering on the 46PFL5507H isn't any better than the 40" models: when you're watching movies you often see two overlapping 2D images instead of one 3D image. Bummer.

(which is when you see two overlapping 2D images instead of one 3D image) than average. 3D objects in movies frequently don't come out in full 3D. A disappointment.

Here's how it looks as seen through the 3D glasses, compared to a few other TVs:

Série 5500
Série 5500
In a perfect 3D image, you wouldn't see any traces of the 'R' on the 'L' frame, and vice versa.

Philips probably shouldn't have bothered including the 2D-to-3D conversion function, either. The simulated 3D effect just isn't good enough to warrant having to wear 3D glasses. It's the kind of feature you'll try out once and then never touch again.

Audio2/5



LM860V audio
Green = good / Orange = tolerable / White = torture

The sound on the 46PFL5507H is disappointing (surprise, surprise). The low-end saturates every time you turn the volume up just a tad, hence the towering peak at 260 Hz. And the high-end comes with a heavy dose of distortion, enough to make you want to cringe. And to cap it off, the volume doesn't even go above 70 dB (85 dB would be the bare minimum for an enjoyable listening experience). If you want good sound out of the 46PFL5507H, you might also want to invest in a home cinema system.

Power Use5/5


The fact that there's just one LED bar lighting the screen makes the TV's energy use drop considerably. While running, this 46" version consumes the same amount as the 40" version, but distributed over a larger surface, which, at a total of 78 W, gives it a proportional consumption of 134 W/m², compared to 176 W/m² on the 40PFL5507H. Like many of their competitors, both TVs consume less than 1 W on standby. Excellent!

4/5 Philips 46PFL5507H DigitalVersus 2012-10-29 10:00:00

Pros

  • Good contrast: 2,270:1
  • Good black level: 0.09 cd/m²
  • Accurate colours: average Delta E = 3
  • Effective anti-glare treatment

Cons

  • 3D rendering: frequent crosstalk
  • Remote control too "plasticky"
  • Bad sound

Conclusion

The 46PFL5507H certainly isn't as good as the first version of the 40" model with the Sharp UV²A panel (which is no longer in production). Instead, it has similar rendering to the second 40" version that is now being manufactured, except without the clouding issues and with better energy use. 3D mode, however, is just as subject to crosstalk as on the 40PFL5507H.

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