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Philips 32PF9641D

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      12.07.2008 10:30
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      HD ready t.v

      I'm afraid to say that we love T.V in our house and it is usually turned on as soon as we get home from work and not turned off again until bedtime. (I know, I know, it's BAD for you!) So when our trusty Toshiba brokedown we were in a hurry to replace it, well we didn't want to miss any of our favourite programmes! However we soon realised this was no easy task, the choice is overwhelming, as are all the extras you need to choose. Is it digital? Is it HD ready? Does it have freeview built in? How good is the resolution? Do you want a tiny hand held thingy or one which will take up the whole 12ft wall in the living room?

      A few days later after gathering some information from friends who are a lot more techno minded than us we tried again. We had been completely seduced by the flat, bright screens and knew it was worth spending more to get good quality. After a few more hours searching we chose the Philips 32PF9641D.

      ===Product info===

      Resolution 1366 x 768p (not the best, but good for the price bracket)
      Freeview built in
      HD Ready
      USB connection
      Virtual Dolby Digital (for 'true life' sound)
      Ambilight ('mood' lighting!)

      This is not an exhaustive list, mainly just the information we could understand! Full information can be found on the website listed below.

      ===Price===

      We bought this well over a year ago now for £1400, which was a packaged deal including a glass & chrome stand, a 7" portable plasma T.V. and a Phillips DVD player with surround sound.

      ===Looks===

      Yep, very superficial, but it has to look right! We much preferred the glossy black finish of the Philips to any others in our price range. Many of them looked larger as the speakers were on the sides where as the Philips is at the bottom edge. Also the top edge and the sides to some degree are rolled, making it look a little 'softer'.

      ===Picture quality===

      This is the bonus to choosing in store rather than on the internet. All the televisions are playing, showing you exactly how bright and clear they are. This actually clinched the deal for us, we had rounded down the choice between this or a Samsung with very similar spec and price, but this Philips had obviously the best picture.

      ===Size===

      This is a 32 inch. Our living room is only 12ft x 12ft so we didn't want it completely dominating the room. Also, because of plug and arial sockets it had to fit into a certain corner. It is a perfect fit, and as I mentioned above, I'm glad the speakers aren't on the sides as it would have made it even bigger.

      The television and stand were delivered (with no problems!) a few days later and we quickly set to work setting it up. The instructions were very clearly set out on a fold out leaflet with large pictures set out in a kind of flow diagram. All the connections and scart cables we needed were in the box and once we had read through the instructions were easy to follow. My only problem here was the little stand which is fixed to the T.V to enable it to stand on a unit or larger stand does get in the way and makes connecting some of the cables to the allocated points quite difficult as it is difficult to get your hand through the small gaps. Mt husband obviously has bigger hands and found it impossible, but I'm sure if we managed, anyone can! The T.V is really heavy though and it took the two of us to set it upright, one to keep it steady and the other to tighten all the fixings etc. As it is so heavy, I was initially worried about it tipping if our four year old accidentally touched it, but it sits quite securely on the stand, it would need quite a substantial knock to make it topple.

      When turning it on for the first time, it automatically runs through the set up process. Here you choose the language, find the digital and analogue channels, choose the brightness and contrast etc. This is good, as it splits the screen in two and you make a variety of choices based on your preference of the left or right side of the screen.

      The ambilight feature is lovely, you have a few choices here, like how vivid you want it, changing or still, or you can simply turn it off. The lights are situated on either side, behind the surround. It casts a soft glow on the walls and is a nice feature when watching a good film in the evening with the lights off.

      The handbook is clear, but it is quite easy to change any settings without it. (Even for us) The menu button on the remote brings up a largish display with easy to follow options. We have plugged in our camera to the t.v and viewed our pictures, all very easy to do through the menu.

      ===Recommended?===

      Well, although not an expert, I would recommend this T.V. For complete technophobes like us, we managed to install it and set it up ourselves. Also I think the price was good when we bought it, but it can be bought cheaper now, (advertised at £899 - Play.com.) I'm also happy with the quality. The materials are all solid and heavy, giving a secure expensive feel. I don't feel we paid extra for the ambilight, we only paid about £40 more for this than our second choice and the picture quality on the Philips was far superior, although it did take a while to 'settle' and looked a bit grainy to begin with.

      Sorry if I've left out any information you find important, but I think this review has gone on long enough! Full information can be found at www.p4c.philips.com/files/3/32pf9641d_10/32pf9641d_10_pss_eng.pdf. or www.philips.com

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