Philips 55PFL5706/F7 LCD TV Review
The Philips 55PFL5706 is worth checking out if you want a smart TV for less.
Koninklijke Philips Electronics, or Philips, as its better known, has been selling TVs since 1949. The Dutch electronics manufacturer released their 5000 series televisions this year. The 5000 series are economically priced smart TVs, and guess what? They aren’t bad.
The 55PFL5706 (MSRP $1,200) is the largest of the company’s 5000 series models. This Philips had some solid performance scores, especially when it came to its superb viewing angle and above-average audio. The menu interface is easy on the eyes and simple to use. Even the smart platform on this TV, called Net TV, was decent, which was a pleasant surprise. That said, there were some issues with color accuracy and motion performance that prevent the 55PFL5706 from being an easy recommendation.
The design is more Uncle Phil than King Philip.
The Philips 55PFL5706 includes all of the essential ports, like four HDMI ports, a USB port, a component input, and a composite input. The placement of these connections could have been better, specifically the three HDMI ports underneath the composite input. These ports are facing downward and can make connecting an additional video game console or Blu-Ray player rather difficult.
The design of the 55PFL5706 can be summed up as unremarkable and uninspired: it is thick and constructed from cheap-feeling plastic. The bezel around the screen looks like it could be pulled off if enough force was applied. My biggest complaint with the design, though, is the unresponsive remote. I'm not sure whether this is an issue with the infrared sensor in the TV or the signal coming from the remote itself, but if the remote is not pointed directly at the TV's sensor, it will not work.
With that said, the Philips 55PFL5706 is not an offensive looking TV, but don’t expect the same quality and sleek design that a nearly $4,000 Samsung will get you.
Smart TV Features
Philips' smart platform, Net TV, is decent.
This TV's menu interface isn't bad. It's a simple, semi-transparent rectangle in the middle of the screen that lists options for Picture, Sound, Features, Installation, and Software. Picture and Sound are self-explanatory. Features has options for a child lock and closed-caption settings. Installation has Clock, Language, and Network settings. Software allows you to update the software version as well as deactivate your Netflix, YouTube, and VUDU accounts. This is actually a great option for people who don’t want their lowlife roommates leeching off of their Netflix subscription.
Speaking of Netflix—yes, it is included on the 55PFL5706. Didn't know Philips had a smart platform? It was news to me, too. Philips calls its smart platform Net TV and to be honest, it’s not the worst platform I've seen. Net TV offers a fair amount of substance because it uses three separate content providers: CloudTV, vTuner, and VUDU. This gives Philips access to a wide array of content, although some names are absent. Netflix is here, but Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video are not present. Furthermore the overall performance of the smart platform is rather sluggish.
Color accuracy and motion performance were problematic.
The most impressive feature on the Philips 55PFL5706 is the wide total viewing angle of 74°, which is excellent for an LCD TV. Unfortunately, other features were not nearly as good.
Colors on the 55PFL5706 are off—they appear more vivid than they should. Motion is another problem area: images are very blurry when moving across the screen, vertical lines are jagged when going horizontally across the screen, and color trailing is very noticeable.
While this Philips doesn't have the best picture quality, it manages to have impressive audio. I realize that no one in their right mind would purchase a TV strictly for its sound quality, but the 55PFL5706 deserves credit for the clean audio coming from its two 10-watt speakers.
While its picture quality isn't top-notch, this Philips has some worthwhile features.
We are pretty impressed by the Philips 55PFL5706. Its viewing angle, audio, and menu interface are good. It even has a decent smart platform in Net TV. While the 55PFL5706 stumbles when it comes to motion performance, color accuracy, and especially the unresponsive remote, it is't enough to leave a completely negative impression. As long as you aren't expecting to be blown away by its picture quality, the Philips 55PFL5706 is worth checking out if you want a smart TV for less.
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