The question whether a consumer should take the plunge in purchasing the relatively new LED-backlit television or procure the tried and tested LCD television still persists. Over the last two years, LED televisions have gained a foothold in stores, across the country with different brands launching their own iteration of the product. Manufacturers have increased the number of I/O ports found and improved compatibility with external drives. One such manufacturer, Philips, a company that is popular for their audio visual products such as televisions and stereo systems have recently launched the 32PFL5556 LED television. In a country where cost is king, read on to know if this television makes the cut.

The rounded corners add to the look

The rounded corners add to the look

Design and Build Quality
This 32-inch television is glossy black all over and pretty slim in depth. Due to the bezel being glossy black, we noticed that fingerprints smudged the surface. This is not an issue, really and by having a glossy black bezel, the television looks attractive and on par with other televisions from Sony, LG, Samsung, etc., in terms of looks. LED or LCD televisions, nowadays mostly have sharp corners to highlight their slim appearance. The corners of this TV are rounded which gives it a different look.

The well spaced side and rear connectors

The well spaced side and rear connectors

The controls for channels, volume, on/off and home are located at the bottom of the bezel. These controls are touch sensitive adding to the uniqueness of this TV. The buttons respond well and they too add to the looks of this television. The removal of buttons reduces the clutter found on some LED TVs. The connections found on this TV are located on the left side of the TV near the bezel. The connectivity options found on the side are two USB ports, three HDMI port, component, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. At the back, all connections are downward facing. By using this angle for the connections, the television can be flush against a wall, thereby leaving a very narrow gap when mounted. The stand of this television like the rest of it is very sturdy. The remote control is oblong in shape and extremely light-weight. The buttons are well-spaced and one can get used to it within a matter of minutes. The overall design and build quality of the Philips 32PFL5556 LED television is really good and we had no issues with it whatsoever.

Features
The Philips 32PFL5556 has some interesting features bundled in it. One of them is its ability to play full HD 1080p video files. The panel of this television features a 16:9 aspect ratio with an effective resolution of 1920 x 1080. Being an LED television, we can expect Philip’s claim that the power consumption of this TV is less, as LED TVs usually have a lower power consumption, as compared to LCD televisions.

The easy to use interface

The easy to use interface

The interface of this television is not among the best we've seen so far, but its not the worst, too. When an option is highlighted, a small animation appears, which indicates that the option is highlighted. We were pleasantly surprised to see that this TV not only supports FAT32 drives, but also NTFS drives. This increases the amount of add-on storage that can be played back on this TV. The interface, though not great looking is quite interactive and when you open a new menu, a different column opens on the right. Hence, one can go back and forth easily without much of a hassle. This LED TV also features two 10W speakers, which aid in providing good audio. The use of 10W speakers is fairly common on most 32-inch LED LCD TVs. To round up the features bit, the experience while using this TV is quite good and its ease of use adds to this experience.

Performance
The performance of the Philips 32PFL5556 LED TV was tested using the DisplayMate test by connecting it to a notebook by using the HDMI cable. Let us first start off by saying that though the black levels of this television are really good, they are not the best found on an LED TV. While running the test, the Greys mostly appeared accurate, but there was a slight green tinge noticed. Colours reproduced well and were natural, except for green, which was a bit vibrant. While checking if there was any glare, we noticed that the backlighting was good and there was no bleeding anywhere. In the colour intensity scales test, we observed that there was no bleeding between any of the scales across all colours.

Blu-ray playback is really good

Blu-ray playback is really good

We connected this LED TV to a Philips Blu-ray player and the performance was really good. All colours and skin tones appeared natural. Manufacturers tend to use technologies to enhance the motion flow while watching videos. Such upscaling was not noticed and it all appeared very natural. This added to the nice viewing experience of this TV. We played videos through an NTFS drive and though videos played well, the scrolling between the different videos was quite slow. We found this a bit disappointing, especially for a TV that fared well, thus far. During playback through a USB port, while adjusting the volume, there was no onscreen indication to show the adjustment of the volume. The remote control is quite responsive and even when we were not sitting directly in front of the TV, the TV’s sensor picked up the signal.

Slim and stylish

Slim and stylish

Verdict
The Philips 32PFL5556 is priced at a market operating price of Rs. 35,990. This is a bit expensive for an LED television, but it has done quite well in terms of design, build quality and even performance. The only real issue with this television is the sluggishness of the interface while reading through the USB port. This is a good television and one can consider it if they are in the market for a 32-inch LED LCD TV, as it provides good levels of ease of use. However, that being said, the recently reviewed Panasonic TH-L32X30D LED-LCD TV would be another worthwhile option, as it sells at a street price of Rs. 33,990 and also has Internet capabilities, but lacks the ability to playback videos at full HD 1080p.

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