Manufacturers often offer attractive bundles and special offers in order to lure customers and get a leg up on the competition. Philips is one such company, bundling a 3D Blu-ray player, a 42-inch LED television and a wireless keyboard in one attractive package. After the Blu-ray player, today we look at another component of the bundle – the Philips 42PFL6556 42-inch LED LCD television. Read on to find out if this television can manage to make a mark in the feverishly competitive LED LCD TV market.

Touch sensitive controls

Touch sensitive controls

Design and Build Quality
The 42PFL6556 has a glossy black bezel that is curved at all the corners. Slim is the way to survive in the cut throat LED LCD television space, and Philips has done just that with this model. Though this is not the slimmest TV we’ve seen, the bezel measures just about an inch on the sides and top, and a little over an inch at the bottom. The Philips logo is located at the bottom of the bezel, and below it is the TV’s control panel, which is unique since its buttons are touch-sensitive. Not only does this design approach reduce clutter around the bezel, but it also makes the TV look more stylish. The controls available here include volume and channel controls, the home menu, and the power on/off controls.

The connectivity ports are located at the rear, and like most televisions, they are positioned towards the left side of the TV. This way, you don’t have to reach too far back to access them. The connectors aren’t outward-facing, but rather face towards the side and down. This way, the TV can be mounted flush against the wall, with no wires coming in the way. The connections at the back include three HDMI ports, two USB ports, and single composite, component and VGA connectors.

Remote control is really light weight

Remote control is really light weight

The remote control is similar in design to that of the Philips Blu-ray player, but it is longer. Though it has more buttons, they are well spaced out. The base is not very large, but it supports the TV without any difficulty and keeps it stable. There is no wobble whatsoever when it’s place on the stand. Overall, the design and build quality of the 42PFL6556 is really good.

Features
The headlining feature of this TV is its full HD 1080p video playback support. With 1080p becoming the norm these days, and various Blu-ray titles being released at this resolution, full HD is the way to go. The TV also gives you the option to get rid of the black vertical bands that appear at the top and bottom of the screen in some movies, but it also crops out a bit of the picture on either side in the bargain.

Other highlighted features of this TV include its Pixel Plus HD image processing technology, HD Natural Motion and dynamic contrast of 8,000,000:1. This is basically marketing jargon to try and make the product stand out. When it actually comes down to it, the reproduction of colors is good, and the images appear natural. Most televisions use technology that raises the motion rate, thus making the scene look faster than it’s supposed to be. That is not the case with the 42PFL6556.

Interface is simple but easy to navigate through

Interface is simple and easy to navigate through

The interface is pretty simple and user-friendly. It has a few widgets on the screen that lay out various options and settings. These are pretty standard, such as TV, USB, Scenes, etc. The minimalistic design allows one to easily navigate between the options. It also has two USB ports, which support NTFS drives for media playback. Most televisions with media playback feature only support FAT32 drives, but with the ability to play via NTFS hard drives, one can simply connect their high capacity external drives and play back videos effortlessly.

The TV supports most video formats, including MKV, MT2S, AVI, MP4, and M4A. The interface in the folder options has a pan-style layout. The folder is to the right, while its contents line up on the left. Another interesting part of this layout is that at the extreme left, there is a preview pane that displays the thumbnail of the content.

Performance
The performance of the Philips 42PFL6556 was tested by connecting it to the Philips BDP5200 3D Blu-ray player, which came bundled with it. We also hooked up a notebook to run the DisplayMate test as well as an NTFS hard drive to play videos. While running the DisplayMate test, we noticed that Greys and Whites were reproduced well. Out of the box, Philips has stayed true to its marketing; the colors appear natural indeed. This was the case with most colors, except for Green, which was a tad bit vibrant. In the contrast test, we saw that most of the dark Grey blocks could be made out, which means that the Black levels of the television are really high. In the color scales test, we noticed that there was no bleeding across colors, expect for Blue.

Connectors are well spaced

Connectors are well spaced

While watching Blu-rays, the colors appeared natural and there was hardly any image noise. The skin tones looked natural as well. When we connected an NTFS hard drive, we saw that the drive read on the TV really fast. When we were scrolling through the different menus, we noticed that there was slight lag as the television was trying to put a preview in the pane on the left. During video playback through the hard drive, we noticed that the performance of the TV was really good. All colors appeared as they should, and there was minimal noise in the images. We were also impressed with the television’s ability to play MKV and the not so common M4A files. Besides the lag while scrolling through the menus, this television is a solid performer.

Colours appear natural on screen

Colours appear natural on screen

Verdict
The Philips 42PFL6556 LED LCD TV retails in India at an MRP of Rs. 64,990 and can be purchased at a street price of lesser than Rs. 60k. This is a really good television, but our only problem is the price of this model with respect to the package offered by Philips. Overall, this television offers really good video quality and the ability to read NTFS files and play a ton of video formats is a massive bonus. If you’re looking for a television with USB capabilities, 1080p full HD video playback and are willing to spend this much, then the 42PFL6556 is a good choice. Philips is currently offering a 3D Blu-ray player as well as a wireless keyboard for just Rs. 5,000 more. If you are looking for a complete set, then buying the bundle would be a more feasable option.

Publish date: October 17, 2011 4:42 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:44 pm

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