I am a British expat living in the Netherlands. I paid 399EUR (354GBP at time of purchase) for this TV thinking it was just a normal HDTV at a good price.
How wrong I was! This is an excellent TV for the price!
The specification listings on all the web sites I visited (I did my research) do not do it justice.
For example, even this site lists no USB connection even though there is one! Most web sites don't mention the 'Home' screen where you can add icons for your connected devices, whether they are connected via HDMI, SCART, VGA or Component. The Home screen also gives you quick access to the EPG and settings as well as any connected device. There are other ways to get to these functions but the home screen puts it all in one neatly organsed place.
The built in media player will play pure AVI files but not the DivX flavour. The on-board help screens state that XVid files are playable but I have not tried this. Photos and other images have to be in the .jpg format.
I already owned a Philips Blu Ray player which, to my surprise, is controllable with the TV remote. The TV uses HDMI-CIC to talk to compatible devices through the HDMI cable. The TV calls it "Remote Control Pass-Through" and can be disabled for non-compatible devices. With the setting turned on, the TV detected the Blu Ray player and automatically added the appropriate icon to the Home screen.
I have a CI module connected to this TV with a cable TV SmartCard from Ziggo.nl. This works seamlessly and picked up 280 channels straight away. My subscription limits which ones I can view but all channels can be listed on screen as tiles. You can create lists (or groups) of channels and then set any of these lists as the default. I set most of the TV and Radio channels I can receive as favourites and use the 'Favourite' list for selecting channels, this filters out the channels I don't like or can't receive.
Image quality is great, even on the non-HD channels. I have the screen format set to 'Auto Zoom' which automatically displays 4:3 broadcasts correctly without stretching them (a pet hate of mine).
The body of the TV is black plastic with gloss black around the edges and the foot of the stand is black glass. It is asthetically pleasing and has only one visible red LED in standby mode. This LED flashes when remote control buttons are pressed. Buttons for power, source, chanel up/down and volume up/down can be found on the rear at the right hand side so aren't visible so don't detract from the look of the TV. There is a large cable tidy in the lower centre of the rear to keep cables together. My cable bundle is not visible at all and is also hidden by the vertical part of the stand.
And now the negatives....
Sometimes the TV is a little slow to respond to button presses on the remote control resulting in a second press which either cancels the first one or, in the case of channel +/- buttons, a jump of more than one channel.
The standard sound setup is a little tinny for my liking. You will probably have to configure the 'user' settings to add some bass.
No DivX support is a little annoying to me but my Blu Ray player does support it and has a USB input also.
The TV came with firmware v2.02 installed. The documentation recommends downloading the latest version from the website and installing it via USB. However, v2.08 does not work properly with this TV and because myself and other users complained about this on the Philips support forum, they took it off the website and replaced it with v2.06, which at the time of wrting this review, is a stable working version.
Excellent TV for the price. More functions than the specification listings on most web sites mention and it looks good. The menu system is good with a very detailed help funtion. The 'Home' screen is a brilliant idea and is easily customisable.
Because of the slight niggles, I give it 9/10
- Price, Connections, Home screen, functions not listed in the specifications.
- Sometimes slow response to button press, no DivX support.