For some people, even the one-off payment and lack of contract for Freeview Digital Services is too much to contemplate. Philips has decided to solve this by making the tuner part of the TV cost across its two quartets of LCD and Plasma screen televisions, allowing Digital TV and Radio from the outset, subject to aerial quality. The models up to 37in can be bought now, the 42 to 50in will be released in late summer.
All of the new models are equipped with a full seven-day Electronic Programme Guide, while seven are also compliant with EICTA standards for receiving High Definition broadcasts.
The range comprises of the 26/32/37PF5520D, 32/42PF7520D LCD TV's and 42/50PF9967D and 42PF5520D Plasma TVs. All except the entry-level 42PF5520D are HD Ready via DVI-I input that is HDMI, component video and VGA compatible. Extremely flexible, the DVI-I input is present on all models and also allows the TV to be used a PC monitor, plus with twin tuners, you can watch an analogue programme while recording a digital broadcast.
The line is fronted by the ALiS (1,024 x 1,024) 42PF9967D and XGA (1,366 x 768) 50PF9967D plasma TVs which also feature Philips' award-winning Pixel Plus 2 processing and acclaimed ambient backlighting technology, Ambilight.
Pixel Plus 2 enhances picture resolution to deliver unrivalled sharpness, detail and colour levels. Through interpolation the input signal is matched to the panel's resolution and unlike any other resolution enhancing technique, Pixel Plus 2 evaluates and adjusts both the luminance and contrast values of each individual pixel, ensuring each fuses accurately with surrounding pixels.
In conjunction, Philips' Digital Natural Motion applies motion compensation to moving images to dramatically reduce the effects of judder, image lag and blurring, which can occur by simply enhancing the resolution.
Philips' Ambilight technology has been scientifically proven to reduce eye-strain and provides a perceived improvement in picture quality, while at the same time creating a unique lighting effect which enhances the décor of any room.
In addition, pictures quality is further enhanced by Digital Crystal Clear, Active Control and Light Sensor technologies, which automatically adjusts picture levels to deliver optimum image quality. The trio of picture enhancing technologies are present in all eight models as is Virtual Dolby Surround, which creates dynamic and compelling surround sound from just two speakers.
Stylishly designed, both sets are amalgamated onto a swivel stand which allows 40-degrees of movement and ensures easy integration into a room without the need for wall-mounting.
The XGA (1,366 x 768) resolution 32PF7520D is the flagship LCD model in the line and along with the XGA (1,024 x 768) 42PF7520D applies Pixel Plus processing to deliver razor-sharp images. Both feature the Pulse Killer Chip - present in all models except the 42PF9967D and 50PF9967D - to reduce interference and impulse noise caused by domestic appliances and passing cars - eliminating artefacts to produce a cleaner picture.
The step-down 26/32/37PF5520D LCD sets are non-Pixel Plus variants of the 32PF7520D, sharing the same XGA (1,366 x 768) resolution, features and slim, stylish design. As part of the same line, the VGA (852 x 480) resolution 42PF5520D is the large-screen, low-cost plasma alternative.
All eight new additions to the IDTV line boast extensive connectivity which in addition to the flexibility offered by DVI-I input includes twin RGB Scart input (42/50PF9967D have a third composite video/stereo audio Scart input) and S-Video input.
It all sounds good, but with the 26in model debuting at £999 and then jumping £400 for 32in upwards to start from £1,399, the range will only truly take off around Xmas unless there's some price cutting on the street around sale time. Still, there's always a price to be paid for the cutting edge.