Test Bench: Philips 42PFL7432D 42-inch LCD HDTV

Color temperature (Movie Mode/Warm Color Temperature before/after calibration): 20 IRE: 7,482 / 6,703 K 30 IRE: 7,118 / 6,473 K 40 IRE: 7,138 / 6,554 K 50 IRE: 7,236 / 6,718 K 60 IRE: 7,068 / 6,591 K 70 IRE: 6,995 / 6,462 K 80 IRE: 7,081 / 6,562 K 90 IRE: 7,084 / 6,546 K 100 IRE: 6,741 / 6,391 K Brightness (100-IRE window): 61.7 / 43.0 ftL

Primary Color Accuracy

Color Target X Measured X Target Y Measured Y
Red 0.63 0.624 0.34 0.347
Green 0.31 0.278 0.60 0.612
Blue 0.155 0.152 0.07 0.061

In its Movie preset with Warm color temperature selected, the Philips grayscale showed a blue bias that tracked fairly consistently around 7000 degrees kelvin and was as much as +736 K off the 6500 K standard (at 50 IRE). The Custom color temperature menu adjustments in the set's user menu enabled me to fine-tune this to where the 50-IRE window was off by a modest +218 K, and the rest of the grayscale from 30 to 100 IRE was ±109 K off the standard - very good for an LCD, or for any display. It's worth noting that despite the TV's slightly blue lean on the out-of-box Movie/Warm preset, a consistently-tracked 7000 K isn't a terribly offensive result, and I think many movie watchers could live happily with this grayscale without feeling the need to pay for an expensive calibration.

The TV's Dynamic Contrast menu option noticeably darkened the blacks and punched up the contrast. Measurements revealed that at the minimum Dynamic Contrast setting, dark scenes were pushed blue on the grayscale, with window test patterns of 50 IRE and below tracking around 8,800 K, while the accuracy of windows above 50 IRE were maintained around 6,400 K. This blue bias is more difficult to detect on dark scenes than on bright scenes, and I came to feel that the benefits of Dynamic Contrast at this minimal setting outweighed any issues of grayscale accuracy in the lower IRE windows, so I left it on for most of my viewing.

The TV's red, green, and blue color points, which define the overall color gamut the set can deliver as well as the starting points from which it derives all colors, were also very good for an LCD. Red, in particular, was spot on the HDTV specification, and the blue and green weren't far off. (See chart.) Color decoding was also atypically accurate, with test patterns revealing a -7% error on green and no error at all on red and blue.

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