Most helpful critical review
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
It's okay but seems to have HDMI handshake problems
on November 27, 2009
I bought this back in August on impulse at a store when the old CRT TV in my kitchen quit working one day. I've seen better picture quality, but it's certainly not bad for a TV this size and price. As for sound, I think it's pretty decent for a smallish TV. Better than expected actually. I also like the ability to upgrade the firmware using a USB flash drive. Very handy, and I wish all non-internet enabled TVs were like this. My slightly older Toshiba requires a memory card to upgrade the firmware. No big deal but the USB option is quicker and easier in my opinion.
My problem with this TV is that it doesn't always perform the HDMI handshake correctly with my DirecTV HD receiver (HR2x-700) and the result when this happens is a screen with a pink/purple hue and no sound. This wouldn't be an issue if you plan to only use the TV's built-in digital tuner or use component connections instead of HDMI, but I don't.
I'm no stranger to electronic gadgets and technology, so I can assure you that this isn't a case of user error. I have two DirecTV HD receivers (HR20-700 & HR23-700) and while my other larger LCD TV (a Toshiba) has *zero* HDMI handshake problems, this one does. I tried all the different HDMI inputs and it's not an HDMI cable problem either, as I have tried several including the one I use for the Toshiba. While it is possible that part of the issue lies in the DirecTV receiver, the bottom line is that this problem does NOT occur with the Toshiba using the same cable and DirecTV receivers so there is clearly something different about this Philips model and how it handles HDMI.
Will you have HDMI handshake problems with this TV? You might, you might not, but at a minimum I would not recommend this TV if you plan to use it with a DirecTV HD receiver via HDMI. I don't have a need for anything else connected via HDMI to this TV, so I can't tell you if this happens with other HDMI hardware (such as a Blu-Ray player). This problem primarily pops up if the TV is turned on when the DirecTV receiver is already on, such as if I am watching DirecTV in the bedroom on a CRT and my wife turn this LCD on in the kitchen. (This receiver resides in the bedroom but is shared between the bedroom and kitchen). Recent changes to DirecTV firmware have in some ways helped the problem and in other ways made it worse. You may say that the problem is with the DirecTV receiver then, but I will remind you that my Toshiba *never* has this problem. Draw your own conclusions from that. There are other DirecTV users with similar HDMI problems on certain specific TVs and I am not alone with this problem on a Philips LCD TV. At least DirecTV listens to their customers and attempts to correct problems that only some people report (there is an online forum that allows for indirect contact with DirecTV developers and allows customers the option of testing beta versions of their firmware). I tried contacting Philips about this problem and while they initially responded pretty quickly, they never followed up with it after they asked for more details and I provided them. I even tried a more recent firmware update from Philips but it made no difference.
I'm currently shopping for another 22" LCD TV for the kitchen, about the biggest we have room for, and hopefully one that will work better with an HDMI connection. At that time I will move this TV to the master bedroom (where the DirecTV receiver is) and connect it using component cables. I will still have a comparable HD picture but this will stop the HDMI problem. If it weren't for having the HDMI cable running inside walls to get from the bedroom to the kitchen I'd just hook it up that way now but I shouldn't have to do that anyway in my opinion.
I usually save the box for months for things like this, but for some strange reason I decided to throw it out after only two days before we noticed this problem around a week later. If I hadn't thrown out the box, I would have exchanged it for a different brand. I guess I could have tried to exchange it for another of the same model but I'm not sure that would have helped as I think it's just a quirk in the TV's hardware and/or firmware.
This review isn't so much to put Philips down, but just to warn others of some potential issues that may arise. If you decide to purchase this TV for exclusive use with an HDMI connection, I hope it works well for you.