Philips 42PF9631D HD Plasma - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1653 Old 08-27-2006, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Begin postings for the Philips 42PF9631D/37 here.

Picture/Display
Aspect ratio : 16:9
Brightness : 1,500
Contrast ratio (typical) : 10,000:1
Diagonal screen size (inch) : 42
Diagonal screen size (metric) : 107 cm
Display screen type : HD Plasma panel
Picture enhancement : Pixel Plus 3 HD, 3/2-2/2 Motion Pulldown, 3D Combfilter, Active Control + Light sensor, Jagged Line Suppression, Progressive Scan, Widescreen Plus, Pixel Plus 3 HD Screen enhancements : Anti ageing circuit, Anti-Reflection coated screen
Viewing angle (horizontal) : 160
Viewing angle (vertical) : 160
Panel resolution : 1024 x 768p

Ambilight
Ambilight Features : Auto adaptive to video content, 2 Channel Left/Right control
Color Settings : Full Multi Colour
Dimming Function : Manual and via Light Sensor
Preset modes : 4 Active Adaptive modes

Supported Display Resolution
Computer formats : 640 x 480, 60Hz, 800 x 600, 60Hz, 1024 x 768, 60Hz, 1366 x 768, 60Hz
Video Formats : 640 x 480i - 1Fh, 640 x 480p - 2Fh, 720 x 576i - 1Fh, 720 x 576p - 2Fh, 1280 x 720p - 3Fh, 1920 x 1080i - 2Fh

Sound
Sound Enhancement : Digital Signal Processing, Dynamic Bass Enhancement, Graphic Equalizer
Sound System : Virtual Dolby Digital
Output power (RMS) : 2x12W
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post #2 of 1653 Old 08-27-2006, 02:30 PM
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OK, just to help get things started in this thread, here are some of the differences I noticed between the 42PF9631D and the 42PF9630A:

UPGRADES FOR THE 42PF9631D:

-Stereo Ambilight is activated by default.

- The set is more energy efficient. (372W when powered vs. 426W for the 9630A).

- The set has Pixel Plus 3, which is supposedly an upgrade from Pixel Plus 2 in the 9630A.

-Included stand is redesigned, and appears to be of better quality.

SIDEGRADES FOR THE 42PF9631D (Things that are different, not necessarily better or worse) :

- Speakers are now located in one piece at the bottom of the display, as opposed to two separate side speakers on the 9630A.

- All connectors now appear to be located on the back of the TV, as opposed to the bottom HDMI and and analog video and audio out connectors on the 9630A.

- Remote is redesigned slightly from the 9630A remote.

DOWNGRADES FOR THE 42PF9631D:

- Speakers are downgraded to 12W per channel, down from 15W per channel on the 9630A.

- Media card reader has been eliminated.

- The set has only 1 USB slot, as opposed to the two on the 9630A.

- Cable card reader has been eliminated. (What were they thinking?!?)

- The set weighs 5 more pounds than the 9630A. (97 lbs. vs. 92lbs.)

Other than these few changes, the sets appear to be the same. Any other differences that people have noticed?
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post #3 of 1653 Old 08-28-2006, 07:19 AM
 
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Is this THE user thread for the 9631 -- nothing else ?

I'm surprised it's not longer. I wonder if people are still posting on the 9630 User Thread.
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post #4 of 1653 Old 08-28-2006, 07:33 AM
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It's the same as the 42PF9631D minus the ambilight, pixel plus 3HD, and different bezel (gray/black with speakers on the side).

It's over here in another thread, but I'll re-post:

42PF9431D impressions

Before this plasma, I had the 42PF7220A, but after numerous problems, I swore that I would not buy another Philips again. Unfortunately for me, I had forgotten about the dreaded WAF!! I purchased an LG to replace my older Philips, and well...that didn't go too well with the wife since it didn't fit the entertainment center as well as the Philips. So...the next day I returned it and drove to Costco and got their latest replacement for the 7220A.

Anyway, this model (exclusive to Costco maybe?) seems to be a frankenstein of sorts. It has the same bezel (a little darker silver/gray though with black around the screen) as the 42PF5321D that's sold at Sam's with the same specs as the 42PF9631D sold everywhere else (minus the pixel plus 3D and ambilight). It has the same number of inputs as the 42PF9631D - two HDMI, 3 AV, digital and analog audio out, USB, side inputs, etc. No cablecard slot however. It, of course, has built-in QAM tuner as well.

The picture it produces is very very nice, and it also seems that they have updated the active control mechanism to actually work decently. The internal scaler/de-interlacer is quite an improvement over the 7220A/7320A - to my eyes anyway. SD content is very nice actually....much better than the LG that I had briefly

Other than that, it has all the menu options as before...so not much change there. The best news of all, is that the firmware was just updated to handle the "black screen" issue...so far so good.

Anyway, just thought I would throw that out there. I'm crossing my fingers...but not too tightly since I bought it from Costco, and well...you know the rest

Technical specifications

Picture/Display
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Brightness: 1500 cd/m²
Diagonal screen size (inch): 42 inch
Display screen type: HD Plasma panel
Picture enhancement: Pixel Plus, Progressive Scan, Active Control + Light sensor, 3/2 - 2/2 motion pull down, Widescreen Plus, 3D Combfilter, Contrast Plus
Screen enhancement: Anti ageing circuit, Anti-Reflection coated screen
Panel resolution: 1024 x 768p
Contrast ratio (typical): 10000:1
Viewing angle: 160º (H) / 160º (V)

Sound
Sound Enhancement: Digital Signal Processing, Dynamic Bass Enhancement, Graphic Equaliser
Output power (RMS): 2 x 15W
Sound System: Virtual Dolby Digital

Convenience
Ease of Installation: Autostore, PLL Digital Tuning, Plug & Play, Automatic Tuning System (ATS), Auto Program Naming
Ease of Use: On Screen Display, Side Control, Smart Picture Control, Channel list, Smart Sound Control, Delta Volume per preset, Auto Volume Leveller (AVL), Graphical User Interface
Screen Format Adjustments: Subtitle and Heading Shift, 6 Widescreen Modes, 4:3, Auto Format, Movie expand 14:9, Movie expand 16:9, Subtitle Zoom, Super Zoom, Widescreen
Child Protection: Child Lock+Parental Control
Picture in Picture: HDMI-Component PIP
Clock: Smart Clock
Teletext: Closed Captioning Full Text
VESA Mount: Vesa compliant

Multimedia Applications
Digital Content Management: Digital Media Reader
Multimedia connections: USB
Playback Formats: JPEG Still pictures, MP3, Slideshow files (.alb)

Tuner/Reception/Transmission
TV system: ATSC, NTSC
Video Playback: NTSC
Aerial Input: 75 ohm F-type
Cable: Unscrambled Digital Cable -QAM Connectivity
Other connections: Monitor out, CVBS, L/R (cinch), S/PDIF in (coaxial), S/PDIF out (coaxial)
AV 1: Audio L/R in, CVBS in, RGB+H/V, YPbPr, Component Video in, (1, 2, 3Fh autoranging), Y/C
AV 2: Audio L/R in, CVBS, Y/C
AV 3: S/PDIF digital coaxial, YPbPr, (1, 2, 3Fh autoranging)
AV 4: HDMI
AV 5: HDMI
Front / Side connections: Audio L/R in, CVBS in, Headphone out, S-video in, USB
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post #5 of 1653 Old 08-28-2006, 06:44 PM
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I have the 50 inch version of this TV and it has performed flawlessly over the six weeks that I have had it. I like the Ambilight, and really like the wide flat black bezel.

John Hanley
Sugar Land, TX
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post #6 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 07:58 AM
 
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What is 'stereo Ambilight' ??

And what is this other model, the 9431? I don't think I've ever seen it at CC or BB.
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post #7 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 08:03 AM
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So far I've only seen the 9431 at CostCo.
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post #8 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 08:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yerp View Post

So far I've only seen the 9431 at CostCo.

Sounds like a 9631 made especially for Costco, no?

Drives me nuts tracking all these different numbers and then you throw in the specialty-made models for chain stores........ugg.
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post #9 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 08:36 AM
 
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Is a media card reader a cable card outlet?

There's still a cable card on the 9631, right ?
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post #10 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 11:16 AM
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No cable card slot on either models.
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post #11 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yerp View Post

No cable card slot on either models.

The 9431 on Costco's website says nothing about Ambilight....doesn't look like it has it. Looks to be a hybrid version of Philips TV's.

And certainly not Pixel Plus 3, doesn't even look like PP 2 from the description.
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post #12 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 01:53 PM
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check yerp's message on this thread to link to his thread. He owns it.
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post #13 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 04:06 PM
 
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Anybody utilize or familiar with a rotating/tilting base for the 9631 ???

I will be putting my TV on a stand and rather than move and angle the entire stand, it'd be easier to 'swing' the TV around to where I am in the room.

Tilting isn't that important (it's not at the eye level it'd be if it were high on a wall), but rotating would be helpful.
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post #14 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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On the subject of viewing angles and such:

My couch is about 18" off the ground meaning that when anybody sits down their eye level will be from about 36" (kids) to 45" (adults).

The TV will probably go on a stand that right now is 34" off the ground. So the 9631 AND the base will be on top of that.

Not sure if that line-of-site from the couch to the TV puts a premium on a tilting stand (which would probably raise it more) which can push the angle of the TV downward or upward to eliminate glare or whatnot, or if I need a lower TV stand.

Thoughts ??
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post #15 of 1653 Old 08-29-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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I was seriousley looking at the 9631 because they've dropped the price. But I have access to the Philips Store and can get the 9630 about $300 cheaper -- give or take the delivery charge.

I like the idea of the newer model so as not to have all the software (firmware ???) glitches that everybody on this thread has been uploading for the last 12 months. On the other hand, the speakers are 12 watts instead of 15, I lose the memory card reader (not sure what I'd use it for), and the speakers are on the bottom (not sure if that's good or bad).

I'm really on the fence...someone want to push me over to one side or the other ??
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post #16 of 1653 Old 08-30-2006, 08:40 AM
 
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What's this 'stereo Ambilight' I keep seeing references to?

Does the 9631 have 4 Ambilights and the 9630 only 2 ???
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post #17 of 1653 Old 08-30-2006, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtvluvr View Post

I was seriousley looking at the 9631 because they've dropped the price. But I have access to the Philips Store and can get the 9630 about $300 cheaper -- give or take the delivery charge.

I like the idea of the newer model so as not to have all the software (firmware ???) glitches that everybody on this thread has been uploading for the last 12 months. On the other hand, the speakers are 12 watts instead of 15, I lose the memory card reader (not sure what I'd use it for), and the speakers are on the bottom (not sure if that's good or bad).

I'm really on the fence...someone want to push me over to one side or the other ??

The only downgrade on the 9631 that I would consider major is the loss of the cable card reader. A media card reader, while nice, isn't really necessary with a USB slot. You can plug a flash drive into the USB slot for music and pictures. The sound downgrade probably wouldn't be noticed by most people.

There have been some incredible deals on the 9630 recently, and I jumped on one. I got a refurbished unit from Philips Outlet for literally half of what the 9631 is typically selling for in stores, and it has been flawless so far. If you can get a great deal on the 9630, I would say get that. I wouldn't pay much of a premium for the 9631, especially considering it lacks a cable card reader. For some people, the newest model is always the best, but in this case, I'm not so sure.
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post #18 of 1653 Old 08-30-2006, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtvluvr View Post

What's this 'stereo Ambilight' I keep seeing references to?

Does the 9631 have 4 Ambilights and the 9630 only 2 ???

Stereo Ambilight allows the lights on each side of the set to display colors independently. Mono Ambilight forces each light to display the same color at the same time. Both the 9630 and 9631 have two lights. The 9631 has stereo ambilight activated by default. The 9630 has mono ambilight activated by default, but stereo ambilight can be activated by those who are adventurous. (Check out the 42PF9630A thread for details.)

Some new high-end plasma and LCD sets from Philips have "Surround Ambilight", which has lights on all four sides of the television. At this rate, I guess 7.1 Ambilight will be coming pretty soon!
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post #19 of 1653 Old 08-30-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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Thanks, Zhelder, I must have seen a 4-sides Ambilight on a larger plasma or LCD...thought I had seen it.

Anyway, since I'm looking probably at the 42" model, it's not something to worry about.
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post #20 of 1653 Old 08-31-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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This set must be selling extremely well.....CC stores in NY Metro area all out last few days and maybe 2 weeks to get replacements.
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post #21 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 04:17 PM
 
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Well, I did it -- took the plunge (gulp!). Got a pretty good price and it was available.

Only negative is delivery is in a few days, couldn't pick it up tonight.

Since I have a few days to kill, is there an online manual or "How To" that I can read beforehand so I'm ready to go when it's delivered? I thought someone on the 9630 thread mentioned a PDF link or something. Setup manual, 9630 basics -- whatever. Anything that will give me some advance legwork before I have to setup, install, and familiarize myself with a gazillion features and menus.

Thanks for all the help, guys, hope I'm like you and a satisfied Philips customer !
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post #22 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 05:10 PM
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http://www.usasupport.philips.com/pr...=14&Submit.y=8

The above is the link to the Philips support site for the 9631. You can then get PDF files for the various booklets that come with the tv.
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post #23 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlandau View Post

ttp://www.usasupport.philips.com/pro...=14&Submit.y=8
The above is the link to the Philips support site for the 9631. You can then get PDF files for the various booklets that come with the tv.

Thanks, couple of quickies:

(1) What is 'firmware' -- is that just software for a TV? Heard of hardware and software, never firmware.

(2) Do I want to read/save/download those README files?

(3) Whats the best way to get upgrades from the website onto my TV -- shoudl I buy a UBS thing or what? Don't have any flash memory devices, what's a quality but inexpensive means of getting the stuff from the website onto my TV (I have an older PC, btw).

Thanks !
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post #24 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtvluvr View Post

Well, I did it -- took the plunge (gulp!). Got a pretty good price and it was available.

Only negative is delivery is in a few days, couldn't pick it up tonight.

Since I have a few days to kill, is there an online manual or "How To" that I can read beforehand so I'm ready to go when it's delivered? I thought someone on the 9630 thread mentioned a PDF link or something. Setup manual, 9630 basics -- whatever. Anything that will give me some advance legwork before I have to setup, install, and familiarize myself with a gazillion features and menus.

Thanks for all the help, guys, hope I'm like you and a satisfied Philips customer !


Congrats! Did you end up getting the 9630 or the 9631? Either way, you got a great set. My 9630 has been wonderful so far!

P.S. I see someone else posted a link for 9631 instructions. Philips is very good about providing online support documents for all of their products, so if you need instructions, you should be able to find them fairly easily on their website.
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post #25 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhelder View Post

Congrats! Did you end up getting the 9630 or the 9631? Either way, you got a great set. My 9630 has been wonderful so far!

Thanks, I got the 9631....had an option to get a 9630 at a steal price but didn't want to deal with a refurb and any possible headaches. If I was buying a 2nd or 3rd HDTV, yeah. This is my 1st, wanted to give myself all the odds of having everything go smoothly. Don't consider the 9631 to have great changes from the 9630 but I like having a more up-to-date model with updated 'firmware' relative to older 9630's.

Not much difference between the two, so hopefully the same great viewing experience.
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post #26 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 10:17 PM
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the firmware is the software for the tv. There's no rush to update to the latest, it is there to fix the blackscreen problem. You may not have the problem. You will need at least a flash card of some type and a reader/writer for flash memory (or, as you said, a thumbnail drive). For now, those pdf files can just be read by you because you said you wanted to get started before the plasma arrives.
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post #27 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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Zhelder, any 'must-do's' or 'must do-not's I should be aware of when I take it out of the box ?

I'm obviousley going to turn down contrast, brightness, and sharpness to all below 50.....I have an old (10+ years) Monster Cable surge protector but would be open to a newer one down the line.

BTW, just skimming the booklet I printed out from Philips....

(1) Can I assume that since I'll be using a cable box, that the FAVORITES feature on the Philips remote won't be used ?

(2) On that cable box score, when the TV searches for channels the first time, it will only find 1, right, because that represents the signal from the cable box (as opposed to if I ran the cable into the TV)?

(3) Any default settings (PIP, Emergency Broadcast, Preferences, etc) that you definitely recommend changing or are they all pretty much not that important ? I got the feeling reading the 1st half of the Philips manual tonite that alot of them aren't critical.

I'm mostly concerned with turning down the color/contrast right away and making sure that any VOLUME or HDMI/AV1 or other logos turn off as soon as possible. I thought I remember some people saying that items would 'stick' around longer than they wanted and they found it either annoying or feared burn-in.
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post #28 of 1653 Old 09-01-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlandau View Post

the firmware is the software for the tv. There's no rush to update to the latest, it is there to fix the blackscreen problem. You may not have the problem. You will need at least a flash card of some type and a reader/writer for flash memory (or, as you said, a thumbnail drive). For now, those pdf files can just be read by you because you said you wanted to get started before the plasma arrives.

Flashmemory drives/readers -- those little 'stick-like' things I see in CompUSA -- are what I want for the upgrades, right? Something like 128 mbyte or 256 mbyte should be enough?

Those are USB compatable, right ?
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post #29 of 1653 Old 09-02-2006, 06:51 AM
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if you're using a cable box, the tv won't be doing a channel search.

You're pretty much right on the flash memory drives. You can use the smallest size available. Just remember, flash memory/drives can be used for other purposes, so if you have a need for any other purpose, get the size that fits the other need.
If you have a digital camera, you probably have flash memory for that and you would only need a reader/writer.
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post #30 of 1653 Old 09-02-2006, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtvluvr View Post

Zhelder, any 'must-do's' or 'must do-not's I should be aware of when I take it out of the box ?

I'm obviousley going to turn down contrast, brightness, and sharpness to all below 50.....I have an old (10+ years) Monster Cable surge protector but would be open to a newer one down the line.

BTW, just skimming the booklet I printed out from Philips....

(1) Can I assume that since I'll be using a cable box, that the FAVORITES feature on the Philips remote won't be used ?

(2) On that cable box score, when the TV searches for channels the first time, it will only find 1, right, because that represents the signal from the cable box (as opposed to if I ran the cable into the TV)?

(3) Any default settings (PIP, Emergency Broadcast, Preferences, etc) that you definitely recommend changing or are they all pretty much not that important ? I got the feeling reading the 1st half of the Philips manual tonite that alot of them aren't critical.

I'm mostly concerned with turning down the color/contrast right away and making sure that any VOLUME or HDMI/AV1 or other logos turn off as soon as possible. I thought I remember some people saying that items would 'stick' around longer than they wanted and they found it either annoying or feared burn-in.

1. The remote is universal. So, if you're using a cable box, you can probably program the remote to use your cable box's favorites feature, if it has one. Or, you can use a splitter to connect both the cable box (if you're using component or HDMI connectors) and the TV to the cable outlet in your home. Then you can program the set to search for stations, and use the TV to select stations if you want as well. However, keep in mind that on most cable systems, certain channels are scrambles and wll not be available without a cable box.

2. If you don't have the TV conntected directly to your home cable connection, it won't detect any channels. You can proably use your cable box to program favorite channels.

3. You proably won't have to adjust much. Since you're getting a 9631, you will have stereo Amblight actiavted out of the box, and that's really neat and one less thing to hassle with. You'll want to tone down the picutre settings as you described, at least for the first 100 hours or so. Also, you may want to tweak the sound. There are preset sound settings, but there's also a graphic equalizer for personal settings. I have all settings on the equalizer turned to maximum, as I like lots of bass and treble in my sound. (The sound on the set, while decent, won't blow you away, at least when watching TV programs. MP3s, however, sound fantastic.)


As far as image burn in, as long as you're sensible, you won't have problems. You may get some Image Retention, which is temporary and will disappear after a few minutes. For example, when programming channels, the Philips logo appears in the corner, and programming takes about 25-30 minutes. You'll see an image of the Philips logo afterwards for about 2-3 minutes, but it will disappear and is nothing to worry about. Burn In is permanent, and is unlikely to occur unless you leave a perfectly still image on your set for many many hours.
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