This is the standout feature, then. It's certainly worth switching this feature on, assuming you can find it. Although you might expect such a big deal to be front and centre, you have to go deep into the picture control menu and through to further picture options to switch it on. There's also a demo setting where the right half of the screen shows you what the picture's like with the system off, while the left half has it on.
Round the back, it's well connected
Perfect, it isn't - there are black bars at the top and bottom of the screen for this movie, and if the edge of shot is dark then the bars are pitch black. But when there's something bright at the edge, there's a fair degree of light spill. But, let's face it, unless you have a home theatre so dark you need to employ ushers, most of us will use a TV like this in a reasonably well-lit living room. And in such an environment the grey overspill isn't noticeable. What's more, in a brightish room even the best plasma will really struggle.
Beyond Smart LED, there are a couple of other elements to consider. The remote control, though appealing in its gloss black finish, doesn't help when you want to go straight to an HDMI channel. You have to scroll through the AV inputs one after the other. Many TVs display a list of AV inputers at the press of a button, but not this one, sadly. This is the remote's only fault, mind, and it's otherwise good to use.
Swish with a capital 'swish'
Connectivity is strong, with four HDMI sockets - three on the back and one easy-access socket for a camcorder, say, on the side - two Scarts and the usual other suspects: component, composite, USB and so on.
If we've harped on about the picture quality being good, it's because it is. HD imagery comes over very well thanks to the array of LEDs, and this on its own, without the delights of a palatable screen frame, decent sound and largely accessible buttons, would make the Samsung worthy of your consideration. ®
More HD TV Reviews...
Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090
Samsung LE40A786 'smart LED' 40in LCD TV
A mid range/hi-end HD graphics card and a 1080p monitor blows this it out of the water -with alot of change left over! Maybe not as big a screen but the picture quality completely makes up for that.
Im actually after one of these beauties in the 46" size...where did you get yours from and would you recommend it...
Got to replace my 2 and half year old Samsung Plasma...proper workhorse!
Plasma beating blacks with no burn-in risks....its a no brainer!
True, a Plasma may not run 550w all the time, but neither do the low voltage LED's on the back of the set, after all when the picture is mostly black thats because 0w is going to the LEDs in that section giving a true black, not the almost blacks on most Plasmas. What I do know is when ever I go near the new LED LCD the heat given out is a fraction of what the Plasma used to pump out. Probably due to its normal operational power usage of 240w, half of the 550w you mentioned.
I'm not denying a Kuro is a good TV, I've watched films on my friends 1yr old 50" Kuro (what he has in his "cinema room" becuase he doesn't want to ruin his £1200 TV by watching Sky with all its pesky logos), but I know that the plain-bow effect is still visible on that TV, even at its lowest light levels it will still chomp on almost the full 240w the LEDs pump out on an all white screen, and the best bit is an actual measured everyday non-dynamic contrast ratio of at least 500,000:1 (measured by users on AVForums with correct diagnostic equipment) and ZERO chance of burn-in at those levels. Current Plasmas can come close without ghosting being a risk, their not only in the same league, its not even the same sport. My plams, even with pixel orbiting on, would burn a channel logo / sports score in if you watched the same thing for more than an hour - leaving a slightly blurry but still burned in image - never a risk anymore!
Me, I'll watch my LED LCD over a Kuro and day of the week. Its just less fussy for normal TV watching and amazing for films, an amazing all-rounder.
For someone who seems to know a lot, you know little about the power consumptions of plasmas.
Pssst, I'll give you a clue. They don't run full tit (550w) all the time - power consumption varies with the amount of light in the image. Of course working out the AVERAGE power consumption is just toooo hard for anyone, so it's easier (but very misleading) to quote the MAX power consumption.
The (now old) argument was that on average a plasma isn't that much more consumptive than an LCD (which is running at max all the time). However these new generation ones that turn their backlights off take the game back to LCD.
Me, I'd have the top end Kuro ANY day of the week.
Better than a plasma - I've just switched
I bought the 46" version of this TV 2 weeks ago, sold my crappy 50" Plasma that had image retention problems from day 1, was less than a year old, and let me tell you, LED LCD beats it hand down!
Everybody who's been round my house since I got the TV remarks on how much better the picture is, and that's just standard upscalled cable on Virgin V+ box. Even my wifes friends who know pretty much nothing about technology are amazed at the picture.
The blacks are so much better, it uses less power, pumps out less heat, and oh, I can leave this with a static image on screen or play a game for hours on end and it won't burn in. Plasma's are more trouble than they're worth - will never buy one again after viewing this set.
Set it to SmartLED mode and 100Hz mode to low and sport becomes very watchable, then turn 100Hz off for 1080p/24hz movies then it trounces any Plasma I've watched for black levels and image detail (if you take the time to calibrate - AVForums has some great guides on this).
If you can, sell you're Fred Flintstone Plasma and get one of these: no screen retention, plasma beating blacks (0 cmd blacks - what Plasma can get near?), no Plain-bow effect. Its win-win-win!