A terrifically good value package that breaks new ground at its price-point, or a slightly too ambitious attempt at a big screen TV?

We've got no complaints about the packing-in of features on the Finlux 40S8070-T, but a lack of consistently good upscaling processing makes this a TV that excels only with HD material.

We liked

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The provision of four HDMI inputs and a couple of USB slots - as well as that Wi-Fi dongle - bring the kind of convenience often ignored on budget TVs, and that goes double for the Finlux 40S8070-T's Freeview HD tuner and BBC iPlayer app.

It handles the core digital video and music files, delivers enough HD detail in accurate colour, banishes judder and most blur, and the user interface is a cinch to skip around. Lastly we must mention its design; a single pane of glass that stretches across the entire front of the product is pure class.

We disliked

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A poor remote, bad built-in audio and a lacklustre remote control aside, the Finlux 40S8070-T's problems are otherwise centered around its pretty average picture quality. Haloing, LED light leakage, average contrast and poor handling of standard definition TV channels isn't much of a basis for sparkling all-round picture quality.

The one pane glass design also tends to attract the odd reflection. Apps-wise, it would be nice to see some more catch-up TV and film streaming services, such as Now TV, Lovefilm and Netflix.

Final verdict

After a barnstorming start with its awesome design, multiple HDMI inputs and apps aplenty, the Finlux 40S8070-T limps over the line after a picture performance that squeaks a pass mark.

It's not that it's at all unwatchable - quite the contrary - but it lacks the kind of versatility needed in a living room where standard definition is just as likely to be watched as the latest Blu-ray discs.

That's a shame, since its all-round feature count is versatility defined, with the inclusion of a Wi-Fi dongle and access to both YouTube and BBC iPlayer - albeit from within a slightly dated-looking smart TV portal - is good value indeed.

Box-tickers looking for an all-rounder might find the Finlux 40S8070-T hard to resist on paper, but judged on both usability and picture quality this television lacks the finery that will cost you a further £100-£200.

Also consider

There are few 40-inch smart TVs this affordable, but a close rival of Finlux at this level is LG, whose 42LS570T is similarly high on value. Also with four HDMI slots, the LG 42LS570T adds a USB slot and a far sleeker smart TV user interface that boasts many movie streaming apps and a fuss-free SmartShare link between TV, tablet, phone and PC.

It might also be worth monitoring new TVs from Panasonic, whose TX-L47ET60B from its ET60 Series adds passive 3D tech to a much more advanced smart TV platform.

If neither smart TV, 3D or Freeview HD are on your shopping list, Toshiba's simple Edge LED-backlit 40BL702B sells for under £300.