If standard-def doesn't form part of your TV diet, this Samsung will make for a great choice
Avoids typical LCD pitfalls
Superb levels of detail
Too much noise in standard-def pictures
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Priced at £1,900, this Samsung offering appears to be something of a bargain considering its 40-inch screen size. The glossy black screen surround contrasts neatly with the gentle triangular silver speaker grille to provide a screen that will most certainly add a touch of class to pretty much any room it's placed in.
And pleasingly, upscaled feeds of our O Brother Where Are Thou? test disc also display plenty of class, too. As George Clooney gets himself into something of a tizzy about the lack of Dapper Dan hair wax in the local general store, we were stunned to note the amount of high levels of detail on show.
The lettering on the Fopp Pomade he's instead offered and the jars of household goods on the shelves are reproduced with pin sharp clarity. Meanwhile, his rapid movement as he announces 'I'm a Dapper Dan man!' reveals no problems with smearing or judder.
One common LCD failing overcome, we are also pleased to note that colour tones are not overly warm, with the LE40R51B instead generally providing natural-looking tones.
Equally surprising is that black levels actually hold their own despite a rather miserly contrast ratio. Admittedly, they do little to challenge the excellence of a similarly sized plasma screen, but considering that this is an LCD panel, we are still mightily impressed with its performance.
Standard-definition material via the built-in analogue tuner proves to be the LE40R51B's Achilles' heel. At the top of the list of complaints is the unacceptable level of picture noise. Also noticeable is the amount of smearing over motion and drop off in colour tone.
Clearly then, the LE40R51B is a screen that really needs to be fed HD material for the best results, but with the future of television being unquestionably HD, it gets a hearty thumbs up.
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