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With the 40C8000 Samsung has delivered an edge-lit LED screen that looks sensational even before you switch it on: the styling is classy and the depth almost defies belief.
The mind-boggling features list includes just about every feature available on a contemporary TV including internet video services, 3D pictures, multimedia capability with DLNA networking and even a willingness to record pictures from its Freeview HD tuner to an external hard drive.
While its brushed titanium frame might not be to everyone's taste, we adore its achingly attractive look. Using the set is fairly straightforward and the truly classy remote handset works as well as it looks.
The PVR function might be superfluous to many but if required it's a cinch to use, as is the iPlayer on the internet video service. The Freeview EPG sets the standard for built-in TV guides and the screen's tuner is first class, combing with an excellent panel to serve up superbly detailed, noise-free images with realistic colours and judder-free movement. HD sources look sublime.
The TV's menu system seems a little baffling at times with some illogical folder structures. Images lack detail in darker areas and it can take a while for the screen to warm up before full clarity is achieved. It's improving for sure but the LED Motion Plus function still can't deliver flawlessly smooth movement without some side effects.
Some of the internet video services are of marginal interest or little use without a proper keyboard or better way of navigating the screen. Even more irritating, however, is that HDMI cables stick out from behind the screen because the sockets are too close to the edge of the frame. This spoils the set's otherwise impeccable appearance.
The 40C8000 is a gorgeous screen that delivers on many levels. It's bursting with cutting-edge tech, it's versatile and it's easy to use. Its 2D picture performance is excellent but it is not a compelling 3D proposition because of the presence of crosstalk.
But anyone seriously devoted to 3D is going to look elsewhere – at a larger screen – and for the rest of us, this is nearly as fine a 40-inch set as we could hope for.
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