So often cheap TVs fall at this early stage of reviews, and though the 40F8073-T doesn't challenge more expensive TVs on pure image quality, it does come through with its reputation just about unscathed.
Don't expect to perform a full custom calibration – this is not a screen fit for a home cinema. However, despite the lack of advanced-level tweaks, the 40F8073-T's native Cinema preset mode is good enough to rely on, successfully hiding the worst aspects of picture noise during standard definition Freeview HD broadcasts. It's also a quick fix to this TV's ultra-bright panel, which does need toning down.
The 40F8073-T isn't an100Hz screen, so I expected some motion blur. That's exactly what happens when watching Freeview HD channels, with camera pans and any kind of motion immediately lessening detail to a big degree. However, a complete lack of judder means that the 40F8073-T's smooth – if detail-poor – images remain easy to watch and never distracting. It's a fixture while watching Blu-ray discs, too, which undoubtedly provide the best-looking images on the 40F8073-T.
Upscaling of standard definition channels and DVDs is limited, with some picture noise visible and mosquito noise regularly surrounding moving objects and people.
Colour and contrast
The 40F8073-T's contrast is good, with deep blacks and bright, clean peak whites helping the 40F8073-T supply some good colour. Skin tones look spot-on and blacks, in particular, are convincing.
However impressive blacks are, during my test disc Hugo on Blu-ray I did notice a lack of shadow detailing. A common trait on budget TVs without much in the way of advanced picture processing, this failure leaves dark areas of the image spilling into each other and subtracting a sense of realism especially in dingy sequences.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the 40F8073-T is its complete lack of LED light leakage. So common is a tendency for cheaper TVs to look blotchy in the corners of the screen – something that's especially noticeable in a blackout – that the 40F8073-T's near-uniform panel brightness is something of a shock.
Better still, the viewing angle is thoroughly decent, with contrast and colours holding up pretty well when the 40F8073-T is watched from the wings.
It's the final salvo in a picture performance that, though not perfect by any measure, is good enough for the 40F8073-T to maintain its position as one of the all-round best value TVs for general living room use.