Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 5 October 2012
To put this review in context, prior to this Samsung I had a 37 inch Toshiba LCD which was about 4-5 years old.
First off, I was amazed at how thin and lightweight this set is. I lifted it out of the box and it was light as a feather compared to my old Toshiba. The outer bezel is very thin and hardly noticeable, and its thinness makes the TV seem even smaller. In fact I wish I had bought a larger size, but the 40" is honestly big enough for a small living room.
Set up was not as easy as I hoped. My old bracket was the perfect size but the screws were too small and too short to screw into the back of the Samsung. I had to take an emergency trip to B&Q to purchase an array of new screws and washers, and thankfully this sorted it. (A shame none come with the TV, though it does come with a sturdy-looking floor stand). Once on the wall, the second problem arose, and it's the same problem with most new TV sets: The mains power cable is way too short. It is maybe 1 meter long, and dangles off the wall and the plug is about 3 feet off the floor. I had the same problem with my old Toshiba. It's fine if you are using the floor stand, but for those of us wall mounting, it's a case of getting an ugly extension lead. OR, here's a better solution: I ordered a replacement 5 metre version of the double-pin mains lead from Amazon, however it wasn't official Samsung and appears Samsung don't supply longer cables. Just be aware that if your set is mounted closer than 1 inch to the wall, you will have problems getting a plug that fits the back of the set. (The L-shaped plug from Samsung does not appear available anywhere in a longer length. And believe me, I searched).
Once I got the set mounted and plugged in, it took me through an initial setup wizard. This was quick and easy. It even spotted my home network and let me connect straight away. I'm not that bothered about the Smart TV stuff (I have a PC for all that) but it was reassuring that it connected so easily. The picture setup was fairly simple, though I found it necessary to tweek the settings considerably once it was up and running. There are so many different settings to play with, and it can be overwhelming, but a bit of trial and error will get the picture you desire. I went for the 'Movie' preset and turned the LED backlight down about halfway.
Standard def is alright, not mind blowing, but perfectly good. HD TV is also good, but again not mind blowing. It is certainly a lot better than my old Toshiba.
And then we have the 3D functionality. Well, I must admit, I am impressed with this. My first 3D test was Marvel Avengers 3D on Blu Ray. The picture was impressive. Active 3D means you don't lose resolution, though you must tolerate some eye strain and it seems essential to use a darkened room, as everything outside the TV flickers in your peripheral vision. It should be noted, this is a general thing, not just for Samsung. However, one thing I am disappointed with is the 3D glasses packaged with this Samsung set. They work fine, but are hideously uncomfortable and look utterly ridiculous. Very cheap and plasticky, they seem designed for noses the width of a pencil and they don't even fold up like normal glasses. I will tolerate them for a while but I can see I'll have to get replacements one day.
The 3D picture itself is superb, at least on Blu Ray. (I don't have any 3D television channels so don't know about them). Also 2D on Blu Ray is very good. I found no problems whatsoever with motion blur or anything like that. Flawless really.
Sound is good, or as good as you might expect from a flat screen with concealed speakers. Perfectly adequate for normal TV viewing or fun movies. However I would recommend getting a proper 5.1 setup if you want to get the most from this.
Value for money is great with this set. But a word of caution: Track the price for a few days, as it seems to go up and down very frequently. I noticed after I placed my order, a few days later the price dropped by £20. And now, it's gone up again. So be careful to snag it when it's low if you're on a budget.
In summary: Good sound. Good picture. Difficult setup - especially 'physical' setup of wall mounting and cabling. 3D very good. 2D very good. SD good enough. HD good. Networking/smart features good enough, but I don't care that much about these.
An ideal entry level 3D tv for a small/medium living room.
EDIT: After 3 weeks of usage, a fault has developed where a vertical line of brightly coloured pixels appears in the middle of the screen. Adjusting the brightness/contrast helps to hide it, but it comes back randomly. Amazon have agreed to send a replacement so lets hope that won't have the same problem.
EDIT: This seems to have noticeable problem with vertical banding. Google it.
EDIT: The vertical banding has worsened considerably since I bought and installed this set. Internet searches tell me that it is a common problem with LCD sets but really this is unacceptable. Once you notice the stripes coming down the screen it's hard to ignore them. Lucky for me I don't watch football, apparently its terribly distracting on a screen full of green grass and lots of camera movement. I find the problem to be awful on scenes of blue skies - which show up the vertical stripes at their worst. Be aware, the set might appear great to begin with before it develops this problem after a few weeks. I am going to live with it until I get a new television by a different manufacturer maybe next year. I strongly suggest you search Google for some reviews of this television with regard to vertical banding issues - before you buy it.