In action the BeoVision 7-40 is for the most part impressive. Particularly striking is how rich the picture is in terms of colours and fine details. Regarding colours, saturations are frequently spectacularly full on, yet they’re achieved without sacrificing the sort of deft colour blending that ensures objects look solid and three-dimensional.
As for details, while many of the LCD TVs we’ve looked at in our pre-World Cup TV feast have looked sharp, few have looked quite so magnificently textured and clear as the BeoVision 7-40. High definition thus generally looks first rate, but even standard definition pictures are by no means the mushy horror shows witnessed elsewhere.
We also found ourselves more satisfied by the TV’s black levels than anticipated from the 800:1 contrast claims. Certainly the picture gets dark enough in black corners to give low-lit scenes plenty of punch and depth.
If you were hoping for televisual perfection for your seven and a half grand, though, you’re in for a disappointment. Problem number one is that even though black levels are deep, they’re also slightly bluish in tone, sometimes distractingly so. Next, although moving objects look reasonably free of smearing and go about their business very smoothly, there’s often some definite shimmering noise around their edges that can make action-packed scenes look a touch messy.
Finally, although colours are vibrant and subtle, they also suffer some slightly unnatural tones from time to time, particularly during darker scenes.
While the BeoVision 7-40’s pictures might not be quite as perfect as we’d like for our money, its sound certainly is. The stereo 7-2 speaker bar we used is so powerful and accomplished that it puts many high-end hi-fi systems to shame. In fact, we have no hesitation in saying that its sound is the best we’ve ever heard from a TV, flat or otherwise. And you can’t say fairer than that.
The BeoVision 7-40 is a stunningly engineered, utterly desirable objet d’art that frankly makes every other TV design look and feel ordinary. Add to this a very good all-round performance standard and the built-in DVD/CD functionality and you’ve got possibly the ultimate aspirational TV. It’s just a shame that with a price tag as high as £7,500, aspiring is probably all most of us will ever be able to do!