Samsung LE40B651 40in LCD TV - Samsung LE40B651

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


There are essentially two key points about the LE40B651's 'Internet' access. First, it's actually not Internet access at all, but rather access to a special Samsung online portal from which you can access online content from a series of service 'partners'. But second, the amount of content you can access is much more diverse than it was on last year's Samsung 'online' TVs or, so far as we can tell, the majority of its rival brands.

Particularly notable are the addition of YouTube, the Flickr photostorage/viewing/vague networking site, and Yahoo Widgets. This Widgets compatibility is exclusive to Samsung until September, and is a genuinely big deal. For the Widgets platform (a JavaScript runtime engine) is designed to allow all manner of little tools and applications to be developed by more or less anyone who knows what they're doing.

As you'd expect, the TV ships with the Widget Gallery 'browser' installed as standard, so that you have a means of tracking down any Widgets you fancy using. But the catch is that for now, at least, the only Widgets I could track down were the ones already installed on the TV. The thousands of others available to PC users just didn't show up, reminding me again that for better or for worse, Samsung is trying to craft a controlled, ring-fenced TV experience more like an ultra-sophisticated teletext service rather than a free-form Internet experience.

But even with this in mind, the extent of what's on offer with the LE40B651 really is a far - and welcome - cry from the simple news, finance and local weather reports that marked the sum total of what was possible with Samsung's previous Internet TV generation. And it's nice to know, too, that the architecture now in place with the LE40B651 opens the door to more service providers and features being added over time.

On the downside, I experienced a few connection hiccups with some of the content - YouTube, in particular. And there's a part of me that still yearns for full Internet access, despite all the numerous navigation and presentation issues that this inevitably presents for a TV as opposed to a PC. But in the end, the draw represented by the online system's slick presentation and user experience keeps you coming back for more.

Another Samsung innovation making a return after debuting last year is the Content Library concept, whereby the TV ships with a wealth of pre-loaded interactive content, including photo screensavers, recipes, children's stories and songs, and even a very basic game.

This has been improved this time round thanks to a slicker interface and the provision of 189MB of built-in memory, into which you can add extra content (via USB) promised to be made available on Samsung's website in the future. You can also delete content from the Content Library if you don't want it to free up extra memory for things that you do.

But to be honest, aside perhaps from the artistic screensaver gallery, I still have my doubts about how much you'll really tend to go back to this feature after your first inquisitive exploration of it.

Val Isi

March 17, 2009, 4:33 pm

This review was too wordy and long. Ten words where one would do. The review will test the most patient of readers. It would be nice if Trusted Reviewers could focus and issue sharp and concise reviews once in while.


March 17, 2009, 4:36 pm

@Val Isi - we get requests for our reviews to be longer as well. In our experience between 2 and 4 pages in general tends to be right for most.


March 17, 2009, 4:48 pm

I found the length fine. I think if TR did shorter reviews, you'd just get people complaining that the reviews weren't long, and in-depth, enough - you can't win :)


March 17, 2009, 4:50 pm

On the subject of TV's - any chance of a set from the new Sony w5500 series being reviewed? I notice TR is light on Sony TV reviews - is there a reason for this?

Chris 15

March 18, 2009, 12:55 am

In my opinion the review was a bit short, and a lot of interesting details were actually missing: You mentioned the good looking menus - how nice it could be to see a couple of pictures of them; how does the USB video stream work: or if You play BluRay rips/MKVs from USB do they produce the same quality as an original BluRay movie does? How is the free view? Most of the informations given in the article can be more or less obvious from the tech-specs and feature list. I understand that many of us would read shorter reviews, but this Site seems to have the proper backround to go into details...


March 18, 2009, 3:49 am

@Chris - This page may sate your curiosity about the Samsung's menu's. Hope I'm allowed to link to it:

Chris 15

March 18, 2009, 11:16 am

@Pbryanw - OH! That is very kinf of You. Thank You for the the link... :)

(...And thanks for the moderator leting it to be 'linked'...)


Val Isi

March 19, 2009, 12:38 pm

Is the model number Samsung LE40B650 or LE40B651. I have not been able to locate LE40B651 on sale anywhere in the UK. 650 is widely available.


March 28, 2009, 2:39 am

The 650 is edged with grey or silver. The 651 is edged with dark red. Same insides, slightly different outsides. It may be that the 651 is only available in certain stores like Currys?

David Walker

April 3, 2009, 5:17 pm

I am interested in the 32" version of this set. Would you expect the comment made for the 40" to apply to other sizes as well.

Michael Sherratt

April 11, 2009, 4:01 pm

Hi there I've ordered the LE40B651T 3 from Dixons. Is this the same model as what is featured? Just curious as im getting confused with the model code "T" & "3" afterwards and I can only find support for the LE40B651T3W model on the Samsung Website.

So are they all the same model if they are LE40B651?

I must sound like a newbie sorry.


April 11, 2009, 9:38 pm

@ Michael Sherratt, no the review is wrong. The TV that has been reviewed isn't the B651, it was the B653! There are 4 variations: The B650 a Grey 'U' shape, the B651 a Red 'U' Shape, a B652 a Grey 'V' Shape and the B653 a Red 'V' as pictured in this review. This can be verified by looking at the Samsung France website. The B651 is exclusive to Dixons and the B652 is exclusive to Comet.


April 11, 2009, 10:06 pm

This is the B651 on Samsung's site

T3 refers to the case varation. B650 = T2, B651 = T3, B652 = T4, B653 = T5. Even if it's omitted, all B651's are T3.

Michael Sherratt

April 11, 2009, 11:30 pm

Seb Thanks for your help.

Google doesnt let me translate the page but do you know any differences between the B653 featured in this review and the B651? Any major differences?


April 12, 2009, 7:36 am

I believe the differences are purely cosmetic. There aren't actually any UK retailers who sell the B653. Apart from Dixons and Comet they all seem to be selling the B650. Also the photos on here give the impression the controls on the front light up, they don't. This is a high res photo of the B651 you've just ordered


April 12, 2009, 7:44 am

The've also got the same issue in the video review. This time it's the B652 reviewed, not the B651.

Michael Sherratt

April 12, 2009, 3:47 pm

Again Seb thanks for your advice its helped a lot to clarify.


April 16, 2009, 3:23 pm

You're quite right, after further investigation it would seem the TV featured in the video is in fact the B652, which has no touch of colour. The TV in the written review, meanwhile, is the B653. All are essentially cosmetic variations on the same TV, though.


April 17, 2009, 1:01 am

Just bought the T3 variant from Dixons for 809 GBP delivered... use coupon code 25OFF at checkout.

Gavin C

April 22, 2009, 4:07 am

Any views on game lag.....this seems to never get a mention although most hd usage would incorporate this (few hd channels and few blu ray cataolgues held by most)

Also is there a 37inch on this model

jack 3

May 9, 2009, 8:11 am

hi...question to John Archer as a reviewer of samsung le40b651 and panasonic th46pz81:after maratonic search to buy tv(plasma or lcd not decided yet )which of this two tv is better value for money and specialy if we consider picture quality (le40b650 £789...th46pz81 £899(prc direct))?


May 15, 2009, 6:07 pm

Hi, i just wanted to play an MKV movie on this tv and didn`t work. So be aware of this if you want to play something like this on your tv. Any ideas ?


May 26, 2009, 5:08 am

I like these video reviews, please make more of them.

Chris Czelecki

June 8, 2009, 7:46 pm

Hi, Well after weeks of stressful research (Im very fussy) I decided to Opt for this Tv.

I paid just under a grand for the 40" with a samsung Blu ray player and a rather gorgeous stand.

It blows my mind everytime i turn it on. Even your standard freeview pictures are head and shoulders above my previous Tv.

I am legend running at 1080p with 24hz enabled looks like im watching everything unfold through a window. I am so, so impressed with this Tv.

My mate bought last years series 8 and without a doubt im getting a much sharper, smoother picture. The sound is a bit of a letdown so i read, But i cant tell as i havent had a Tv with amazing sound. And its spot on for the environment im in. But im hopefully im gonna get surround sound anyway to get a bit more bass out of it.

All in all im proper impressed


July 18, 2009, 8:27 pm

Having just sold my older 32" Samsung I'm looking to upgrade to either this set or perhaps pay the extra and get the UE40B8000. Perhaps I'll wait for a while, can anyone suggest which?

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