As one of the more refreshingly honest companies we deal with, Samsung itself would probably admit that its first full HD TV, the LE40F71, was flawed. Initially it didn’t have a 1:1 pixel mapping mode for the direct transposition of 1,920 x 1,080 sources to its 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count (though this was fixed by a subsequent firmware update in response to public outcry); it bore no digital tuner; and colour tones and black levels could both have been better. But all the same, we saw enough potential in the 40LF71 to find ourselves looking forward eagerly to Samsung’s next full HD foray.
And now that second full HD foray is here, we’re actually even more excited about it. For it’s arrived in the form of the LE52M87BD: a truly gorgeous 52in monster boasting intriguing features galore. Interested? You should be.
We’ve said before that Samsung’s penchant for slimline, high-gloss black finishes set around sumptuous angles and curves is a wonderfully winning design formula, and this is borne out to irresistible effect by the LE52M87BD. Despite its proportions, it really is a sight for sore eyes.
As are the TV’s connections. For remarkably, as well as immediately impressing by carrying three HDMIs, Samsung has made the LE52M87BD’s HDMIs version 1.3 affairs. They’re thus compatible with such HDMI 1.3 features as Deep Colour, which delivers an extended colour palette from compatible HD disc players; and automatic lip-synch correction so that actors’ mouths don’t seemingly move independently of the words they’re saying on a soundtrack.
We should point out here that the key Deep Colour feature, which apparently can make a real difference to picture quality, is dependent on a source disc actually including Deep Colour data – something which no current discs do (so far as we know). But hey; it’s nice to know the feature’s there should some film studios actually decide to support it, right?
As if their number and v1.3 specification wasn’t enough, the HDMIs are also compatible with 1080p feeds in all their varieties: 50Hz, 60Hz and even 24Hz (for purer signals from high-end HD disc players). Plus they’re compatible with the electronics industry’s ‘CEC’ standard, which permits interoperability between the TV and connected CEC-compatible sources. In other words, you can control almost fully any compatible connected device via the LE52M87BD’s remote control.
What’s particularly nice about this is that CEC is not manufacturer-specific, making it a more flexible approach than, say, Panasonic’s similar Viera Link technology, which only allows interoperability between Panasonic-branded kit.