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Next we get into a couple of key picture processing technologies. Heading these up is Samsung’s proprietary DNIe processing engine, focussed on boosting colour performance, black level response, motion handling and fine detailing.
The other big processing deal is something Samsung likes to call a Smooth Motion Driver. This, as its name suggests, is out to defeat flat TV’s common motion handling problems, something it does by adding a whopping 10 extra frames of picture per second to the image.
Next among the 42P7HD’s talents is its FilterBright system. This uses a specially designed filter slotted into the TV’s innards to ‘soak up’ far more ambient light than normal plasma screens. The result is fewer reflections on the screen when viewing in a bright room, and stronger contrast levels. In fact, FilterBright is deemed significant enough by Samsung that it’s really the main thing that differentiates the step-up 42P7HD from the Q7 entry-level models.
Scouring the pretty onscreen menus for more bits and bobs of interest, we come across a more extensive set of picture and sound tweaks than we’d expect of such an affordable 42in TV. The TV’s quoted specifications bode well enough too, with their HD Ready pixel count of 1,024 x 768 and sky-high contrast ratio of 10,000:1.
In action, the 42P7HD is enjoyable enough, without perhaps reaching the same heights as some of Samsung’s best LCD TVs. Let’s start with the good stuff, though.
First, the TV is impressively free of plasma’s common problems with fizzing noise over motion. Even a fast camera pan to follow a Paul Robinson goal kick stays pretty free of the glitch. We mention this so early because it was such an unwelcome trait of previous Samsung plasmas.
While we’re on the subject of video noise, we’re pleased to see that the 42P7HD avoids joining a number of its affordable flat TV rivals in emphasising MPEG blocking from digital sources – including its own Freeview tuner.