Samsung Series 7 UE40B7020 40in LED LCD TV - Samsung UE40B7020

John Archer

By John Archer
Reviewed:

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  • Recommended by TR
Samsung Series 7 UE40B7020 40in LED LCD TV

Summary

Our Score

9/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

As usual, the UE40B7020's out-of-the-box picture settings are none too impressive - all vulgar colours and exaggerated sharpness, with the result that while pictures might look eye-catching, they don't actually look at all credible.

Thankfully the UE40B7020's Movie preset quickly gets things looking a whole let better, and some quality time spent deactivating the TV's various noise reduction and edge-enhancement settings very soon has HD pictures looking as we'd hoped they'd look: that is, very impressive indeed.

As with the UE46B8000 I tested recently, the single most startling feature of the UE40B7020's pictures is their superb black level response. For even though the TV uses edge-mounted LEDs rather than rear-mounted ones, and so can't support localised dimming, Samsung has managed to deliver phenomenally deep, rich blacks that can sit right alongside dazzlingly bright whites and vibrant colours. There seems to be little if any need for the brightness reduction required by normal LCD TVs when they try to produce a convincing black colour. Especially if you set the Samsung's Black Tone setting to Dark.

Please note, though, that in order to attain the same black level prowess for HD console gaming enjoyed with Blu-ray films, you will for some reason have to change the TV's HDMI Input setting to Low rather than Normal, as well as choosing the TV's dedicated Game mode.

If my talk of deep blacks sitting right alongside bright whites on the UE40B7020 surprises you for a TV with edge-based LED lighting, I suggest you check out the section in the UE46B8000 review. For in that I discuss at some length why Samsung maintains that edge-mounted LED lighting is actually superior in picture quality terms to rear-mounted LEDs, rather than just being a technique useful in helping build slimmer screens.

Moving on, I also found myself hugely impressed by the UE40B7020's colours. As I regularly find with LED screens, there's an intensity and dynamic range to the colourscape that you just don't get with the vast majority of non-LED LCD TVs. There isn't quite the same range and subtlety when it comes to colours that I witnessed on the Sharp LC-52XS1E I reviewed yesterday - but then that TV costs £9,000! Compared more fairly against anything else in the UE40B7020's sub-£1,200 price point, the Samsung's colours look genuinely exceptional.

The UE40B7020 scores with the sharpness of its HD pictures, too. Detail levels are extreme, with facial pores, the weave of clothing and other such HD specialities all being reproduced with aplomb - and without the accompaniment of nasty stuff like dot crawl or ghosted edges. So long, that is, as you avoid the disruptive Edge Enhancement feature the set provides.

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PS3½

May 26, 2009, 5:10 pm

Thanks for the review, John. Interesting to hear that 200hz does make a difference.

TheOpsMgr

May 26, 2009, 5:54 pm

So is the only difference between Series 8 and Series 7 the 200Hz? The Samsung UK website doesn't even LIST the series 8... and doesn't allow cross-model comparisons either. Useless. BTW where are you guys with adding a "recommended settings" section to the end of each review so it's easier for everyone to overcome the "none too impressive" out-of-the-box picture settings?

PS3½

May 26, 2009, 7:03 pm

The 8000 series also has a higher contrast ratio, 5,000,000:1 as opposed to 2,000,000:1 for the 7000 series. Samsung UK's website does not seem to be updated very often. You should be able to compare specs of the US website- I think their versions of the 7000 and 8000s have the same specs as ours. Alternatively you could check the German site.

Genaa

May 26, 2009, 8:46 pm

Any views on how the 32in version of the series 7, UE32B7000 stacks up to other 32in screens such as the Philips Cineos 9613D? I saw one of these in Curry's today and was certainly satisfied that the viewing angles would not be a problem, something I am less sure of with the Philips. Also, there appear to be 2 models of the 32in, a B6000 and B7000, is the only difference between these the provision of the DLNA on the B7000? Would welcome folks' thoughts!

RichGtB

May 27, 2009, 9:08 pm

All these choices regarding a 40" TV around the £1000 mark, decisions decisions. Did have my eye on a Sony KDL-40W5500 or KDL-40WE5. Now dont know what to do :-/ Any recommendations up to around the £1200 would be greatly appreciated.

Gorlak

May 27, 2009, 10:02 pm

@Genaa


That's the exact same question I'm interested in! There doesn't seem to be much difference (from Samsung UK's website) between the B6 series and the B7 series...A direct comparison between the LED Samsungs and the Philips 9631D would be very interesting - LCD vs LED...!

Me

May 29, 2009, 2:20 am

@Gorlak - this Samsung TV is LCD don't be fooled by the name "LED". LED is only the type of backlight used rather than a Cold Cathode Fluorescent tube (CCFL). They never used to call their old LCD's CCFL now did they!!

jenseike

May 29, 2009, 10:28 am

when you talk about that deap blacks have you taken in to account that the tv set autodimmes when it gets those deap blacks making white look dull and greyish? I think that is to important to leave out of an review like this. and you cant turn that of without going to the service menu wich makes it false black statement in mine eys

asanka

June 14, 2009, 10:24 pm

Does anyone know anywhere selling the 8 series led. i think i saw one at sefriges today, but they were pretty hard to find. Also, when are the series 9 leds coming out. I am seriuosly thinking about getting the 46" series 8 after seeing the series 7 today. Picture is great and great looking tv too. Think the 240hz of the 8 series is worth the extra. Heard there is a series 9 imminent so i'm wondering if i should hold my horses!

Fred 4

June 18, 2009, 2:53 am

Just checked one out in my local Tesco, well impressed, also saw one in Currys the other day beside a sony 5500. made the sony look washed out and dull. It was playing a blu ray demo disc. Up till now have not been convinced detail not everything, with motion problems, judder and lack of resoultion when panning. Look forward to the next generation of LED, better and when the price comes down might even buy one. LED is riding the wave right now for me. After christmass? just got to convince the wife.

chiandme

July 18, 2009, 8:11 pm

I've just sold my 32" Samsung with a view to upgrade. The new range of LED TV's from Samsung look great, I'm considering the UE40B8000 which you can get online at Dixons for just under £1400... wondering if it worth waiting though and seeing how the technology pans out. Bound to be a series 9 out soon. Or do I consider a cheaper 40" LCD?

Tom 9

August 17, 2009, 5:19 am

I was looking at the Dixons website and there selling the series 7 40" for £1,049.99, as apposed to othere retailers like comet, currys etc who are selling it for round about £1,299..?


Why is this?

croesychick

September 30, 2009, 7:59 pm

There are some cracking buys on the John Lewis website, you also get a free 5yr guarantee with all Electrical purchases - I know where I'll be buying from!

P Dudley

May 29, 2010, 8:32 pm

I bought this TV 2 weeks ago in France, when I now live. Out of the box it was brill. Loved everything about it. Unbeatable picture quality with HD films. 2 weeks on, it switched itself off while I was watching it. I unplugged the power, and plugged it back in. No response. TV just clicks and is dead. I searched the internet for 'samsung led tv clicking' and hey !! hundreds of the same reports of this problem have been reported worldwide. Most times the TV lasted 12 months, but with me 2 weeks. I have taken it back to the shop today, and exchanged it for the new 40" SHARP led tv. I will never buy a samsung again.

DumbeBlonde

July 30, 2013, 1:05 pm

Well, perhaps it was just a bad production run. As is often the case, one hears more of the negative than the positive. I purchased this TV when it first appeared and it's never missed a beat. Last year I purchased the Samsung blueray player and am now about to buy their Soundbar theatre system. I'd recommend Samsung to anyone.

Akinola

August 19, 2013, 7:11 pm

It is showing a demo,which am finding it very difficult to remove.can you please help me out.Samsung Led Series 7

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