Finlux. Finlux. Finlux... Hmm. Nope, the name’s familiar, but having scanned both our addled brains and our files of past reviews, it would appear that no previous Finlux product has found its way into our reviews database. Despite the brand having being in and out of the UK market on a number of occasions since the brand name was first properly used in 1971. And yet here we have the 55in Finlux 55S6040-M.
Owned by Turkish AV outfit Vestel since 2009, Finlux is now back in business in the UK, with its own direct-sales website (www.finluxdirect.com) and even a quirky new TV advertising campaign featuring an eccentric but happy Finnish man. In his pants.
Predictably enough, Finlux has chosen to set out its UK stall based predominantly on price. For instance, the Finlux 55S6040-M we’re looking at today delivers its 55in of LED-lit pictures for the very reasonable sum of £848.99. But actually, the very fact that this is a 55in TV suggests that maybe Finlux is wanting to become a more ‘serious’ player than it has previously; certainly a set of such size can’t be considered a ‘casual’ purchase in any way, regardless of how affordable it might be relative to most other 55in TVs in town.
The Finlux 55S6040-M’s design makes it impossible to treat casually, too. Surrounding the already-huge screen is a pretty hefty amount of bezel - not far off two inches of glossy blackness frames each of the TV’s four edges. This fact, coupled with the entirely rectangular, flourish-free nature of the set’s sculpting, means that the TV ultimately looks like the budget set it is. But at least it’s pretty well built.
It’s better connected - in some ways - than we might have expected too. For instance, there are four HDMIs when two or three would have been acceptable for the set’s money, and there are two USBs when we might frankly have anticipated none. Even better, these USBs can record video to USB HDDs from the TV’s Freeview tuner, and play video, photo and music files. Supported formats including MPEG 1 & 2, H.264 (in an MKV container), .avi files, .mp4 files (including Xvid), MP3s, JPEGs, and .bmp files.
You might have noticed that we only said "Freeview" tuner earlier, not Freeview HD, and this was no slip of the keyboard. The lack of HD tuner will immediately make the TV a non-starter for anyone who wants to be able to feed their large TV an HD signal but doesn’t want to have to pay a subscription to the likes of Sky or Virgin.
If you do need an HD tuner, you’ll need to look at the Finlux 55S6040-M’s sister model, the 55S6040-T, which adds a Freeview HD tuner for an extra £120. But here lies the clue as to why we believe the 55S6040-M’s lack of HD tuner might not be the disaster it would likely be with a more expensive, mainstream set.
For when you’re talking about a TV as large as 55in, we can definitely imagine an audience of fairly serious AV fans with Sky or Virgin boxes - or just looking for a respectable Blu-ray movie monitor - who just want to maximise the screen size they can on a tight budget. And for these people, saving £120 for a tuner they don’t need makes all kinds of big-screen sense.