Samsung LE40A656 40in LCD TV - Samsung LE40A656

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Samsung LE40A656 40in LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

Other notable bits and bobs the LE40A656 offers include a 120MHz mode designed for purer playback of 24fps sources (as 120MHz is a straight x5 multiple of 24fps, helping to keep the necessary processing algorithms simple), three levels of black level boosting, gamma controls, colour space adjustment, flesh tone adjustment, edge enhancement, noise reduction, and picture in picture features.

Moving on to the analysis of the LE40A656's picture quality, there's one thing I need to get cleared up right away: the concerns I raised earlier about this TV's 100Hz processing are completely unfounded. For the 100Hz engine actually proves to be not only good, but one of the best in the business.

Deciding to push it hard right away with some HD football coverage, I was pretty much blown away by just how sharply and fluidly the screen portrays the players as they charge around the pitch. There's practically no trouble at all with the usual loss of resolution or edge blurring, even when the camera pans to track the ball.

Even better, provided you stick with the 100Hz system's Low or Medium settings, the processing making this motion handling possible does its job with minimal side effects; an occasional little halo effect here, a flash of edge flicker there, but nothing at all significant in the context of all the good work the processing is doing.

The same striking motion sharpness and fluidity crosses over to film playback too, especially if you're watching a 24p feed from a Blu-ray, leaving you freer to appreciate another key LE40A656 benefit: excellent fine detail resolution. A really high quality HD source like, believe it or not, the Sky HD premiere of The Italian Job, looks immaculately crisp, textured and sharp, with no pixel left unturned in delivering the ultimate HD experience. There's really no overstating just how great it is to find this traditional Samsung detailing strength at last being laid truly bare thanks to the lack of any motion blur to detract from it.

Also enjoying a substantial improvement over many Samsung LCDs of the past is the LE40A656's black level response. For starters, the automatic contrast system is far more subtle than any Samsung has delivered before, so that you aren't distracted by obvious brightness ‘jumps'. And, furthermore, the screen can deliver much deeper, richer blacks than the vast majority of its current rivals. Needless to say this works wonders on your typical, contrast-rich movie.

Good black levels usually accompany good colours, and that's certainly the case here. Saturations are fearsomely intense, while tones are comfortably the most natural Samsung has ever produced on an LCD TV.

ian bloomfield

October 7, 2008, 8:12 pm

I purchased this TV after reading this review, what a fantastic set, so good that my father in law bought the same one. I cannot praise this set highly enough, they all come with a 5 year warranty now so even better value for money

Jim O

October 17, 2008, 2:26 pm

I also bought this TV after reading the review above. I've had it just over a month now and i have to say it is fantastic. The day we got it we watched a Blu-ray DVD and the picture quality is amazing. The colours are so vibrant and clear. Set up is easy and the menus are fairly intuitive. I would recommend this TV to anyone

HDtvwannahave

October 19, 2008, 2:20 pm

he there currently is a LE40A756 on the market anyone have that one already i am currently in the market for a 40 inch lcd tv and the 6 series is now very well priced in holland (994 euro) i was wondering if the 7 series is worth the extra 2 or 300 euro

Jon 3

February 2, 2009, 10:40 pm

I am considering the newer LE-37686, would this review apply?

Mike Jones

February 23, 2009, 5:00 pm

Probably a bit late to this but purchased one two days ago from PC World with a great offer on blue-ray. Got it home, set it up in less than 20 minutes, popped the blue-ray in the cabinet and away I went. SD through an aerial is excellent, HD through Freesat is awesome (best I have ever seen) blue-ray is just astonishing as is the up scaling in 1080p, watched Harry Potter Goblet of Fire and where the underwater scenes were hopeless on my Panasonic 37" 1080i the Samsung made me believe I was watching genuine blue-ray, we only sat to try I tout and ended up watching it all again.





After I tried Iron-Man (blue-ray version) and could have sat and cried with excitement, WOW< WOW< WOW & can't offer further superlatives really. From SD through to blue-ray it’s incredible, only later did I realise I didn't have the TV set up with motion flow and 1080p, 'No-way,' I said to myself, 'there are not words to describe my pleasure.'





Only tiny downside is the in-built sound, background is too loud so speech suffers, to be fair though with so many different settings I may have it on the wrong one, I'll look later.





As for the look of the black rose, nothing compares (IMO) I always likes the Phillips Ambi thingy with the changing colours round the edge, in Curry’s it is now half price � down to under �, and I almost didn't get the Samsung, oh boy am I glad I did.





11 out of 10 apart from the sound and that may yet be better, it’s probably me.

Niall Jackson

November 9, 2010, 6:05 pm

Was a good TV until it broke down - will never buy Samsung products again. Sub standard parts and terrible customer service. TV only lasted 16 months...

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