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

User Score:

Samsung also exceeds all of its previous LCD efforts by a comfortable margin when it comes to rescaling standard definition sources to fit the full HD screen. There are far less noise and colour tone issues than we've experienced before, to the extent that now, the LE40A656 can fairly claim to be one of the best standard def performers in the big-screen full HD world.

So is there anything negative left to say about its pictures at all? Well, we've already mentioned the very slight artefacting under extreme conditions caused by the 100Hz Motion system, especially if you're foolish enough to set the feature to its ‘high' level. But also we have to urge you to avoid the ridiculously OTT Dynamic picture preset the TV ships with, for this can seriously mess up noise and colour tones. And finally, although the standard definition processing is vastly improved, skin tones can just occasionally still look a bit waxy. But that's all we can come up with, and believe us when we say it doesn't amount to very much.

After the glories of its pictures, though, I'm rather underwhelmed by the LE40A656's audio. There's an impressive amount of detail in the mix, and a very wide soundstage is delivered even without engaging the SRS TruSurround audio mode. But the set sadly can't escape the familiar flat TV problem of a distinct lack of bass, which leaves explosions sounding thin and ‘poppy'.

Verdict

The first set from Samsung's new LCD range marks a stunning leap forward for the Korean brand in both design and picture performance - and that's saying something when you think about how good the brand's previous sets were. Now is it just me, or can you also hear the sound of many Japanese brands quaking in their boots?

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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