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Samsung LE40B550 40in LCD TV review

John Archer




  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung LE40B550 40in LCD TV
  • Samsung LE40B550 40in LCD TV
  • Samsung LE40B550 40in LCD TV
  • Samsung LE40B550 40in LCD TV
  • Samsung LE40B550 40in LCD TV


Our Score:


In the past, we've frequently struggled to persuade Samsung to send its relatively low-end tellies over for review. It's been tempting to see this as Samsung thinking its cheaper TVs are a bit shoddy and not wanting them to be pummeled in reviews leading to a resulting drop in sales. However, now that our persistence has finally led to us getting our hands on one of Samsung's current ‘mass market' models, the LE40B550, we're suddenly reassessing our previous thoughts about Samsung's budget ‘shyness'.

You see, the 40B550 is really rather good. So, unless Samsung has suddenly produced a quantum leap in the quality of its entry level products, we're now beginning to think that the brand's previous apparent wish to only send us premium-spec TVs for review may actually have been down to a paranoid obsession with being associated with cutting edge features and performance, rather than a specific desire to avoid negative reviews.

All of which conjecture is very interesting (of course!), but you're probably more than ready for me to get down to the business of explaining just why the TV has led to so much pontification today.

Let's start with its looks which, while considerably less glamorous than those of Samsung's ultra-slim LED models, are still remarkably attractive for a TV costing only a few quid more than £550. Particularly pleasing are the presence of Samsung's customary glass-like ‘Crystal' top layer over the bezel, the subtle arc along the TV's bottom edge, and the way the Crystal top layer is allowed to extend a touch further than the black bezel, to create a slim, light-diffracting outer frame.

This is a very well connected TV, too. Kicking things off in fine, HD-loving style are four HDMIs, with highlight support coming from a VGA PC input, and a USB jack capable of playing JPEG and MP3 files.

Unlike Samsung's B650 LCD series and LED models, the 40B550 doesn't have an Ethernet port for accessing either Samsung's Media 2.0 ‘Internet' service, or content stored on a DLNA PC. Nor does the USB handle video files, like the USB jacks of the higher spec models. But come on; the 40B550 does only cost £555. So what do you expect? A built-in Cappuccino machine?

While I'm on the subject of things the 40B550 doesn't have, it also lacks the 100Hz processing found on Samsung's B650 series. Though that's certainly not to say that the TV is completely devoid of video processing, for Samsung's multi-purpose Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) system is on hand, as is a Wide Colour Gamut system, noise reduction routines, and an Edge Enhancement system.

It has to be said that not all of these processing tools are particularly helpful; Edge Enhancement can make edges look forced and unnatural, and the noise reduction systems can make pictures look unnecessarily soft if not used sparingly. But the presence of so many options does at least suggest that the 40B550 is a TV with ambitions above its £550 station.


August 18, 2009, 5:54 am

any reviews on this model Samsung PS50B530S2WX?


August 18, 2009, 2:28 pm

Now: the big question - This one or Panny's TH-42PX80 plasma?


August 18, 2009, 3:09 pm

You'll be lucky to find the PX80 anywhere.

Isn't the 42x10b now?


August 18, 2009, 4:43 pm

A further plus in favour of this set is the fact that it can be tweaked to play MKVs and movies via USB just like its bigger brother, the B650 series.


Andy Vandervell

August 18, 2009, 4:45 pm

Xamph: that's a very cool tip, nice one.


August 22, 2009, 1:43 am

I own a Samsung LCD television which was widely praised on internet reviews sites. Unfortunately, it has just started making a clicking noise and won't switch on. When I investigated this on the internet it seems thousands of other people have the same problem, caused by the use of extremely low quality electronic components by Samsung in its power supply units which pack in after about 15 months (just after the guarantee expires). Most manufacturers would recall or offer to replace faulty components but it appears Samsung has stuck its head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem, charging over £80 an hour for repairs. Don't just take my word for it, look it up on the web. Retailers who have been inundated with complaints are also refusing to acknowledge that there is a manufacturing fault and are insisting the consumer pays for independent engineering reports before honouring their responsibilities under the Sale of Goods act. These reports, of course, cost more thn the item itslef so most consumers simply give in and pay over £200 for the repair. The answer is, of course, is quite simple. Do not touch Samsung TVs with a barge pole.

Geoff Richards

August 22, 2009, 2:40 am

@mikfrak - I'm not familiar with the fault you describe, but I've got one of these Samsungs: http://www.trustedreviews.c...

which is 4 years old and doing just fine.


September 3, 2009, 1:16 am

Can anybody submit the optimal calibration settings for this TV?....I would be very grateful....


September 3, 2009, 8:38 pm

comet have just added the model LE40B530 to their range priced at £479 and is very good indeed so much so all stocks are sold out at this time!!!

john reilly

October 2, 2009, 2:24 am

Like many other people i have a samsung lcd tv and like many other people the same problem.TV wont turn on clicking noise and red button flashing.

Samsung know of this problem,and refuse to do anything about it.

Pay the £200 repair because the tv cost me £950.

Like the guy above said DONT TOUCH SAMSUNG with a barge pole.

knew i should have stuck with SONY.

mike allison

March 3, 2010, 3:12 am

hi would this review compare for the 46 inch model. really like this tv, but feel 40 inch isnt a big enough step up for my current 32?

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