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Samsung LE40C650 - Colour, Motion, Input Lag and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung LE40C650 front angle


Our Score:


The second key area of improvement with the LE40C650 comes with its colours. These are more dynamic and vibrant pre-calibration, and also become - post-calibration - more consistently natural and accurate than those we got from the C580. Couple these improved colours with the superior black level response, and you’ve already got a picture that looks seriously dynamic and, with HD movies, cinematic.

The LE40C650 further improves on the C580 with its motion handling; there’s markedly less evidence of motion blur or resolution loss over moving objects. This is especially true, of course, with the set’s motion processing active. But we’d urge you to be very careful if you do use this processing, as setting it too high can result in obvious undesirable processing side effects.

The LE40C650’s HD presentation isn’t the absolute sharpest we’ve seen, even with all the noise reduction processing deactivated and overscanning turned off (using the screen’s Screen Fit aspect ratio mode). But this only manifests itself as a marginal lack of the grain some Blu-ray films contain; pictures still look definitively HD and crisp.

Samsung LE40C650 front

The LE40C650’s talents even extend to standard definition playback, as its upscaling engine delivers a winning combination of added sharpness and reduced MPEG and other noise.

Considering that the LE40C650 delivers its mostly excellent pictures for under £650, we can only muster two complaints. First, there’s evidence of backlight inconsistency, in the form of pools of extra brightness in the picture’s corners visible during very dark scenes. Thankfully, this all but disappears with the backlight reduced to our preferred 10 or less level, but it could sometimes aggravate people who prefer/need their pictures to be substantially brighter.

The other issue concerns the screen’s input lag. While playing Modern Warfare 2 online on the TV, we found ourselves dying even more regularly than usual, and the game just somehow felt slightly sluggish compared with our usual experience of it on a JVC D-ILA projector.

Wrapping up with the LE40C650’s audio capabilities, it’s a real relief to find Samsung improving considerably on the seriously malnourished audio efforts of its 2009 TV range. There’s still nothing much going on in the bass department, but the mid-range is notably more open, allowing the set to retain clarity during action scenes, while also painting a larger soundstage.


The LE40C650 thankfully proves that Samsung hasn’t become so obsessed with LED that it’s forgotten about its CCFL LCD sets. The LE40C650 is for the most part a really excellent picture performer that delivers some of the most cinematic, contrast rich pictures yet seen using CCFL lighting - and at a great price, to boot.

It’s also rich in features and calibration aids, with really its only big weakness - if you’re a console gamer - being its apparent input lag. We wouldn’t describe this as severe enough to necessarily spoil single-player games, but it definitely affected us online.

ronesh amin

September 16, 2010, 1:20 pm

"The Ethernet jack’s first call of duty is as a necessary accessory to the LE40C650’s built-in Freeview HD tuner"

Why is it mandatory to provide an ethernet port for Freewview HD. Is that for a feature already announced or for future developments?


September 16, 2010, 6:01 pm

I see you've started mentioning input lag again, but it's just exactly that - a mention - nothing more. A measurement of the lag in milliseconds would be ten times more helpful to gamers - surely you have the hardware to be able to test this.

For those interested in the input lag, another site measured it at 45ms in Game Mode and 95ms in other modes.


September 17, 2010, 4:34 pm

I read on avforums that there is panel lottery with this TV so that if you buy one you're not guaranteed to get the best panel. I assume that Samsung would have provided the best panel for reviewers. Can you comment on this?


September 18, 2010, 5:23 am

Been a while waiting for this one guys.


On the panel lottery : I've yet to find someone who actually has the superior S-PVA panel from Samsung on the 46 inch version. If you want it, it seems your best shot is sadly to scale down to this 40 inch model reviewed here.


And interesting that they're quick to belittle the C580 when one of its biggest selling points is that the input lag is significantly cut down while still offering decent picture processing, so as to be a solid buy for gamers at an affordable price.


September 18, 2010, 6:15 am

I picked up the Aussie version of this TV a few weeks back (the LA40C650) and am very happy with everything. There are a few things worth mentioning on top of your review for those looking to pick one up. These are for the Aussie version, but I doubt there would be a difference.

For the gaming lag issue I have read that game mode definately does help reduce lag. The way you do this is to rename the input to "Game" from the selection list. I have read that to futher reduce the lag if you set the input to "PC-DVI" it will even further reduce lag, but it does effect the quality of the image onscreen moreso than "Game". I haven't played with this myself yet.

Instead of purchasing the wireless adapter I use a wireless game bridge which also works great. It works by having a wireless arial and a ethernet port. You plug the TV into the ethernet port and the bridge passes it through so it becomes wireless. The bridge is obviously configured to be on your wireless network already with the security keys etc already put in while connected to a PC.

One minor annoyance I have is the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) is where it will pause the TV while scrolling down channels from time to time for a few seconds. The LE model may not have this issue though.

Great TV all round.


November 28, 2010, 6:43 pm

I'm looking at buying a 37" TV set soon, and I've read about the inconsistencies between different set sizes. Unfortunately, most review on TR are 40" varients, and I'm concerned that the smaller size screens won't live up to the high marks given to the larger sets.

Does anyone have any idea or experience about the 37" version of this Samsung set?

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