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Samsung LE40C650 - Features and First Picture Findings

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Samsung LE40C650 front angle

Summary

Our Score:

9

Heading into the LE40C650’s onscreen menus, it’s reassuring to find many of the picture tweaks and features that have graced Samsung’s flagship LED models. These are far too numerous to cover in full, but there are a few highlights we definitely have to mention.

Samsung has equipped the set with 100Hz/Motion Plus processing, and happily it’s gone to unusual lengths to make the ‘strength’ of this processing customisable. For as well as the expected Off, low (‘Clear’), Standard and high (‘Smooth’) options, there’s a Custom setting that lets you adjust with surprising finesse the extent to which the processing works on the separate judder and blur elements of the picture.

Samsung LE40C650 side

This is an excellent idea given that while pretty much everyone hates motion blur, there are plenty of people who find a bit of judder not only tolerable but actually preferable - at least when watching films - to the rather artificial smoothness that heavy duty motion processing can generate.

Other excellent calibration aids are a series of gamma settings, and the facility to adjust the offset and gain of the red, green and blue primary colour components, as well as the RGB balance of the red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colours.

Samsung has even gone so far as to include a 10-point white balance adjustment, allowing for some remarkably precise greyscale adjustments right across the dark-to-bright spectrum.

Samsung LE40C650 stand

You might also want to play with the set’s noise reduction options, flesh tone adjustment, edge enhancement and shadow detail tools, as they each have a quite profound impact on the way pictures look. Actually for us they had a little too brazen an impact - especially the edge enhancement - so we switched them all off. But don’t be afraid to try them for yourselves, and if any of them work for you, then hey, last time we checked, it was a free country.

It only takes a few minutes actually watching the LE40C650’s pictures to realise that they are indeed much improved over those of the 32C580.

These improvements come in no less than three absolutely crucial areas, the most immediately striking of which is black level response. After careful calibration - which included knocking the Backlight setting down to around its 10 level - there’s far less evidence of LCD’s familiar grey clouding over black image parts than there was with the C580 model. In fact, there’s hardly any greyness at all, which makes the LE40C650 one of the best contrast performers in the CCFL LCD TV firmament. Especially since the white point correction system allows you to fine-tune your preferred balance between blackness and visible shadow detail.

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?

Metalex

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.

ishmeister

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?

GoldenGuy

September 18, 2010, 5:23 am

Been a while waiting for this one guys.





@ishmeister





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.





@Metalex


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.

sponks

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.

MattMe

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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