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Samsung UE40D5520 review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung UE40D5520


Our Score


User Score


  • Phenomenally cheap
  • Good all-round picture quality
  • Very easy on the eye


  • Audio struggles when pushed hard
  • No Skype or web browser
  • Very slight (but containable) backlight clouding

Review Price £547.29

Key Features: 40in LCD TV with edge LED lighting; 100Hz; Smart TV functionality; DLNA and USB multimedia playback; Freeview HD tuner

Manufacturer: Samsung

Today we have mostly been wondering just how, in the name of all things AV, TV manufacturers are actually making money any more.

We really don't have to delve too deeply into the dank, dark, icky recesses of our memory banks to remember a time when 32in CRT TVs could sell for £1500 and more. Yet here we are at the rear end of July 2011 and we've got in front of us a high-performance, feature-laden 40in TV that costs just £522.90. Repeat: £522.90.

This price would look pretty attractive on an absolute bog-standard 40in LCD TV. But the Samsung UE40D5520 certainly is not just a bog-standard 40in LCD TV.

For starters, it looks as peachy as a baked peach served with peach ice cream. Its rear is slim with a capital s, and its bezel is glossy, exceptionally narrow and beautifully dressed in one of Samsung's trademark 'crystal' finishes. As well as looking great, the emphasis on slimness means that, like so many Samsung TVs this year, the UE40D5520 is able to fit its 40in pictures into the sort of space that would normally only take a 37in or maybe even 32in TV.

Samsung UE40D5520

Obviously a TV as slim - and light - as the UE40D5520 would look great hanging on the wall. So it's nice to find it positioning all of its connection ports for side entry, so wall-hangers don't have to have cables sticking straight out of the TV's rear and, effectively, right into their wall. The number of connections provided is exceptional for such a cheap TV too. Its four HDMIs are enough to cater for an ambitious, multi-source enthusiast's set up, never mind the likely less source-heavy mainstream living rooms its price could well attract.

It's got a LAN port too, there as mandatory support for a Freeview HD tuner (something you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find on such a cheap set); as a means of streaming in files from DLNA PCs; and last but not least, as a portal for accessing Samsung's 2011 Smart TV platform.

There are also a couple of USB ports, capable of playing back photo, music and video files, and also able to take an optional USB dongle to enable the TV for Wi-Fi.

We've covered Samsung's Smart TV system in some depth in previous reviews, so we'll keep our mention of it here relatively brief.

On the content side it's got a healthy and seemingly continually growing roster of video content, including YouTube, LoveFilm, AceTrax, the BBC iPlayer, and a recently added BBC News video headline service. Plus it's also got dozens and dozens of smaller-scale 'apps', featuring simple games and infotainment for the most part.

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Don Kanonjii

July 29, 2011, 6:11 pm

Hooray! you tested input lag! thank you TR!

simon jackson

July 29, 2011, 7:56 pm

Frustrating that everywhere seems to be selling it above the £522 price quoted in the review - sometimes substantially above :(


July 30, 2011, 3:43 am

@simon: everywhere seems to be selling it above the £522

My mother bought the UE46D8000 from RicherSounds, they also do a 5 year warranty's at a good rate. They have the this one for £519.95 -> http://www.richersounds.com/product/lcd-tv/samsung/ue40d5520/sams-ue40d5520


July 30, 2011, 3:48 pm

Im confused why this model has an input lag of 34ms and yet the more expensive Samsung UE40D6530 you reviewed has between 40ms and a potentially performance-affecting 70ms as per your review (which is the only reason I did not purchase it). Surely in game mode it should at least be as good if not better?


July 30, 2011, 6:27 pm

How do they make it so cheap? Its called a loss leader. Its common practise. And you're right, nobody makes money out of TV's any more because everybody wants it as cheap as possible and to hell with the long term consequences. That's why there are no TV factories in England, that last one (Toshiba) closed late in 2009. That's why they are closing all over Europe and moving to China and other super low wage economies. 8 years ago a 32" LCD cost £3000+. Now its £3-400. While it is fair to say that prices naturally reduce over time because of economies of scale, improved manufacturing techniques and large scale integration (most LCD TV's only have a couple of PCB's in them now), a 90% price erosion in just 8 years is not sustainable and something has to give. They will be quality (more cosmetic or other defects will be accepted in the factory, example the clouding issue that blights so many LED side lit TV's), long term reliability (use of cheaper, poorer grade components) and, as we have discovered over the last 20 or so years here, people's jobs. That is the reality of the electronics world today, especially audio visual and I fully expect that over the next few years a lot of companies who have had long associations with the TV business will drop out.

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