Despite the Finlux 40S8070-T’s brightness, we were pleasantly surprised while watching normal TV fodder by the picture’s apparent contrast. Certainly the screen seemed game enough to at least try and produce a passable black level response – though of course, the real truth of the set’s contrast pudding won’t become apparent until the footie’s over and we’ve put a couple of dark movie scenes on.
So with England’s handy – if slightly drab draw – complete, we turned to a couple of tried and tested dark Blu-ray scenes from Casino Royale and the last Harry Potter film. And right away we were mightily relieved to find the screen not suffering with the nasty ‘floodlight’ of backlight bleed in its bottom right corner that so blighted the 32F6030-T.
In fact, dark scenes are surprisingly watchable. For as well as suffering much less with backlight inconsistencies – especially if you use the relatively ‘relaxed’ Cinema picture preset – there’s a noticeably deeper, richer look to black colours than is standard with budget TVs. Even better, the set manages to retain a passable amount of shadow detail in dark areas. This is helped by the fact that unlike most other Finlux TVs we’ve seen, with the 40S8070-T you don’t need to activate the black crush-inducing HDMI TruBlack option to get a decent black level response.
Minor backlight flaws
We must stress that for all its improvement over the 32F6030-T, the Finlux 40S8070-T’s backlight uniformity isn’t perfect. At times of almost complete blackness you can see a few areas of extra greyness, especially in one patch about six inches across from the top left corner. But their impact is sufficiently minimal that they they only become distracting during very small amounts of your overall viewing time, and thus we don’t consider them a deal breaker. Especially at the 40S8070-T’s price.
There are a couple of other negative points to mention, namely that the screen is a touch reflective of direct light, and that patches of very small detail can shimmer a little, as if the screen is struggling to resolve them accurately. But it’s definitely the picture positives that ultimately win the day.
Sonically the 40S8070-T isn’t anything special. The set doesn’t sink into outright distortion and wince-inducing harshness like the worst flat TV offenders, but it certainly lacks dynamic range, with minimal bass and a rather overcrowded mid-range that results in anything beyond simple ‘chat’ sounding thin and tinny.
Anyone thinking of running a games console into the 40S8070-T might have to think again. For our tests measured a rather hefty input lag figure of around 100ms using the set’s Game picture preset, which could certainly be high enough to negatively affect your skills with fast-reaction games.
The Finlux 40S8070-T may exhibit a slightly basic approach to colours together with some minor backlight flaws and a high level of input lag, but still overall we were quietly impressed by it. It goes about its cost-effective business in confident style, combining pictures that are a clear cut above the budget norm with a nifty design and some surprisingly solid online and multimedia options.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7
Sound Quality 6