First impressions of the Finlux 46S6030-T’s pictures – while watching a combination of HD broadcast channels – are that they simply can’t be coming from a 46in TV costing substantially under £600. Colours look vibrant, brightness levels are high, and detail and sharpness levels are good. The sharpness doesn’t even break down severely when there’s motion in the picture – especially if you have the TV’s motion processing system switched on to low or medium.
The latter setting can cause some minor unwanted side effects, such as gentle blurring around the edges of fast-moving objects, and a very minor recurring ‘twitch’. But overall, while the motion processing feels – and doubtless is – pretty simplistic versus the vastly more powerful efforts you get with more expensive TVs, it’s also much more effective and usable on the 46S6030-T than we could have expected.
Although it’s hard to tell with any certainty from the predominantly very bright, colour-rich material of most non-film HD TV broadcasts, it also looks at this stage as if the set’s black level response is pretty decent – certainly not the grey-infused mess common with budget TVs. We were relieved at this stage, too, not to spot any frighteningly overt backlight consistency flaws – though obviously we can’t be totally confident about the backlight until we get a few ultra-dark movie scenes fed in.
There are, of course, some early signs of the 46S6030-T’s affordability. Colours look a bit basic, in that they lack blend subtlety, sometimes look a bit cartoony, and can look a mite unbalanced in their out-of-the-box state, with bright reds and blues looking a touch dominant, and greens looking slightly muted. But then the set, as seen earlier, does provide enough tools to at least reduce these imbalances, even if they never entirely disappear.
Switching to standard definition channels causes a slightly bigger step down in picture quality than we would ideally hope for. Clearly the Finlux 46S6030-T’s upscaling processing doesn’t do a particularly good job of suppressing source picture noise as it goes about remapping pictures to the screen’s 1,920×1,080 resolution.
To be fair, though, this is really no more than we would expect at the 46S6030-T’s price point. And actually, in some ways the rescaling isn’t bad. For instance, colour tones don’t slide off message with standard def sources like they can with many affordable LCD TVs, and motion blurring doesn’t suddenly increase exponentially either. Standard def images are thus still eminently watchable.
Surprising Potter performance
Experience shows that the single hardest thing for budget TVs to do is reproduce dark scenes with any serious sense of conviction. So feeling in an unforgiving mood, the first movie we played into the 46S6030-T was the phenomenally dark final Harry Potter film on Blu-ray. And actually, Finlux’s budget screen did quite a bit better than expected – notwithstanding a couple of notable flaws.
Switching the TV to its Cinema preset – something we’d strongly recommend you always do when watching Blu-rays on this TV – revealed black levels considerably deeper than we’d expected. Yes, there’s a somewhat hollow look to the darkest areas as the set takes brightness out of the image to boost its black level credentials, and there’s still more greyness hanging over dark proceedings than you tend to get with the very best LCD or, especially, plasma TVs. But by the standards of the really cheap TV world, the 46S6030-T’s rendering of dark scenes is actually very strong.