Provided you follow these relatively simple bits of advice, though, the 46S8030-T’s pictures look pretty good. For instance, the screen delivers a strong sense of the sort of texturing, minute detail and film grain resolution that distinguishes HD from standard definition sources – especially as its 100Hz system helps keep resolution loss surprisingly low when showing moving objects.
Also better than usual by budget TV standards is the 46S8030-T’s contrast performance, especially at the dark end of the spectrum. Its attempts at producing a credible black colour really aren’t bad at all, even with the auto backlight deactivated. There’s a shade of bluish grey hanging over dark scenes for sure, but it’s nothing like as strong or overbearing as we would expect from a budget TV.
As well as helping dark scenes look notably more convincing than they normally do on cheap TVs, it also makes it easier to see the sort of subtle shadow details that stop the darkest parts of pictures on LCD TVs from looking like weird black holes.
Colours look much better in HD than they do in standard def too, with more subtlety in their rendition and a wider range of believable tones. Though there’s a slightly muted general tone, and you can still see that the range of colours the screen can produce is well below what you would hope to see from a more expensive 46in TV.
It has to be said that pictures lack a little brightness after they’ve been calibrated to produce the best contrast performance, but this isn’t as bad a deal as it sounds, especially if you’re able to watch in a dark or dimly-lit room.
If you’re a serious gamer, the 46S8030-T might not be the best TV for you. For we measured an average input lag figure of 44ms. As well as being a bit higher than the LCD TV average, our tests recorded a few even higher measurements of 67ms along the way.
While the 46S8030-T generally outperforms its price with its HD pictures, it lives down to expectations sonically. Even when watching fairly straightforward TV shows the mid-range can sometimes distort a bit when delivering voices, and there’s a tendency for the speakers to over-emphasise trebles. These issues are inevitably much more obvious when watching an action scene in a film, to the extent that the almost complete lack of bass, constrained mid-range and over-egged trebles combine to leave you wincing at times when the going gets really loud – a simple set of stereo speakers or a soundbar will really lift things here.
Although it certainly doesn’t hide all of its budget heritage, overall the 46S8030-T is a far better performer for its money than you’ve any right to expect, and even its Smart TV features aren’t completely half-baked. So all in all, this is another of Finlux’s better moments.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7
Sound Quality 5