It also must be added that as well as lacking a Freeview HD tuner, the Finlux 55S6040-M doesn’t have any DLNA or online functionality. Indeed, it doesn’t even have a LAN port or any sort of Wi-Fi support. But even being able to get PVR and multimedia USB playback from such a cheap TV is more multimedia support than might have been expected.
Using the Finlux 55S6040-M’s surprisingly comfortably-shaped remote to explore the set’s onscreen menus, meanwhile, proves a predictably short-lived experience. The onscreen menus themselves are very basic in presentation. They deign to take an icon-based approach, but the quality of the graphics involved is frankly almost ZX Spectrum-like compared with the HD menu glories now appearing on more expensive TVs.
There’s also not much to delve into within these dated-looking menus. For instance, the electronic programme guide for the digital tuner is drably presented and loses points for retaining neither the picture or even the sound of the channel you were watching when you hit the EPG button.
The basic picture adjustments, moreover, don’t include a backlight tweaker – just a brightness one. There’s no colour management system worthy of the name either, with really the only significant picture tools being an HDMI True Black option and something called ‘Movie Sense’.
The former of these proves very helpful in boosting the black level response of incoming HDMI images, while the latter is the name Finlux gives to its 100Hz processing. It’s nice to see that unlike the recently reviewed Kogan LED55, the Finlux 55S6040-M allows you to turn the 100Hz processing off if you’re not happy with what it brings to the picture.
Actually, though, the 55S6040-M’s 100Hz system is nothing like as poor as that of the Kogan. So much so that you might actually want to leave it on for at least some of the time. It certainly delivers a slight boost in motion clarity while only suffering sporadically with typical artefacts like haloing around moving objects or motion flicker.
Also surprisingly good – so long as you don’t scrutinise it too deeply, at any rate – is the Finlux 55S6040-M’s black level response. There’s not the general wash of greyness over dark scenes that you tend to get with budget panels – especially if you turn on the set’s HDMI True Black option.
Making the 55in TV’s decent black level response more impressive is the pleasingly punchy look to pictures, which are and richly coloured when a shot contains a mix of light and dark material.
Then there’s the sharpness of the set’s HD pictures. Details are presented surprisingly effectively, giving HD images that sense of snap and clarity we’re always looking for on screens as large as that of the Finlux 55S6040-M. Not surprisingly, there are ‘premium’ 55in TVs from the likes of Samsung and Panasonic that can make HD look more detailed still, but for its money, the 55S6040-M’s HD efforts are much more than satisfactory.