Of course, there are instances where some HD sources do leave a line or two of mess around their edges – as we saw when we hooked a Sky HD box up to the Philips Cineos 37PF9731D. So what you really want on a full HD TV is the option to apply overscan or not, depending on what your source dictates.
Sorry if we seem to have banged on about this for too long, but to the sort of AV purist most likely to be interested in a full HD TV, rescaling HD signals arguably defeats the whole object of having a full HD resolution in the first place. Just to make the situation extra confusing, though, Samsung HAS permitted 1:1 pixel mapping via one port: its VGA PC input.
Happily the 40F71 has a few other neat features up its sleeve to try and win us back to its cause. Not least among these is Samsung’s ‘eXtended Wide Colour Gamut’ system that uses improved phosphors and backlights to produce almost a third more of the natural colour spectrum than standard LCD TVs.
Then there’s Samsung’s Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) – an image processor that works to improve detailing, colour tone and vibrancy, motion handling, and black levels. A claimed contrast ratio of 6000:1 bodes well for the TV’s black levels, too, while 10-bit image processing allegedly helps the 40F71 produce a theoretical 25.6 billion colours.
Just when things are starting to look up, though, we uncover another nasty surprise: the 40F71 doesn’t have a digital tuner for Freeview reception. Given that Freeview tuners are present across practically the entire rest of Samsung’s flat TV range, we can only surmise that it’s absent from this otherwise ‘flagship’ product is because Samsung felt it had to rush it out before it could customise it for the UK marketplace. Not that this is any excuse, mind.