Samsung LE46A656 46in LCD TV Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £1236.99

When you’re as stunning to look at as Samsung’s A656 LCD TV range, it usually follows that the bigger screen size you’ve got, the more striking you look. And so it proves with the LE46A656A1 (which I’ll refer to as the 46A656 from here on)

For at 46in across, this is comfortably the largest A656 model we’ve looked at to date. Yet it’s also, for my money, the prettiest. The gorgeous hint of deep red tucked within the screen’s glass-fronted dark bezel really does look lovely at this size – especially in the way the red hue becomes slightly more overt the further towards the edge of the bezel you go.

It’s worth adding, too, that the 46A656 is put together without any glue or rivets – a remarkable achievement that packs even more aesthetic punch on a 46in TV than it does on the smaller 32in and 40in models we’ve looked at previously.

Don’t think for a moment, though, that the 46A656’s stunning exterior is designed to distract you from an under-developed heart. In fact, this set is one of the best-featured models around right now.

Its connections, for instance, include a superb four HDMI sockets, all built to the v1.3 specification, with Deep Colour compatibility, CEC functionality (for control of compatible sources via the TV’s remote), and the ability to receive the 1080p/24 sources now available from most Blu-ray players. Splendid.

These four HDMIs come on top of all the usual goodies, of course, such as a component video input, a D-Sub PC input, an optical digital audio output, two SCARTs, an S-Video input, and a composite video input. Plus there’s a further unusual finding in the shape of a USB 2.0 port for playing back JPEG stills or MP3 audio files.

Inevitably for a premium TV of such a prodigious size, the 46A656 incorporates a 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD resolution, and promises a supremely high contrast ratio of 50,000:1. This figure is made possible by a) the assistance of the inevitable dynamic contrast system, where the TV’s backlight is dimmed to boost black levels during dark scenes, and b) some proprietary filtering technology in the screen itself, which drastically reduces contrast-spoiling reflections.

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