Getting on to features the 46M51 actually does have, the highlight is probably Samsung’s Digital Natural Image engine, a processing system with a number of different strings to its bow including: making colours look richer and more natural; making the contrast range more dynamic; making moving objects look sharper and smoother; and increasing fine detail levels, especially in standard definition sources.
The rather attractive onscreen menu system also contains a noise reduction routine and individual adjustment of the red, green and blue image components, while a dedicated button on the remote gives you access to a nicely presented picture in picture system.
Samsung’s claimed specifications for the 46M51 make for reasonably pleasant reading. The native resolution is quoted at 1,366 x 768, with a high-sounding contrast ratio of 3000:1 and a decent brightness output of 500cd/m2. What’s more, the set employs 10-bit colour processing to serve up a supposed 6.4 billion colours – only about half that claimed for Samsung’s new R74 range, but still pretty decent compared with the LCD industry as a whole. It’s worth reminding you, though, that you should always take figures like this with a healthy pinch of salt…
In action, the LE46M51 makes an aggressively impressive start. Bright colours, for instance, positively radiate out at you, transfixing your attention on the screen and demolishing any concerns we might have had about whether Samsung has the technical know-how to make such a king-sized screen as bright as its smaller brethren.
What’s more, the LE46M51 achieves this outrageous brightness without seriously compromising its contrast performance. Dark parts of the picture therefore look suitably black, and provide a winningly dynamic counterpoint for all the bright stuff. Even better, the LE46M51’s black levels don’t look forced, by which we mean that dark areas appear not as flat and empty black holes, but as fully integrated parts of the picture, complete with their own sense of three-dimensional scale and subtle detailing.