Happily, though, the 40CT2E’s lack of processing power doesn’t translate to shonky picture quality, at least where high definition sources are concerned. In fact, at times its HD pictures are almost ridiculously good for a £600 40in TV.
Leading the charge is the crisp finish to HD images, which combines with an impressive fine detail response to present Blu-rays and HD broadcasts from the Freeview HD tuner with excellent accuracy and impact.
Surprisingly given the lack of any overt processing aimed at improving motion reproduction, the 40CT2E’s HD pictures don’t break down at all badly when asked to cope with a lot of movement. Sure, there’s a touch of resolution loss, but it’s not severe, and isn’t accompanied by trailing or smearing.
In fact, we suspect that at least a few of our readers will rather appreciate the clean, unfussy approach the 40CT2E takes to presenting its pictures; after all, where you don’t have loads of processing, you don’t have to worry about loads of processing artefacts!
The 40CT2E’s pictures look bright and colourful too, with good saturation levels and reasonably natural tones for most of the time. There isn’t the same sense of finesse and subtlety when it comes to portraying colour blends and small tonal shifts that you would get with a good, more expensive TV – a fact that can leave some very bright sequences looking a touch ‘cartoony’. But this can’t be considered a major failing at the 40CT2E’s price level.
Watching dark scenes, and sequences with a mixture of light and dark content, finds the 40CT2E surprisingly good in the black level department, too. There’s a slight wash of greyness over colours that should really be totally black, but again, it’s not at all severe for the 40CT2E’s level of the market, and as a result doesn’t often distract you.
It’s worth noting, too, that the 40CT2E’s backlight is pleasingly even, with no obvious patches of brightness differentiation to stand between you and what you’re watching.
If the 40CT2E’s HD performance could be matched by its standard def efforts, we could be looking at a minor budget classic here. But sadly, it isn’t.