The difference between the set’s standard and high definition pictures really is a night and day affair. For instance, where the HD images look impressively crisp, the standard def ones look softer and unfocussed. And where HD images achieve good detail levels without looking gritty, standard def images seem to rather exaggerate any noise that might be in a standard def source.
There seems to be more judder in evidence with standard def too, but our biggest complaint is that standard def colours are nowhere near as convincing as those on show with HD, suffering numerous rogue tones and a generally less vibrant palette.
One final general picture issue we should point out – even though it’s common to almost all LCD TVs – is that the 40CT2E loses contrast and colour saturation when viewed from an angle of around 40 degrees or more.
Wrapping up the 40CT2E’s AV efforts is an uninspiring audio effort. The main problem is a familiar one: a striking lack of bass extension, which all too easily leaves loud audio moments sounding shrill and tiring. Though to be fair, the 40CT2E sounds solid enough with normal TV programming, and does at least deliver good treble detailing. Plus, unusually, there’s a subwoofer line-out via which you can add an external subwoofer – if you can somehow find one that manages to blend well with the TV’s 8W left and right speakers!
If we could judge the 40CT2E on its HD performance alone, it would probably have bagged an eight for pictures, and maybe even a TrustedReviews Recommended badge once its price had been taken into account.
But even with the built-in Freeview HD tuner, there’s a good chance that the 40CT2E’s target audience will still end up watching quite a bit of standard def. So it’s a shame its standard def efforts fall short of those delivered by many rival sets these days.