Samsung LE40B550 review

It's hard to believe that a 40 inch LCD television could be this cheap, but cheap it is, and with great performance and useability too Tested at £550.00

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Our Verdict

The fact that it significantly undercuts every other comparative TV is impressive enough – the fact that it’s also better than most of them is astounding

For

  • Deep, insightful blacks
  • pure whites
  • vibrant but natural colours
  • brilliant detail and definition
  • clean SD images

Against

  • At this price, nothing

For more than a year now we've been hearing about inevitable price rises in the flatscreen market. We can only assume Samsung never got the memo.

A 40in screen for £550 is astonishing, and makes the LE40B550 the cheapest set on test by quite some margin.

It's not as if the spec's rubbish, either. True, it does without fancy motion processing and an internet connection, but the 'B550 is still Full HD, has four HDMIs, and even a USB socket for playing MP3 music and JPG photos.

What's more, its performance is way above and beyond what you'd expect for this money, too.

More than a match for pricier sets
Kicking off with Inglourious Basterds on Blu-ray, it's immediately apparent this is the best sub-£1000 performer in these parts. It digs up tonnes of Perrier LaPadite's perspiration as he's interrogated in the opening scene.

It has the deepest blacks of the most affordable sets in its genre too, but there's still enough insight in them to reveal the detail in the dimly lit corners of the house.

The light shining through the windows is also brighter and punchier than that produced by price-comparable rivals.

Although it's obviously not as punchy as some other large-screen sets, whites are still pure, while colours are lush and vibrant, but never overblown.

No judder either
As mentioned, this Samsung does without motion processing, but there's no significant judder to slow pans and very little discernible smear.

Spin The Hangover on DVD and the Samsung matches the detail offered by more expensive sets, but once again adds extra vibrancy and black depth.

The images are impressively stable and solid here, as they are with Freeview broadcasts, which are enjoyably colourful without being overly garish – even when pushed by insane children's programmes like In the Night Garden.

Samsung continues to make a fuss of its down-firing speakers, which are supposed to make the 'B550 sound ‘deeper and clearer'.

While they're far from brilliant, they're no worse than other designs we've seen, and do the job just as well.

Add an initial, automatic ‘home' calibration (that requires very little tweaking) and smart menus, and the £550 Samsung LE40B550 turns out to be a genuinely fantastic all-rounder – as well as a quite extraordinary bargain.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Brand NameSamsung
Product Series550
Product TypeLCD TV
ManufacturerSamsung
Manufacturer Part NumberLE40B550
Product NameSamsung LE40B550
Product ModelLE-40B550

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • LE40B550 LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • "AAA" Batteries
  • Power Cable

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
VGAYes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports4

Technical Information

FeaturesAuto-off, Auto Program, Teletext, Channel Labeling
Aspect Ratio16:9
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")

Energy and Performance

Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080

Power Description

Input Voltage220 V AC

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemDolby, Surround Sound

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T
Scan Format1080p

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate14.80 kg
ColourPlatinum Black

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year