Samsung LE46A786 review

Samsung's '786 certainly has possibilities, but lacks that X-Factor to gain top marks Tested at £1200.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It gets close to five stars, but this stylish Samsung just lacks that something special


  • +

    Great looks

  • +

    vibrant, detailed and sharp pictures

  • +

    deep blacks combine with fairly punchy whites

  • +

    nice sound delivery


  • -

    Struggles to find black detail

  • -

    some tough competition

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We were expecting to get the five-star-rated LE46A756 in for review but it seems Samsung's as confused by its model designations as we are, and the LE46A786 was sent in instead.

The two models share the same chassis, but where the '756 has a red-tinged bezel, this '786 has blue. On the inside DNLA networking and Wiselink Pro has been removed, but LED backlighting has been added.

Of course, what we really care about is the performance, and as long as you don't stick with the ghastly out-of-the- box settings, the '786 is very good.

Lots of settings to play with
Talking of settings, there are a lot of them here, some worth experimenting with. We liked Dynamic Contrast set to medium and 100Hz Motion Plus set to low, but do try these for yourself.

The '786 is a capable performer. It especially enjoys displaying the vibrant colours on a disc like the Transformers Blu-ray, and will prove a favourite with those who find the Sonys to be just a little too neutral.

The fact that it manages such vibrancy without over-exaggerating skin tones is impressive.

It can do deep blacks, too, but that's partly due to the tinted screen, which somehow manages to let a good degree of punch through (providing you keep the backlight fairly high), but prevents real insight into dark scenes.

Brighter scenes are more detailed and sharp. Motion isn't quite as solid as the best, but it's close, and stays judder-free.

Dark scenes lack a little detail
DVD proves similarly stable, detailed and vibrant, but again we struggle to see the detail in the darkness of Sweeney Todd, and the contrast ratio isn't quite as impressive as the best on test.

It does sound good though, thanks to the SRS TruSurround XT mode, which adds a degree of space to the delivery without sacrificing too much directness.

Switching to BBC News 24 on Freeview proves a stern test, but the Samsung displays the scrolling text, letting in only a touch of shimmer.

The LE46A786 provides a solid challenge to the best, but it doesn't quite have the X-factor to take the top-spot

What Hi-Fi?

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