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Samsung LE26D450 review

The Samsung 26D450 is thoroughly deserving of an audition Tested at £280

Our Verdict

Lots of performance positives make this an interesting ‘budget’ option

For

  • Well made, good ergonomics
  • vibrant, high-contrast pictures

Against

  • Sound is sandpaper-coarse
  • never entirely free of picture noise

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Lots of performance positives make this an interesting ‘budget’ option

Pros

  • + Well made, good ergonomics
  • + vibrant, high-contrast pictures

Cons

  • - Sound is sandpaper-coarse
  • - never entirely free of picture noise

The ‘D’ in the model number indicates a 2011 product, but the elegant, minimal design of Samsung’s larger 2011 TVs evidently hasn’t trickled down to the smaller screen sizes just yet.

The 26D450 is a good-looking device, but the ‘rose black’ finish, on-screen menus and unwieldy remote control are reminiscent of Samsung’s state of the art circa 2008.

This, plus the relative depth (8cm) of its chassis and chunky bezel, makes the 26D450 seem less than cutting edge. But then, nor is it priced at the cutting edge.

Decent spec for the screen size
Specification is on the money, though (a 1366 x 768 resolution and twin TV tuners are the norm in this sector) and the D450’s as simple to set up as the best of Samsung’s big-screen efforts.

With a Blu-ray copy of The Lincoln Lawyer to downscale, the D450 delivers vivid, punchy, high-contrast images – motion is handled with assurance most of the time, with only rapid or complicated motion causing any uncertainty.

The Samsung’s not immune to picture noise in extremis, though, and there’s a rather solid quality to the (deep, lustrous) black tones that spoils the otherwise impressive detail levels.

TV reception, whether via analogue or digital tuner, is reasonably composed – critically, the D450 manages to keep a decent grip on movement, minimising the impact of its otherwise bothersome jagged edges and shortage of fine detail.

Coarse textures and sound
Its areas of expertise (strong contrasts, vibrant colours) remain to the fore, and that’s also the case when upscaling DVDs. Edges are smooth from TV broadcasts, though picture noise remains intrusive and textures rather coarse.

‘Coarse’ is the ideal word to describe the Samsung’s sound. But, at least we’re not adding ‘thin’ and ‘shouty’: by the standards of this group, the D450 fights off the spectre of sibilance pretty well.

The Samsung is a good buy at the money. But if you can spend more, there’s the alluringly feature-laden Sony KDL-26EX320.


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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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