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Samsung UE40D5520 40″ LED TV Expert Review

Samsung UE40D5520R

Rating: ★★★★★

It’s connections wouldn’t look out of place on a more expensive set either, given that they include four HDMIs, a LAN port and two USBs.

Impressively, the LAN can deliver either online connection to Samsung‘s latest Smart TV platform, or DLNA PC streaming, while the USBs can make the TV Wi-Fi -ready via an optional dongle, or play back photo, video or music files directly from USB sticks.

A Freeview HD tuner is a welcome feature, while motion handling should benefit from the inclusion of 100Hz processing, with the judicious use of the TruMotion system.

Samsung’s latest Smart TV service is a substantial improvement over previous Samsung online generations. The new Smart Hub ‘home screen’ provides easy, clear access to a huge quantity of sources, from your normal AV inputs to all the various video streaming and apps services now available through Samsung’s online portal.

The key services here include the BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm, AceTrax, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, with a supporting cast of dozens of smaller apps.

The UE40D5520 doesn’t enjoy the open Web browser and Skype functions found higher up Samsung’s range, but its online services still rank as excellent for such a pocket-friendly 40-inch TV.

Sharp shooter

The Samsung’s pictures are extremely impressive. Images look supremely sharp with the clean, detail-rich True Grit Blu-ray, even during the film’s occasional bursts of frenetic action. The relative suppression of motion blur also helps HD seem crisp, an effect further enhanced by the screen’s punchy contrast and brightness combination.

This is further underpinned by the deepest black level response. There is some backlight inconsistency straight from the box, but if you tone down the backlight and brightness levels, the anomalies can be reduced to the point where they’re hardly noticeable.

Crucially, the picture never loses too much shadow detail during the nighttime scenes of my True Grit or Don’t Look Now Blu-rays.

Colours, meanwhile, are rich, pure and impressively believable in tone, aside from the occasional slightly dominant orange, and standard-definition images are unusually good, too. The dynamic contrast system can cause brightness ‘jumps’ and fine details can shimmer a bit.

The UE40D5520‘s audio is curious, too, in that it actually goes quieter when it’s supposed to be going loud, presumably because the speakers collapse under pressure.

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Pros

  • Impressive all-round picture quality
  • Excellent Smart TV features
  • Impressive all-round picture quality
  • Excellent Smart TV features

Cons

  • Minor, avoidable backlight inconsistency
  • Sonics struggle
  • Sonics struggle

Verdict

Of course, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect a £600, 40-inch TV to be perfect. The best you can hope for at such a price is a good all-round combination. And Samsung’s UE40D5520 is certainly that.

Samsung UE40D5520

 


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