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Samsung UA40B7000 7 series LCD TV
This one is Samsung’s highest end TV we've reviewed. It's from their 7 series, released recently in the market. The title says LCD TV even though Samsung calls it LED TV. Actually it's an LED edge lit LCD TV, as some readers got confused the last time around. LED TV is a widely fallacious marketing ply, but then again, what isn’t these days. The panel is still an LCD panel, just the lighting is done via LEDs, along the edge. The model name is UA40B7000, and it does look very svelte.
Design and features
The very slim bezel measures only 29 mm. The frame comes covered in hard glass, that protrudes a bit at the edges and gives a transparent border accent to the front view. It does look very good, especially due to a dash of amber in the bezel. The power LED is a sleeping crescent, adding more charm to the slick aesthetics.
Quality-wise its build does not disappoint at all - the joint is very sturdy, and even though the TV is light overall it has a sturdy and rigid body. In this model we have an Ethernet port, to connect to select sites like Youtube and Flickr.
After that there is on board HDD space in the TV, 1GB in toto. There is some stored flash content in a place called the Content Library, like recipes, small time games etc., and this can be updated from their web servers. Besides there is the regular USB 2.0 slot to access MP3s, standard definition AVI movie files, and JPEGs. The different part here is that you can store these in the internal memory, quite a nifty feature.
Onto more serious tech specs, we have no ratings of brightness given by Samsung, so we measured it ourselves - Center screen luminous intensity is at 276 Nits (averaged), this was with backlight at max 10 setting. The resolution is full HD 1920 x 1080, and the model supports 100 Hz motion plus. The response time is also not mentioned, we can give a subjective account of motion video in the performance.
We started off with grayscale patterns, minute bars increasing in light spanning across the screen. At high backlights, whites definitely look quite bright, but blacks are clearly faded, and will not appeal to a videophile. Thus at level 5 of backlight, we get a better, deeper black, but again not as good as any plasma, that peak is still looming large in the distance. We did get better detail and separation amongst different black levels, this will be good for gamers.
There was no blooming in whites, another plus point, and finally we also encountered a very clean and neutral grayscale, meaning each level of grey had no excess colorations or tinges of yellow etc. This is good for clear and accurate colors. But overall the TV's brightness is not leaps and bounds above regular CCFL backlights.
We saw Final Fantasy Advent Children Blu-ray, (our current fav) and again were impressed by the motion performance, and this was with Film mode on. On normal DVDs, there of course was a bit of motion and de interlacing errors like jaggies here and there. Regular cable TV also suffers from this a bit, and frankly the 100 Hz motion option doesn’t show any improvement at least to our eyes.
Besides this, the other extra features frankly sound very good on paper, but when using them they are just OK, like for e.g. Youtube videos are not meant for a big screen anyways. The recipes and all can cater to a certain segment only, but nonetheless are a fun add-on to have. Configuring the net in the first place might not be a breeze, mainly for us as we are behind corporate firewalls. At home it's better to get the company guys to do it for you, and keep your IP address et al handy.
Overall I would say the blacks are not so deep, the LCD curse as we call it. The TV's definitely bright, better than regular CCFL LCD TVs. The very strong points are accuracy in colors, and a smooth sense of clarity one gets, especially in native 1080p video, as this TV handles highly detailed video very well. At Rs. 1,40,000 it sure is expensive but worth it for those who want something better than a normal LCD TV. I would still say wait till prices further reduce, I can guarantee it will, this season itself.