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LE40F86BD Setup, Design & Operation

by Vincent Teoh
10 September 2007

Similar to all the Samsung televisions I've reviewed in recent times, setting up the Samsung LE40F86BDBuy this for £949.98 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £50.00 discount
was pretty much hassle-free, as it came with its swivelling stand pre-attached at the base. Lift it up the TV stand, plug in the power cable, hook up any source(s), and we're ready to go.

Samsung LE40F86BDBuy this for £949.98 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £50.00 discount
employs the same Super Clear Panel that has granted the M86/ 87 range their impressive blacks and picture depth, but this of course means that the screen itself is always going to be reflective. Personally I don't mind a bit of glare (after all didn't we all grow up with CRTs), but those who do not have good ambient light control may beg to differ.

LE40F86BD Front

The reflective screen is framed by a glossy piano-black bezel that's wider at the sides than the top and bottom. Unlike the M86/ M87, the back of the Samsung LE40F86BDBuy this for £949.98 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £50.00 discount
is spared the polished treatment, although it does retain some of the rounded corners and curvaceous lines that made its predecessor so sexy.

Each side of the panel is further padded by a grey strip housing a side-firing speaker, which is in turn capped by a transparent perspex sound deflector. While they come nowhere close to matching the cheapest pair of bookshelves from Richer Sounds in terms of sound quality, when positioned in such a fashion the speakers do – from my preliminary listening – deliver more stereo separation and clarity than the hidden/ downward-firing designs Samsung had adopted in the past.

Of late Samsung have always implemented some sort of illumination near their logo at the centre of the bottom bezel on their flat panel HDTVs. On the Samsung LE40F86BDBuy this for £949.98 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £50.00 discount
, the incarnation takes the form of an arc-shaped blue LED light beneath the panel, which – as usual – can be turned on either when powered, in standby, or all the time.

Another neat touch is how the 6 LEDs at the bottom right of the panel light up sequentially when the television is switched on. To me, the futuristic design encapsulates Samsung's fearless and forward-thinking ethos in bringing technological innovations to consumers at an affordable price point.

Connections

Rear Connections
Rear: 2 x HDMI, component, VGA, 2 x Scarts, RF aerial, analogue & digital audio out

Side Connections Control Buttons
Side: HDMI, USB, S-video, headphone,etc
Bottom right: control buttons with LEDs

Operation

100Hz Motion Plus

The user menu on LE40F86BD now features a [100Hz Motion Plus] option (in place of the [Movie Plus] on M86/ 87) which can be used to engage Samsung's motion compensated frame interpolation (MCFI) technology to varying degrees ("Low", "Medium" and "High"). Everything else in the user menu, and the EPG and the remote control are by and large identical to those found on the LE40M86BD, so please refer to the relevant section of that review if you need more information.

Wiselink USB Function

Samsung have included a USB port in the side compartment on the LE40F86BD, that you can use to view JPEG pictures, listen to MP3 files, and possibly even update the firmware via a USB memory stick. Operation is logical and easy to grasp, and loading time for high resolution image files is relatively quick (compared to the implementation on the Pioneer PDP508XD plasma). You can also build your own MP3 playlist for background music while watching slide shows... gimmicky perhaps, but a neat touch nonetheless.


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