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LE40M86BD Setup & Design
Because we see and test an average of one HDTV per week, we naturally appreciate those that come with stands already attached therefore cutting down the time we need to get them up and running.
Thankfully the Samsung LE40M86BD is one such HDTV: from the moment of unlatching the 2 plastic clips at the bottom of the box, to lifting the LE40M86BD out (if you're strong enough you can probably do this alone as it only weighs 21kg) and placing it on our TV stand, the whole process took less than 5 minutes. Connect the power cable and aerial feed, switch on the set, and the "Plug and Play" function on the Samsung LE40M86BD will automatically start scanning for analogue and then digital channels.
We were surprised to find NO operation manual included with our LE40M86BD. We're not sure if it was a simple oversight specific to the set we received, or Samsung really expected owners to download the manual from their website. In any case, we simply got on with the job of exploring different options on the TV without the manual.
Reflective flat panel at front
Glossy curved panel at back
The first thing that struck us once we placed the Samsung LE40M86BD on the TV stand was how reflective the screen (known as Super Clear Panel) was. Were it not for its light weight we could have easily mistaken the LE40M86BD for a plasma TV.
And the reflectiveness didn't stop there. Taking the concept of glossiness to the extreme, the whole set – yes, even the back panel – was covered in polished piano black finish. This will surely drive neat freaks crazy, because the shiny surface is a fingerprint and dust magnet: if you really want to keep the Samsung LE40M86BD spotless you'd seriously need to spend more time buffing it than watching it. Just make sure you use a lint-free micro-fibre cloth to avoid inflicting scratches, swirl marks and microabrasions on the glossy surface where every little imperfection becomes as clear as daylight.
This minor gripe aside, even when switched off the Samsung LE40M86BD exuded graceful elegance, helped in no small part by the sleek, curvaceous lines and rounded corners which are far cries from the boxy appearance of most HDTVs.
While three HDMI 1.3 inputs and 1080p acceptance remain the chief selling points for the Samsung LE40M86BD, we are glad that no corners were cut in other connection interfaces. At the back of the panel in a recessed compartment there are the ubiquitous scart (two), component, VGA and HDMI (2) connections... Samsung is also generous enough to throw in a digital optical port alongside analogue audio output.
On the left side of the panel you will find another HDMI 1.3 input port and a Common Interface slot, together with the less popular S-video and composite (gold-plated 3 x RCA) connections. There is also an easily accessible 3.5mm headphone output here should you not wish to disturb your household in the middle of the night.
Right-side control panel
On the right side of the LCD panel there are some chrome-trimmed control buttons that are set off nicely against the gleaming black. They could prove useful when your remote goes missing, but otherwise I doubt you'd call them into action much... if at all.
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