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Samsung LE40M86BD Operation
The on-screen menu on Samsung LE40M86BD is structured as an easy-to-grasp cascading system. Although Samsung could have done more in utilising the 1920 x 1080 pixels to deliver high-resolution goodness, the menu text is crisp enough for daily use.
The menu and submenus occupy the centre of the panel, so despite the semi-transparency of the menu box, most of the time you would have to tuck the menu away totally to appreciate the change you've just made. Navigating the menu also revealed mild input lag which shouldn't present a problem for most people, but when you tinker with the settings as much as we do, it does get a tad annoying.
Samsung has (over)loaded the LE40M86BD with setting options, with enough permutations to make even our heads spin. If you do not use light-measuring instruments or call upon a professional for calibration, you're more likely to spoil the picture than improve it.
Thanks to DVL73 for reminding me that I've omitted this the first time around: the Samsung LE40M86BD has independent input memory settings, meaning that you can customise each of the "Dynamic", "Standard" and "Movie" mode for each input. Furthermore, the brightness, contrast, colour and sharpness settings can be set differently between xvYCC on and off.
Here are some screenshots of the submenu options available (with accompanying explanation where applicable), but please be aware that the settings shown are by and large default factory settings and NOT our post-calibration settings.
Movie Plus = Samsung's own frame interpolation technology to reduce telecine judder
Used for greyscale calibration
Energy Saving option gives further backlight control
Here you can name all your input source
Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
The Samsung LE40M86BD's EPG is a masterclass in how to achieve the perfect balance between form and function. The layout is simple to understand with all the necessary info available at a glance, but if you require more detail you're never more than one click away. Some notable extras over lesser EPGs in other HDTVs are:
- A small window on the top-left displaying the current channel
- A programme time progress bar
- Only one click on the remote needed to scroll forward or backwards 24 hours
- EPG menu translucency adjustment
- Can toggle to the "Now & Next Guide" that dispenses with one-hour time segments to only display the current and the upcoming programme:
In our previous review of the LE40F71BX we noted that the remote control was one of the most ergonomic we've seen, so it's no surprise to see that the one bundled with our Samsung LE40M86BD is almost an exact carbon-copy.
Sleek and slender in design, the remote control handles well in your palm due to balanced weight distribution and a contoured back surface. For optimum accessibility, the navigation pad is strategically placed where your thumb would naturally rest. Other thoughtful features include Braille inscriptions for the visually impaired; backlight function to illuminate the power, volume and channel buttons in darkness; and an anchor cord to prevent you from losing the battery cover.
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