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Samsung LE52F96BD Design
Although the Samsung LE52F96BD weighs less than most plasma TVs of similar size and comes with its swivelling tabletop stand already installed, it's advisable to enlist the help of another person in lifting this LCD TV due to its sheer size, which is further compounded by the absence of any grip-worthy recesses or handles.
Aesthetically the Samsung LE52F96BD looks similar to the 40F86 I reviewed recently: the same reflective Super Clear Panel™; the polished gloss-black bezel; the convex blue LED strip flush below the panel; and the control buttons that illuminate in sequence upon power- up at the bottom right of the television. Viewed from the front, the only stylistic difference is the reversed arrangement of one clear perspex and one grey strip running in parallel down each side of the TV: the Samsung LE40F86BD had inner grey and outer transparent strips; the LE52F96BD, vice versa.
Back: 2 x HDMI, component, VGA, 2 x Scarts, RF aerial, analogue & digital audio out
Side: headphone, Svideo, HDMI, USB, etc
Bottom right: illuminated control buttons
As with all the Samsung flat screen televisions we have reviewed so far, navigating the user menu and changing channels on the Samsung LE52F96BD LCD can be sluggish compared to other makes. I am not going to talk much about the user menu, EPG and remote control on the LE52F96BD because they are essentially the same as those found across the 2007 range of Samsung televisions. If you're not familiar with them, please refer to one of the slew of Samsung reviews published on this website.
One thing I would like to touch on though is the necessary addition of [LED SmartLighting] option under the [Picture] > [More] submenu. Flick this on and you will engage the local dimming LED feature – the main selling point of Samsung LE52F96BD – with all the good and evil that it brings. Turn this off, and the TV will simply drop down a gear to function at the level of a regular M86/ 87 LCD.
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