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Samsung LE52M87BDX Final Verdict

by Andrew Fee
9 August 2007

Pros

  • By far the best black level I have seen for an LCD
  • Extremely high calibrated contrast of nearly 1700:1
  • Superb detail with high definition
  • Plenty of menu options for calibration
  • 3x HDMI 1.3 ports, supporting xvYCC
  • Per-input settings
  • Reflective panel adds depth to the image in the right conditions
  • Quiet operation
  • No assembly required, so it can be set up quickly
  • Good remote control

Cons

  • Skewed gamma makes shadow details hard to make out, particularly with analogue inputs
  • The Super Clear panel is extremely reflective; you will be looking at yourself in dark scenes
  • Very poor handling of RGB
  • Scaling causes ringing around objects
  • Inaccurate colour reproduction with very noticeable red push
  • Freeview drops frames and stutters badly
  • Various firmware bugs
  • Viewing angle problems
  • Severe uniformity issues
  • Movie Plus causes motion to look unnatural, but is required for proper film deinterlacing

Conclusion

The Samsung LE52M87BDX is hard to recommend. It does do some things very well - it produces a nice vivid image with high definition and videogames, has plenty of calibration options, and the best blacks I have seen for LCD so far. However, it is plagued with firmware bugs, has significant uniformity issues, has very poor viewing angles, and does not do a good job with standard definition content.

If you are only going to be using high definition with it, and want an LCD for a brighter environment, it may be worth considering if you just want a bright and vivid image, but if you are looking for an accurate picture that gives a true representation of how films are supposed to look, you will have to look elsewhere.


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