LE40M86BD Or KDL40W2000?


Received heaps of email asking if the Samsung LE40M86BD is better than the Sony KDL40W2000 (winner of our previous 1080p LCD shootout). Here’s my short take:

Samsung LE40M86BD: slightly deeper blacks, doesn’t need service menu access to achieve D65 colour temperature, three HDMI 1.3 ports, much less clouding, prettier EPG, cooler remote, Picture-In-Picture, digital audio optical output, arguably better aesthetics, cheaper price.

Sony KDL40W2000: better shadow detail, better video processing, slightly wider viewing angle, no reflection/ glare, better stereo imaging, faster menu navigation.

I’m Still Confused & Can’t Make Up My Mind!

I always try to refrain from making personal recommendations because I don’t know what’s your viewing preference, but here goes.

Choose the Sammy if:

  • You thought this day would never come… but you’d like to get your hands on an LCD TV with blacks so deep it hurts (credit to Colin not me).
  • You’ve just sold your Ultra THX-certified Monster component video cable with 24k gold connectors and <0.00001 ohm resistance on eBay, and bought a couple of cheap HDMI replacements from eBuyer with the intention of "digitalising" your home theatre with Sky HD, PS3 and HTPC (and Xbox 360 Elite when it comes out).
  • The idea of entering service menu and adjusting values you don’t even understand using non-conventional buttons on the remote scares you to death.
  • You’ve always wanted a glossy panel to complement your equally glossy PS3… your neighbour describes you as “the one who polishes his car more often than he drives it“.

Pick the Sony if:

  • Your TV is going to be placed facing the window where the sun shines in, and after blowing your wad on the TV you are too poor to buy blackout blinds.
  • More than half of your movie collection are Region 1 (NTSC) DVDs, and given the favourable exchange rate (£1=$2 anyone?), you plan to set up dedicated distribution channels with Amazon US and DVD Pacific.
  • You cream your pants at the thought of seeing every little darkest crevice in “Batman Begins”. (Is it just me or Christopher Nolan’s films generally demand the best of shadow detail? e.g. “The Prestige”)
  • You dig this Sony Bravia advert and want to see for yourself what clouding is all about.
  • You work from home (or have someone at home all day)… just in case you need to swap your 40W2000 a few times to get a cloud-free set.

Today’s Cheapest Price

Model Merchant Price
Samsung LE40M87BDX Dabs* £1054.78
Samsung LE40M86BD Dixons** £1111.00
Sony KDL40W2000 Pixmania £1275.90

* Link goes to Dabs TV page… enter LE40M87BDX into search box to locate it.
  M86 & M87 are essentially the same panel with only cosmetic differences.
** Use voucher code 50APR07 at basket page to get £50 discount.