* Prices may differ from that shown
If you are looking at buying a new TV at the moment then be careful as things can get a bit confusing. As things stand you can currently get a HD ready TV or a Full HD TV. The Full HD Tv will do a 1080 resolution in progresive scan (1080p) whereas a HD ready TV will say (1080i). This may seem a very fractional differance and I admit it is. However this could prove very important depending on what you want the TV for.
Firstly if you have Sky Hd then a HD ready TV will work fine with this as currently Sky can only broadcast in 1080i. Freesat is the same. The only thing currently on the market you will need Full Hd for is for the Playstaton 3 or a blu ray dvd player.
You may want to bear in mind the new 3D HD Tv's that will be available soon. These will be very expensive but will offer unprecedented picture quality and obviously the power to watch things in 3d! Sky will soon be offering some 3D programmes to its customers.
Now that I have the confusing part out of theway let me tell you about the TV in question. This is a sixth series 40 inch TV from Samsung. I believe Samsung are on the 8th or 9th series TV's at the minute but they get more expensive whilst doing the same job. One of the only differences is the new super thin Samsungs and the LED backlinght technology. In my opinion however this TV will deliver nearly the same quality as those TV's for a lot less money. Just as a side note this review could be usefull for the Samsung LE40a650 also. The 650 has seemingly replaced the 656 but is the same TV in a different casing. If you can however go for this version if you can for the difference in looks.
This TV then is infact Full HD and I would definately suggest you get this TV or a similar one from Samsung if you want to play your playstaion 3 on it. However whilst it may seem good for games it isn't too good for playing wii on. Well thats not strictly true, the actual case is that th wii isn't good enough for this TV! Due to the wii only playing in 420p the quality when stretched across such a big TV isn't as good as on a slightly smaller TV. If you are playing wii then a 32" TV would suit you better! If you are buying it for Sky Hd then you wont do much better. Watching a football game in HD on this TV is like being there. The freeview function on this TV is also great quality. The menus are easy to navigate and again the picture quality is great. Installation is also really easy. All you have to do is turn it on and sit back! Lovely.
Samsung boast a contrast ratio of 50000:1 on this TV which may sound a bit over the top. Truthly it possibly is a made up figure! Contrast rations on TV never make much sense. ALl you need to know is that contrast ratio is talking about range of brightness. The lightest colour on this TV will be 50000 times lighter than the darest dark colour! If you look out for anything from around 30 000 to 50 000 then your getting a high spec TV. However all manufacturers seem to hae a different method for testing contrast so don't worry about it too much. The newer Tv's that offer 3D are claiming a 1000000:1 contrast ratio ..... now thats just silly! In my opinion this TV has a great bright picture with amazing colours. There are better TV's in this area but as I keep saying they are more expensive! The Tv also has 100HZ technology. This just refers to the refresh rate of the screen. 100 HZ is quite typical of most TV's at the minute. An older LCD TV may not have a refresh rate this high but many do. It simply means the TV you watch is less blurry and there is less distortion giving a picture that is easier on the eyes.
The sound quality as with all Samsungs seemingly depends on where you have it in your room. Personally I have never had a problem with the sound quality on any Samsung I have had. The speakers however are on the rear of the TV. This means if you have you tv in acabinet or boxed in any way you could experiance a drop in quality. This however can easily be resolved with some surround sound speakers. Samsung do have some that match this actual TV but they are prices at £200.
Speaking of price this TV has come down dramatically recently. When it was released it was around £1100. Now however you can pick one up for around £700. The 650 which I mentioned earlier is cheaper still. You have to be carful where you buy from however. Some stores will have a Tv that looks similar "on offer" but it will be an earlier model. It may even be only Hd ready. I would suggest Amazon for this TV if you can find it (not amazon market place though). You may well find it at somewhere like John Lewis however for a good price. They also offer a free 3 year warranty. Your best bet is to have a good look around. Id suggest a Samsung to all other models of TV for sheer quality of build and durability, not to mention how good the picture is. Look for the product code. For example this model is LE - 40 (screen size) a 6 ( six series ) 56 (model of six series) . Some may look similar but be something like LE40450. This is an old model and not as good.
The look of this TV is quite unique. Samsung have developed a technology where the entire casing of the tv is one piece of moulded plastic. This makes the TV look really clean and impressive. Samsungs "crystal" technology also adds to this giving it the trademark shine. The unique part of this TV is the wine red hints of colour around the top and bottom edges. They really make it look sexy. I kow that a TV should be rated on picture and sound but when you go to such lengths to decorae your home you do not want something ugly taking up an entire wall!
This TV has many inputs to suit your need. There are 4 HDMI inputs which is two more than most peopl need. Sky HD and PS3 use HDMI cables. Do not be fooled when buying a HDMI cable. You do not need one that costs £60 as some stores will tell you. A cable that costs £5 will do exactly the same job!There are component, scart and AV inputs for a wii, dvd player etc. Also there is a USB input so you can view images or listen to songs on your TV from a mass storage device! You also have the inputs for surround sound options. Also you can connect this to a Pc and use it as your monitor if you wanted too. You can still watch Tv whilst doing this thanks to Picture in picture! Also you have a headphone input just incase
Overall I would give this TV my approval. It is full Hd so it is future proof for a few years it least. I do not think they will spring anything like "super full Hd" on us anytime soon. Obviously there are better TV's out but you are looking at nearly £1000 for the newer range. The newer Samsungs are about as thick as a pound coin cut if this doesn't concern you then do save some money!
The selling point for this Samsung has to be the unique look that it has. A red 'tint' around the frame of the TV is subtle & leaves this TV with something that other TV's can't offer & that's beauty even when switched off. It sits onto an swivelling oval stand & around the back you can easily hide away your cable using the provided cable tidy. All attached & ready out of the box.
Switched on & this TV gets even better. It's full HD, 1080p, perfect for Blu-Ray or your games console. This TV does offer a good normal picture if your watching anything in non HD, for example the built in freeview tuner. Watching films or any normal television programme in standard definition isn't too bad, but try & watch a football match & you will be hugely disappointed with the picture quality. Watch something in full HD & get ready to pick your jaw off the floor. The pictures are excellent quality, sharp & full of colour. This TV does offer a contrast ratio of 50000:1 & that means the Samsung offers good levels of black colour to improve the picture quality.
Sound wise it's not great, it lacks bass, but if your going to get a HD TV, your going to upgrade your sound system too? Right? Use one of the many ports/slots in the back of the TV to hook it up to a decent sound system if you want the best sound to go with the television. The Samsung has four HDMI ports, two scart slots, optical sound out, Component input, S-Video input & a VGA input. There is also place for your headphones & a USB stick which can be used to keep the television up to date with the latest firmware, view photos or even listen to your favourite MP3's. There are plenty of ways you can expand the enjoyment of this TV without the need to keep swapping cables around etc.
The remote control is black, shiny & offers a back light for when the lights are low. The remote has everything you need to control the TV, with the set itself offering touch screen on switch, volume control & menu.
Conclusion. This is a fantastic looking TV both on & off. It will look great mounted on your wall or on your television stand. High definition looks great & standard definition looks decent, but keep in mind the picture is stretched across 40 inches. The sound is ok, but connect it to a decent sound system especially when watching a movie. Ignore the minor flaws & you have one of the best 40inch TV's that money can buy.
samusung le 40a656 is a nice tv i have one for to year it's nice qty also diffrent feature are on it with wide audio sound its cool for the kids to sit back in relax so be sure to buy one of these in put in your happy home cause there will always be a nice football game on so to enjoy the game you will name a samsung le -40a656 it have 6 reflects of nature's essentials elements.it's inspirational design vokes the depth of the genral of teen to sit down in watch more telvisison then been outside samsung le is very light to lift in move at anytime also is to adjust to your vision around the house it come in to great colors with 100hz widescreen 1080 p hd just know it's unique harmonious style of sound,ease use,ouality,features,installation
I decided to buy a new TV when I moved house a year and a half ago. My new living room was larger than the old one, so my 32" Sony Bravia was looking smaller than it had before, and I intended to treat myself to the biggest and best mid-range LCD TV I could find.
I had a browse around Comet and immediately ruled out those ridiculously huge TVs, reasoning that they probably don't look too bad in a converted barn, loft apartment, or those massive Beverly Hills mansions on MTV Cribs - but in a 3 bed semi? I decided to go for a 42 inch one, which I felt was still huge but not too OTT.
There were plenty to choose from, but I soon became confused as there didn't appear to be one that included all the best features. Obviously, when you are willing to part with nearly £1000 for a telly, you want the best picture quality, so I wanted the highest pixel resolution and the highest contrast ratio available in this price range, but another important factor for me was the sound quality. As I wasn't living in a detached, secluded mansion, I didn't really want to upset the neighbours with a full surround sound cinema system, so I wanted the internal speakers on the set to be perfectly capable of delivering a good quality sound when viewing films. For some reason I was convinced that this would lead me to another Sony model.
With my short list of criteria I narrowed it down to two options - one was indeed a Sony, but was unfortunately out of stock, and the other was the Samsung LE40A656. I hadn't even looked at it at first, but having reeled off my list of must-have features to the salesman, he immediately pointed to this one.
~~~ First impressions ~~~
This beautiful looking TV really did stand out among the others. I was told that this model had just been released, and that Samsung were calling it 'Rose-Black'. It has a black gloss finish with a subtle deep red tint, which may sound quite tacky, but actually looks extremely smart; the black fades into the red nicely with the curve of the frame. The front panel touch-buttons are hardly visible at the bottom right-hand corner, which I felt to be a nice touch, keeping the TV sleek looking. The stand is an elegant oval shape, with the same black gloss finish, which I feel is much nicer than a harsh rectangular stand. Being slightly smaller than the others at 40ins rather than 42, I felt that this was the perfect size.
I think the only reason I hadn't stopped to have a closer look earlier was because I had subconsciously ruled out anything that wasn't a Sony. The salesman explained that whilst he wouldn't describe the sound quality as 10/10 for this one, it is still extremely good, especially for my needs, and that it would certainly be just as good as the Sony.
The price tag was £899 at the time, and I managed to get a free black glass stand and a Samsung black glossy upscaling DVD player thrown in.
~~~ Performance ~~~
As far as I can remember, when I got it home it was simply a case of lifting it out of the box and plugging it in, as the stand was already attached. I can't comment on the process of storing digital TV channels - I just plugged the Sky box in and everything worked!
The slightly larger than usual remote is supplied complete with batteries, and has the same black gloss finish as the set itself. A nice little unnecessary touch that pleased me was the ability to illuminate all the buttons, but other than that I suppose the remote is fairly average.
This particular TV was one of only two in the price range with the (at that time) superior 100Hz processing, making fast-moving images much clearer and far more fluid than previously possible. The salesman showed me a comparison with 50Hz model, and I could definitely see the difference.
The 50,000:1 contrast ratio was also considered to be 'supremely high' at the time, which was another selling point for me. I was told that the higher the contrast ratio, the deeper the blacks and the more brilliant the whites, which leads to a more detailed picture during very dark or very light scenes. Indeed, I wasn't disappointed. This was actually the first thing I noticed when I switched the TV on at home; I had never seen such a true black on a TV screen before. The colours were so vibrant and rich. Of course, the 1920x1080 full HD resolution was also immediately apparent when using my PS3 for Blu-ray movies, having been used to 1366x768 with the Bravia.
The menu function is all very idiot-proof, with an abundance of both picture and audio settings that can be adjusted. I have never had any trouble finding my way around the menu options, even though there are so many.
A function I only discovered recently is the Picture In Picture (PIP) option, which allows you to display a sub picture within the main picture - fantastic for things like the Wii Fit. There are three sizes available for this sub picture, and if you choose the smallest one (less than 1/4 screen) you can choose to locate it in any of the four corners of the screen.
I also particularly like the 'Entertainment' mode, which gives the optimal picture and sound quality for sports, cinema or gaming. It works brilliantly for movies, meaning that you don't need to go fiddling with the settings - just press the 'E' button on the remote until the word 'Cinema' appears on the screen, and it's just right. I haven't tried it for sports or gaming though.
~~~ What's on the back? ~~~
Although it is in the corner of my room, the telly is capable of swivelling 20 degrees either way on its stand, so I am able to quite comfortably clean behind it, as well as tell you what's on the back.
It has 4x (v1.3) HDMI inputs, which in my opinion is more than adequate. I have three of them in constant use, with my DVD player, PS3, and SKY+HD box plugged in, which leaves one spare for temporary usage such as HD video cameras or any other gadgets that might happen to come my way in the future.
It has two scart sockets, a PC IN slot, and all the usual coloured audio sockets. On the side there is a common interface slot, and a Wiselink USB socket that can be used for memory sticks containing photos or audio files. The forth HDMI slot is located on the side panel also, making it more convenient for temporary use.
~~~ Overall opinion ~~~
I have had this telly for a year and a half now, and I still absolutely love it. People still comment on how smart it looks, even now, and I think the red tint has a lot to do with that. The black gloss finish perfectly matches the black glass stand it sits on, as well as the PS3 underneath. As for performance, I just couldn't fault it. Some reviewers have stated that the sound isn't great, but they soon point out that this is only in comparison to the excellent picture quality, and that the sound quality is actually by no means poor. Personally, I found it to be much better than I thought possible without the use of external speakers. 9/10 from me, with a point lost for the slight lack of bass (not that it bothers me in the slightest).
Picture quality continues to impress me, particularly since I have upgraded to SkyHD.
The spec may be a little outdated now, with many new TVs in a similar price bracket now boasting 100000:1 contrast ratio and 200Hz processing, but that's just greedy! I really can't imagine a sharper, more vibrant picture than that provided by my gorgeous Samsung LE40A656 - it's truly stunning!
** Also posted on ciao.co.uk under the same username**
This is the TV with which Samsung really began to compete on quality with the likes of Sony and Panasonic. For its price and quality this TV was an easy choice to become the centre of my home cinema set-up and it hasnt failed to live up. This TV is also frequently reviewed as being better and cheaper than its Sony and Panasonic rivals and it easily lives up to its promise.
Appearance: Wonderfully crisp edges on the well sized/proportioned frame. Before buying I was concerned with the red tint within the frame itself as I felt it may have conflicted with my entirely black home cinema set-up. I am glad to say that it in fact compliments the entire set-up as it is subtle and creates an aura of quality about the product.
Build Quality: Having previously owned a samsung LCD I was impressed to see that once again they had upped the quality. With is glass like frame tinted with rose red and its seemingly glass fronted, gloss LCD panel the quality is better or at least equal to any other rival TV. The stand once fitted is solid and the TV moved very little. Unlike some TV's it also allowes you to twist the TV whilst on its stand to change the viewing angle. Its specifications allow all the connections you could ever want or need and this TV boasts one of the best freeview receivers I have seen on a TV providing crisp, bright and clear images on all freeview channels. The TV also sports a few incredibly handy connections on the side of set allowing for easy connection of extra devices (say a friend brings around a HDMI device). My one concern was that there are no buttons to turn off, change volume and change channel on the TV set. Whilst I have a remote there has been times when it seems to have vanished of the face of the earth and I am left unable to change the channel or even turn off (frustratingly). The remote is well designed and using a button you can light them up for watching scary movies in the dark.
Picture Quality: Both standard and high definition are shown in incredible detail. Images are crisp, sharp and bright and blacks are deep and incredibly dark (made possible by its incredible contrast ratio). Easily one of the best LCD's out there, though still not quite as good as Plasmas on contrast.
Sound Quality: As with most TV's the sound quality will never match stand alone speakers. However by comparison to other TV's the sound quality on this TV is fantastic and this TV is easily one of the best for auido quality.
Overall: One of the best TV's out there. With many advantages and very few disadvantages I would recommend this TV to anyone. The only flaws I can think of is the lack of buttons on the TV and the fact that in order to change which device is inputting you have to scroll through a few channels (something Sony fixed with its interface). However for this TV's price it wins outright against all its competitors and will remain at the heart of my setup until OLED TV's become the norm.
I bought this TV a week ago afer reading many reviews on the internet. If you want a top of the range TV then you should go and spend a fortune on a Sony Bravia, but as this is generally going to cost in excess of £1500 most people may not want to spend that on a TV. I looked at this in Curry's not realising my Dad has exactly the same TV and in his words "he hasn't seen a better picture yet on a TV".
The set looks great with its rose trim and at 40ins was plenty big enough for my lounge. It is easy to install and you can change the setiingas you wish. If you go to hdtvtest.co.uk they give their opinion as to what you should have the settings at.
Watched Dark Knight on it as the first DVD and the picture was fantastic coupled with the DVD surround system felt liek being at the cinema in the comfort of my own home.
I am having problems with a flickering at teh top and bottom of the screen, especially on SKY Sports, but I think this maybe as a rsult of camera rather than the set as it soesn't happen on other channels, maybe other reviewers could confirm this or not? Oh and it does attract a lot of dust, but you do get a special cloth with the set for cleaning.
I did see a LG with the same attributes at £549, but am glad I went with the Samsung as I do believe it is a better make. You go to any shopping mall where they have TV's showing products etc they always seem to be Samsung? Reliability possibly?
Overall a quality TV, and with a £100 off the price currently, worth a punt.
I bought this TV a few days ago. Before I decided what television I wanted, I went looking for reviews on the internet. After my search, I was considering if I would buy a Philips or a Samsung. Eventually, I decided to go for the Samsung, because it had many positive reactions. The things I liked about the Samsung were the high contrast 50:000:1 and the 100Hz system. It seemed that the TV in the shop wasn't that big as the one we have in our home. That was probably because there a lot of televisions next to each other in the shop. Me and my boyfriend were really terrified of the format and we were thinking about the fact if we would exchange for a smaller one. However, after a couple days I got used to the big screen and now I am very happy with it.
I still haven't got any problems with fan noises or white spots.
The remote control is very beautiful. There aren't too many buttons. There is also a led in the remote, and that can come in handy if you are watching in the dark.
I haven't done any firmware update up to now, because the television works great at the moment.
The images are too dark with the factory settings, so it is better if you change the settings manually. You better do the same with the sound.
I am 100% satisfied with the TV as a whole and I can suggest it to every one!