Samsung LE46F71 LCD television review

4 out of 5

For

Quality of image at 1080p, memory card reader, stylish design

Against

Only going to get the benefit of the 1080p signal with a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player, expensive

With the launch of Samsung's Blu-ray player you're going to need a HD Ready television that can support 1080p playback if you haven't invested already.

Yep, that's right, chances are the swanky brand new HD Ready television you've got at home taking pride and place in your living room is, wait for it, out of date.

Nevermind, it's happened to the best of us. Take a deep breath, look in the mirror and say to yourself "I never did mind about the little things".

Moving forward Samsung has launched the LE46F71, a swish gloss black full HD-ready screen 1080p that they are positioning to be used with the company's new BD-P1000 Blu-ray player.

Building on the company's R7 collection, Samsung Electronics LE46F71 is the company's new premium LCD range and comes in two sizes; 40 and 46-inch with a design ethos to match.

Not shy on the technical front in the slightest, the F71 is Samsung’s first fully High Definition LCD TV and comes with a contrast ratio of 6000:1 and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 lines - hence the full HD claim.

What this means in practice is that the picture quality, provided you have a source that can match it, is stunning. It is considerably better than we expected it to be over a standard Samsung 1080i screen.

We tested it with Samsung's newly launched Blu-ray player as well as a Samsung upscaling DVD player and Sky's HD service.

Pumping out the source to match, Blu-ray movie playback clearly looked stunning and even got a nod from Mrs Pocket-lint as to the crispness of the picture. As for an upscaled DVD and Sky HD, again both looked very good, but understandably not as good as the Blu-ray playback.

We say as long as you have a source that can match it, because currently in the UK the only available source is via Samsung's Blu-ray player. Sky, although broadcasting in HD isn't as yet broadcasting at 1080p, but currently a combination of 1080i and 720p signals depending on whether its nature or sports footage.

Other features of note include the now almost defacto two HDMI sockets on the rear for getting the most out of the High Definition quality and strangely a 9 in 2 multi memory card slots and USB port so you can connect stuff like your MP3 player or even your digital camera to play music or view your images.

Verdict

If you've gone to the trouble and expense of investing in a Samsung Blu-ray player then really you'll need a television capable of playing back a 1080p signal otherwise you have to ask "What's the point?".

Whether you opt to do this via a LCD TV or a Projector, the Samsung LE46F71 will produce the results you are after.

The catch, is the price. Like the BD-P1000, this is very early adopter stuff, meaning that while you'll get a very impressive piece of kit, the price reflects it.

If you've yet to make the jump to a HD-Ready television, this is certainly worth a look. 1080p will no doubt become the defacto standard within the next year and this will give you the picture quality you need if you opt to go Blu-ray or HD-DVD later on when the price drops.

If you are looking to upgrade from a recent television purchase however, our suggestion would be, like the Blu-ray player, hold on for a touch longer to see what other developments occur in the television arena. After all, just a year ago we were all getting excited about 1080i and now 12 months on that seems to be sub-standard.