Samsung LE52M87BD

4th Jul 2007 | 23:00

Samsung LE52M87BD

The Tulip is anything but a shrinking violet

TechRadar rating:

5 stars

Not the cheapest 50-inch-ish TV in town, but it's got a huge feature count and is capable of producing some truly spectacular pictures


<p>Fantastic black levels for an LCD</p><p>Superb colours</p>


<p>Slight motion smearing</p><p>A little pricey</p>

When Samsung describes this as its new LCD flagship, it isn't messing about. For a start there's its size. At 52 inches it's the company's biggest LCD TV yet.

It looks sumptuous thanks to the classic combination of high gloss black and strikingly minimal but elegant lines.

You get a superb three HDMIs, supported by all the usual suspects, and an optical digital output for forwarding on multi-channel audio via the HDMIs.

It also boasts a full HD pixel count of 1920 x 1080, backed up by a 1:1 mode so there's no overscanning of 1080-line sources. What's more, those sources include 1080p signals (24fps/48Hz and 50/60Hz) from Blu-ray/HD DVD players.

There's a digital tuner too, and the HDMIs are compatible with the 'CEC' standard for single-remote control of connected CEC devices, and v1.3 in specification, meaning they're compatible with HDMI 1.3 benefits like Deep Colour automatic lip-synch.

Not hiding anything

Happily, the LE52M87BD's jaw-dropping appeal isn't a flash front for a disappointing picture performance. In fact, its black levels set new standards for the big LCD market, portraying the space backdrop to the opening battle of The Revenge of the Sith without a trace of greyness. In fact, black levels challenge those of some plasmas.

These help it produce some truly grandstanding colours. The rich hues of the lasers and ships in our Star Wars battle look rich and vivid, and skin tones are noticeably more natural than on previous Samsung LCDs.

Fine detailing is nailed too, showing up every last pixel from our 1920 x 1080 Star Wars source cleanly and accurately. For our money, at 52in, you really can appreciate the full HD difference.

The set does have one or two problems with motion. In standard mode, movement smears slightly and loses resolution, yet if you use Movie Plus extra frames are inserted

to make motion crisper, then edges of moving objects start to flicker distractingly.

Still, it's no worse handling motion than most LCD rivals, and better than many. The LE52M87BD's combination of features, looks and performance is seriously hard to resist.

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