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Samsung LE40B550

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Written by Andrew Lomar   
Friday, 07 May 2010 10:07

A large price-range doesn't rule out the possibility of a single Supertest winner. Just take December's 46-47in showdown as an example: the gap between the cheapest and most expensive sets was $2000, but using our performance-per-pound evaluation method it was fairly straightforward to find the one set that stood out.

This time, though, it's different. Although the Philips 40PFL9704 is absolutely the best set to buy if you've got the cash, the Samsung offers such an incredible parformance at its price, it simply can't be ignored.

Balance, depth and contrast

It's less easy to choose between the LG 42LH5000, and the LED-backlit Sharp LC40LE600E. Detail levels are similar on both, and while the LG has the better colour balance, the Sharp counters with greater depth and cotrast. In the end it comes down to which qualities you personally prefer.

The only real disappointment of the test is the Panasonic. It looks good in isolation, but is made to look a bit soft by its rivals. Sure, if Freesat is your thing it's worth a look, but if not there are better alternatives.

But the Samsung is the stand-out buy under $1000: it produces such detailed and balanced pictures, it would be the pick of the sub-$1000 sets even if it cost $800.

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