It's no coincidence that Samsung's first 1080p screen has arrived at the same time as the next generation of disc players. The 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution will support all high-definition formats, including 720p, 1080i and the latest 1080p format used by hi-def devices such as Samsung's own Blu-ray player.
By progressively scanning the maximum number of picture lines, 1080p claims to deliver more detail and more cohesive movement than existing high-definition formats. If you're interested in high-definition video and games or want to future-proof your screen then this resolution is preferable. Prices are still high, but this screen is comparatively affordable at around £2,700 and you can expect prices to continue to fall.
Traditional users, however, are again slighted with the omission of an integrated digital TV tuner. This is a strange oversight because, although there's an analogue tuner for terrestrial TV, analogue broadcasts will eventually be phased out and image quality is inferior to Freeview. If you don't already own a Freeview box, you can expect to spend at least an extra £50.
There are no such limitations with the screen's impressive technological specification. The screen features Samsung's propriety DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine) and advanced 10-bit processing to enhance image clarity. There's also the new XWCG wide colour gamut, which claims to present 38 per cent more colours than the standard PAL system.
The LE46F71BX has a wide range of interactive settings, including advanced adjustments for colour management and sound options such as SRS TXT surround effects -- although more about the audio later.
If partnered with a true high-definition source such as Samsung's Blu-ray player, the LE46F71BX's picture performance is sensational. Densely defined images expose previously unseen detail, colour vitality is immediately engaging and movement glides across the screen.
Almost all the high-definition content we played, however, suffered from occasional instability and grainy gradations. Standard-definition and even upscaled images appear only average, with less detail, depth and control than some class-leading televisions with lower resolutions. Analogue TV performance is poor, while the sound is insubstantial for a screen of this size.
If you're a high-definition fan prepared to sacrifice standard performance, then this screen won't disappoint, but its ordinary all-round ability could be better.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide