Samsung 40B7000: Exclusive hands-on photos with the super-thin LED TV
The idea of using LEDs to light an LCD TV isn't a new one, but in its new £2,000 super-television, the 40B7000, Samsung has used the tech to make something truly special. The 40B7000 isn't technically backlit -- it actually uses an LED edgelight, which means the diodes are mounted in the side of the TV, rather than behind the panel. There's some slightly complicated technology involved in getting the light distributed evenly around the screen, but you'd never notice.
Using an edgelight means the TV can be whisker-thin. The Samsung 40B7000 really is incredible to look at. What's more, it's very light, and that means the wall-mount can simply be a piece of thin cable and a couple of decent screws. Odd, then, that the mount alone will be around £150, but there are bound to be special offers that include it for free.
It's worth pointing out that in the US, this LED range is known as Luxia. That name won't be coming to the UK -- instead it will just be known as Samsung's LED TV. We have to say, we prefer the simple LED brand to yet another ghastly pseudo-Latin sub-brand.
Such a thin TV must have some compromises, but the only things we can find is some slightly flimsy breakout connectors for the Scart, composite and component video inputs. Not a major problem at all, although some might not like this way of going about things.
One of the most exciting features of this TV is the Internet widget system. Samsung has managed to get itself a little exclusive on the Yahoo system -- so, for the time being, if you want widgets, you have to buy a Samsung TV. Worry not though, plenty of other providers are waiting in the wings to introduce this functionality.
We have to say, just a few moments spent with the Samsung 40B7000 have really impressed us. Everything about it is slick. The Yahoo widgets are simply amazing to use, and look beautiful. The TV itself feels rock-solid, looks epic and has pretty much every extra you're likely to need for a long time.
We're very excited about this TV and have fired off quite a few photos of it, so without further ado, let's get on with the show-and-tell. If you want to know how this TV performs, read our Samsung UE40B7000WW review.
Look, there it is in a box. Let's expose its technological flesh to our prying eyes.
There you go. Stand-free at first, but there in all its glory.
Here's the stand, a simple device that only takes three screws to attach the TV. There's also a handy guide clip, which means one person can pretty much set this TV up on their own.
Et voila, a constructed TV. The whole stand fitting took just a couple of minutes to finish. It feels sturdy on its leg too.
The remote control is a little strange. We're not sure what that drop edge is for, but it's certainly unique.
Also included is Samsung's baby remote, which controls just the volume and channels. You can see how tiddly the little fella is.
Inputs are fairly comprehensive, given the TV's skinniness. You'll note there are four HDMI inputs (one labelled for use as a DVI input for PCs). More inputs are included below too.
Some cunning cheats have been employed to cram in the inputs. Here, instead of a Scart socket and RCA jacks for component video, there are little breakout cables.
This isn't likely to be popular with people who like to use high-end cables. We're a little unsure about these fairly delicate leads ourselves.
The breakouts for the Scart, composite and component inputs seem to stay in their place, and look like they'll be able to take some weight.
Obviously an aerial input is included, for getting Freeview into the TV and bathing your eyes in early-morning Jeremy Kyle.
We prefer the rose-black finish used on this set to the previous generation. It's a little more subtle, but still bold enough to make the TV look more interesting than the standard black box.
It's always hard to explain how thin a TV is in words. It's tricky enough to do it justice in photos.
There really isn't much depth to this TV. Sure, Samsung has employed some tricks to make it as thin as possible, but the company hasn't cheated with a media box or any massive lumps on the TV. This really is a fully featured TV in a tiny case.
The menu systems are massively improved too. Its icons are animated, which helps give this TV a terrific user experience.
Even the on-screen menu for volume has been prettified, and we have to say, we love it.
As with previous Samsung TVs, you can add an optional wireless dongle if your router is out of reach. Simply pop it in one of the USB sockets, and the TV will detect it's there and ask you what you want to do.
Here you go, simple. The menu to configure the wireless is very simple too, and most home networks won't need any advanced configs.
Tests are available to make sure everything is working.
With the Interwebs pouring in, it's time to check out the widgets. The Yahoo Weather widget looks the same as it does on your computer. It's a useful, pretty way to get the forecast when you're chillaxing in front of the idiot-box.
If chillaxing isn't your thing, why not spend some time reminding yourself how badly the bankers have screwed us all over?
After you've peeled yourself down from the ceiling, why not soothe your eyes with some lovely pictures from your Flickr account.
You can even have a full-screen photo slideshow. The quality of photos -- assuming the originals are good -- is truly wonderful. We strongly recommend looking at cats on this TV.