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Hannspree SE40LMNB review: Hannspree SE40LMNB

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The Good Low price for an LED set; Decent range of features; Relatively good HD performance.

The Bad Backlight pooling; Motion blur; Noisy standard-definition images.

The Bottom Line The Hannspree SE40LMNB is cheap for a 40-inch model and has some neat features, including USB recording. However, although it performs reasonably well with HD movies, standard-definition TV shows tend to look rough and ready. So it's not quite the bargain it first appears.

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6.5 Overall

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Hannspree is probably best known for making computer monitors, but every now and again it also turns its hand to producing TVs. Its sets tend to compete on price rather than picture quality or features.

Nevertheless, the SE40LMNB does have a few tricks up its sleeve, including the facility to record TV shows to memory keys attached to a USB port.

Available for £335 online, it's one of the cheapest 40-inch LED models on the market, but is it a good budget buy?

User interface and EPG

A lot of budget TVs have very basic user interfaces with graphics and text that look like they've been created on a 1980s computer. Thankfully, Hannspree has avoided that pitfall here. This TV's menus look very attractive and are largely on a par with what you'd find on much more expensive TVs.

The main menu has a translucent grey background overlaid onto the programme or movie that you're watching. Across the top are tabs for the Picture, Sound, TV, Setup and Parental Controls screens. As you select each of these, a large icon is displayed on the top-right of the window below. The various options that you can configure are shown to the right, and when you select an option, it highlights in green.

Hannspree SE40LMNB menus
The menus on the Hannspree SE40LMNB are well presented.

The picture controls let you adjust the usual settings such as brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness. You can also change the colour temperature and turn on and off the X-Contrast option, which attempts to boost the apparent contrast of the image -- the gap between the darkest and brightest areas of the picture -- to improve shadow detail.

In the advanced menu you'll find just two settings. One controls the noise reduction feature, while the other turns on and off the light sensor. With the light sensor turned on, the set will dim its brightness level to save on power by working out when the level of ambient light in your room is low.

You'll definitely need to make use of the picture settings. The default presets add in too much sharpness -- something that tends to make images look noisy, especially when you're watching standard-definition channels via the Freeview tuner.

In the sound menu you can tweak the balance and set an audio delay, should you find that one of your digital audio sources suffers from slightly out-of-sync sound. There's also a wide stereo setting that, as its name suggests, tries to expand the stereo image produced by the speakers. However, unlike a lot of TVs, there's no graphic equaliser or bass boost setting -- something that would have helped you beef up the set's rather thin-sounding audio.

Hannspree SE40LMNB EPG
The EPG shows six channels of info and is easy to navigate.

Like the menus, the electronic programme guide (EPG) is nicely presented. When you open it up by pressing the dedicated Guide button on the remote, you'll find it shows six channels' worth of data at a time, in a traditional horizontal layout. There's also a video thumbnail of the currently selected channel shown in bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Alongside this are details of the programme that you've highlighted in the guide.

It's relatively fast to navigate the programmes or to skip between pages. You can also use filters to only display movies or sports broadcasts, for example. If you press the Options button while you've got a show selected, you can schedule a reminder or alternatively have the TV record the show to a USB drive or memory key attached to the USB port.

Digital media

With such a low asking price, it's really no surprise to find that this model doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi or an Ethernet port. It lacks the smart TV features, such as support for BBC iPlayer, that are now ubiquitous on mid and high-end models from bigger name manufacturers.

However, the SE40LMNB does have a USB port and you can use this to playback pictures, videos and music tracks. The format support for digital files isn't wonderful though. For example, only JPEG picture files are supported. Although it will play DivX and Xvid videos, it refused to work with HD MKV files.

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