Samsung has an uncanny knack for understanding exactly what makes AV punters tick. And so it is that the new LE52M87BD, a 52-inch LCD TV, seems to jump off the shop shelf at you with its punchy design and huge feature count.
The only question mark hanging over it is whether it can justify the £1,800 figure printed on its price ticket.
If looks were everything, we could just award the 52M87BD a best buy rating now and head off home early. Its combination of a high-gloss black bezel and superbly harmonious curves and lines make it just about as attractive a sight as a 52-inch TV will ever be.
Just as attractive, albeit in a more techy way, are its connections. For included among them are a very healthy three HDMIs, all of which are compatible with the new v1.3 standard, and all of which take every hi-def format known to man, including the new/24fps format.
There are plenty of attractions amid the 52M87BD's claimed specifications too. The contrast ratio, for instance, is reckoned to be 15,000:1 -- easily the highest such figure we've seen associated with an LCD TV. Plus the screen sports a 'Full HD' resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, and a 'wide colour gamut' system designed to produce more vivid colours across a wider, more expressive palette.
Happily, the 52M87BD's on-paper talents translate into some strikingly good picture quality. This is particularly true of the set's contrast, as it reproduces what could well be the deepest, most convincing black levels yet seen on an LCD TV. Dark shots such as those of the upturned ship bobbing in the night-time sea on the HD DVD of Poseidon are remarkably free of LCD's usual greyness, allowing you to clearly make out what's going on and appreciate a genuine sense of scale to the image.
The 52M87BD's black level talents also help it deliver great colours, with exceptionally rich and vibrant tones that also happen to look among the most authentic that Samsung has yet produced from an LCD TV.