If you’re planning on streaming, gaming, PVR-ing (is that even a thing?) or just plain watching TV, you’re going to need a screen. But the challenge for the average South African home is getting a decent TV in the lounge without having to pawn a car, sell a kidney or take out a second loan on the family home.
It can be tough to straddle the line between cost and features and we’re all about balance, except when we’re all about the face-melting 4K TV screens or the equally bank account-melting prices. Ignore that and focus on this instead: Samsung’s UA40H6200A sits in a pretty good spot price- and features-wise. It won’t obliterate your overdraft, won’t dominate your lounge (unfortunately so, for some) but it comes with a nice collection of features. Expect 3D, that’s not so great here.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Let’s take a closer look at the UA40H6200A first. It’s pretty lightweight for a TV, not what we were expecting at all from this 40-inch screen and fairly slim – though there are skinner options out there. From the front, however, you’d never know that there’s anything beyond the screen. The bezels are thin enough to let the screen take up all your eye-space.
The UA40H6200A rests on a quad-legged stand that screws into an additional plastic… er… bit which then fits to the base of the TV. Since this is was a review unit, which had seen a bit of travelling in its time, we’re overlooking the fact that the base didn’t actually screw together properly. A couple of the screws were unable to find purchase in the rear of the screen, something we only really noticed when packing it away. It says something for the way the base is made that the UA40H6200A didn’t just topple over without warning but we’d recommend avoiding taking chances.
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Picture Engine: 3D HyperReal Engine
Sound: 2 x 10W (down-firing, full range)
Smart Features: Smart Hub, app/social support
Connectivity: 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, Component, Composite, Ethernet, WiFi
Looking at the UA40H6200A’s performance, it’s decent enough for what you’re paying for. The panel is clear enough and the 40-inch display size should suffice for most homes without coming across as ostentatious. Bigger may be generally preferred when it comes to TV screens but we’re not about to complain on this score, given that you can pick up the UA40H6200A for around R8,000.
That said, the response rate found in this TV is a lot slower than higher-end models, something to be expected but you will see the odd bit of screen lag when high-speed action is taking place. It’s not enough to spoil your enjoyment of the TV but you will notice it – especially now that we’ve pointed it out.
But the UA40H6200A also comes with Samsung’s Smart Hub, which just about makes up for the slow response rate. It takes some getting used to if you’re a first-timer to Samsung’s smart features but soon you’ll be using the remote control to swap between apps and social media functions with ease. Sadly a lot of the natively-installed apps are pretty useless in SA, though you should be able to access Netflix if you’ve previously set up an international subscription. That’s worth something.
Depth and Sound
The UA40H6200A features 3D, a feature that requires a few sets of 3D glasses from Samsung. However, this particular model doesn’t actually ship with said glasses so we were unable to test its capabilities in this line. By all accounts, the low response rates don’t make for a spectacular 3D viewing experience so we’re not really sorry we missed it.
Sound didn’t blow us away either but that’s also something we saw coming. The UA40H6200A is almost a budget TV, though one with screen size and smart/connectivity features to help it along, so spectacular sound would have been the real surprise. Here there are two 10W speakers, providing enough force to fill a room but you’re never going to mistake it for a dedicated TV sound system. If room-rattling surround is your thing, look to an external device to pump your audio.
We’ve played with far better TVs but that doesn’t make Samsung’s UA40H6200A look bad. The better screens are usually accompanied by a bank account crippling price tag and that’s something you won’t have here. What you do have is 40-inches of screen space, enough options to hook up consoles, PVRs and a media PC as well as WiFi and Samsung’s Smart Hub for under the R10k mark. It’s a smart TV within reach of a budget, really.