Samsung UE32EH5000 review: Samsung UE32EH5000

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Playback quality is also first rate and the media player responds quickly to the transport controls. It's also reasonably speedy when you're navigating through folders on larger hard drives.

Audio quality

The 32EH5000's bulky chassis may not be terribly attractive, but it does seem to help this TV out in the sound quality department, as its speakers seem to have more bass on tap than many of Samsung's super-slim TVs. We're not talking 'Miami bass' levels of low-end here, but if you tweak the set's graphical equaliser you can get enough bass for movies and music channels to sound more than acceptable.

Samsung UE32EH5000
The speakers on the 32EH5000 actually sound pretty good.

Samsung has also included several extra sound processing options, including SRS TruSurround HD and SRS TruDialog. The former spreads out the stereo image to give a wider soundstage, and does a pretty good job, while the latter boosts the apparent clarity of dialogue in the mix. It also works reasonably well, but cancels out any changes you make with the set's graphic equaliser when you turn it on, which is slightly annoying.

Picture quality

Samsung's picture presets are unfortunately quite poor, so if you take this TV out of the box and leave it set on the standard preset you just won't be seeing it at its best. In fact, most of the presets overdrive the TV's panel, as Samsung has cranked up the set's backlight, brightness and colour settings way too much. Out of the presets, the Movie mode is the best, but even this can be improved on by tweaking the picture settings.

Once you've toned down the backlight and tweaked the brightness and colour settings, you'll find that the 32EH5000 really does far outperform other TVs in this price bracket. It puts in a very convincing colour performance for the most part, helping to make open landscapes in movies look particularly rich and lush. Skin tones can be a little wayward at times, but it's nowhere near as bad in this area as most similarly priced screens from lesser-known manufacturers.

Samsung UE32EH5000
Picture quality is very impressive, especially taking into consideration the TV's low price tag.

Surprisingly for such a modestly priced TV, this model has pretty consistent backlighting across the display and not too much backlight bleed at the edges. This mean that it doesn't suffer from the cloudy blacks that afflict cheap LED screens, and even some expensive ones. Black levels are convincingly deep, and this combined with the TV's impressive contrast performance helps it to handle complex, contrasty scenes in the likes of the Changeling with impressive proficiency for a budget TV standards.

It excels with HD pictures, which look exceptionally sharp and crisp. Perhaps surprisingly though, it doesn't do a bad job with standard-definition channels either. Colours aren't quite as vivid, and contrast is a little bit more compromised when watching standard-definition content, but the TV does a good job of upscaling SD pictures so they don't look overly sharp and noisy, while also avoiding an overly smudged look.

The TV doesn't really have any motion processing to help it cut down on the inherent motion blur that LED screens suffer from. It can manipulate the backlight via its LED Motion Plus setting (which strobes the backlight), but you take a big hit in terms of brightness by using this and it only results in a very marginal improvement in sharpness on moving images. That said, the TV isn't as bad as many budget TVs we've used in terms of motion clarity.

Conclusion

The UE32EH5000 is a great little TV for those who can't be bothered with fancy extras like smart TV features and 3D support. Its chassis may be rather bulbous, but that's not something that you'll notice on a day-to-day basis when you're watching the box. What you will notice is this TV's strong performance in the audio department, as well as its excellent picture quality with both standard-definition and HD channels. I must stress that make the most of this set, you'll have to manually tweak the picture presets to allow it to perform to the best of its ability. All in all, it's a great budget TV that's being offered at a cracking price.