Clearly, size matters. For surely if Samsung was anything less than the world’s largest maker of LCD panels it wouldn’t be able to sell a 32in LCD TV as packed with features and quality as the LE-32R87BD for south of £500.
Right from the off the price/quality equation just doesn’t seem to make sense. The TV’s sumptuous high gloss finish, minimal fascia and subtle but telling curves all belong on a premium TV, not one priced at the ‘bargain basement’ level.
Then there are its connections, which include – drum roll please – three HDMI sockets. Fancy attaching a Sky HD box, a PS3 and an HD DVD player all at the same time? Well, with the 32R87BD you can.
What’s more, the trio of HDMIs hasn’t led to compromises elsewhere, as we spot among other things a component video input, a D-Sub PC interface, an optical audio output for passing along digital audio tracks received via the HDMIs, and a Common Interface slot which, as always, immediately alerts us to the presence of a built-in digital tuner.
The HDMIs aren’t just for receiving your lovely HD source pictures, either. They’re also compatible with the new ‘CEC’ industry standard, meaning you can control via the TV’s remote any CEC-enabled sources attached to them. Cool – especially since, unlike the similar system offered on Panasonic’s latest LCD TVs, Samsung’s approach generously works with other brands of kit.
There seems little sign of price-induced corner cutting with the 32R87BD’s specifications, either. The native 1,366 x 768 resolution joins with the connectivity in making the set fully HD Ready, while a claimed contrast ratio of 8000:1 is actually higher than that of most 32in LCD TVs costing twice as much.
Inevitably this contrast ratio isn’t an entirely ‘pure’ figure, since it’s only achieved by reducing the output of the backlight during dark scenes, to make black levels look deeper. But we’ve seen some of these ‘auto backlight’ systems deliver very good results on LCD TVs before - including some earlier Samsung models.