Samsung LE32B550 32in LCD TV - Samsung LE32B550

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung LE32B550 32in LCD TV


Our Score:


Now that I've mentioned Freeview, I might as well also mention the quality of the LE32B550's standard definition scaling. Which follows other Samsung TVs of late in being really strikingly good, adding sharpness and detail without stressing noise; avoiding the old soft look that used to characterise Samsung's standard def images; and keeping colours looking almost as natural and dynamic as they do with HD.

Despite its standard def prowess, though, it's definitely with HD that the LE32B550 really shines, as the already mentioned dynamism of the picture is joined by some excellent sharpness and detailing, be it with Sky HD broadcasts or, especially, a selection of our favourite Blu-rays.

I'm relieved to be able to say as well that the image's impeccable sharpness is surprisingly little affected by LCD's motion blur problems, despite the lack of any 100Hz processing. What's more, the general lack of motion blur or smearing holds good even when you're watching standard definition.

It really is difficult to find any fault with the LE32B550's pictures at all, given how cheap it is. The only things I can really come up with are that black levels reduce if you watch from an angle, and that you need to spend a little time calibrating the TV when you first get it. Though even here the effort you need to put in isn't as extensive as it used to be with older Samsung TVs, thanks to the addition of a decently thought-through Natural mode.

The bad news with the LE32B550 is exclusively saved for its audio performance. For there's no denying that the down-firing speakers tucked somewhere within the TV's frame are pretty uninspiring. They deliver basic 'chatty' TV fine, but fail to open up much at all to handle the demands of action scenes, leaving them sounding rather flat and uninvolving.


Despite only having adequate audio, the Samsung LE32B550's superb pictures are more than enough in themselves to justify the set's amazingly low sub-£400 asking price. In fact, I'd even say the set goes beyond Toshiba's 32AV635D in being the biggest bargain of the year so far.


September 15, 2009, 11:50 am

And to repeat a comment I left in your LE40B550 review:

A further plus in favour of this set is the fact that it can be tweaked to play MKVs and movies via USB just like its bigger brother, the B650 series.

(I have the B650 and a Popcorn Hour Media player, which I haven't switched on in months - just attach a 500GB NTFS-formatted portable USB hard drive directly to the telly and play MKVs from that!)


September 16, 2009, 12:05 am

So when you say "The only unfortunate thing about the set aesthetically is the distance to which its rear end sticks out" it would be beneficial to reveal exactly how far this is.


September 16, 2009, 12:41 am

"The only unfortunate thing about the set aesthetically is the distance to which its rear end sticks out"

Sounds like my other half.

Specs are on the Samsung web site, james1000 -

kwg uk

September 16, 2009, 2:42 am

cracking review....if only it had a Freeview HD tuner.


September 16, 2009, 6:48 pm

I'll never buy a Samsung TV after mine (40inch M86) has died in under 2 years. Samsung refuse to fix it for free even though the fault is due to cheap and shoddy power components they use in their TV's. It's a very common problem. Buyer beware! It's been going on for years...


John 38

September 21, 2009, 6:37 pm

I consider the Toshiba 32RV635 to more more of a bargain than this or the 32AV635


September 25, 2009, 8:31 pm

The MKV part sounds very interesting. I want to buy one, but only Dixons have a LE32B551. Anyone can tell me this is the same as the LE32B550?

The Miner

October 7, 2009, 5:44 pm

Yes it's the same telly - different number as it's the Pixmania version apparently


October 26, 2009, 2:15 pm

I've just been flicking between this and the LE32B650 that you also reviewed and noticed that the LE32B550 doesn't come with stereo output whereas the LE32B650 does. I'm assuming then that this would limit the quality of sound you'd be able to get out of hooking the TV up to an external sound system? Or can you get the same level of sound out of a headphone to stereo splitter cable?


December 5, 2009, 6:24 pm

Hi, I'm thinking about buying my first LDC tv, however I'm on a budget... can anyone advise on whether I'd be ok with the LE32450, which is the HD ready - and therefore cheaper - version of this set. It's on amazon for £309 inc free delivery, and the reviews generally seem to be very good. Additionally I'm told that with a sets of 32" and under having full HD is not quite as important, unless you're a seasoned connoisseur! So, is the LE32450 ok - or should I shell out an additional £90 and go for the LE32550? Thanks!

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