Samsung LE32B650 32in LCD TV - Samsung LE32B650

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung LE32B650 32in LCD TV


Our Score:


Turning to slightly more prosaic but no less important features of the 32B650, it's got a Full HD resolution, Samsung's ever-present DNIe video processing, and a 100Hz engine to boost motion reproduction.

As with all B650s, the 32B650 uses Samsung's Ultra Clear Panel II technology, which uses a proprietary polarising sheet in the screen design to reduce reflections by 30 per cent and pretty much remove the usual surface 'haze' caused by ambient light in your room. This stops ambient light from reducing the image's contrast.

Samsung's 6 series models additionally use a so-called Wide Color Enhancement 3 system to deliver 92 per cent of the HD colour standard, versus 85 per cent with lower-spec Samsung models.

The 32B650's attractive onscreen menus have plenty of tweaks to keep tinkerers busy, too. Among the highlights here is a new (to Samsung's 2009 LCD range) Natural video preset, which adds a unique adaptive contrast enhancer element to the processing in a bid to boost detailing, definition and depth, especially during dark scenes.

I was also rather pleased to find that Samsung's 100Hz engine isn't just left to do its thing automatically. For as well as being able to switch it on or off as you wish, you can select a couple of different presets for it, affecting how heavily it's applied to the picture. For instance, there's a processing-heavy Smooth mode that works harder to make the image look more fluid at the cost of more processing side effects, or else there's a Clear mode that reins the processing in to deliver a less pronounced smoothing effect with motion, but no processing side effects.

There's also a Standard mode that sits somewhere between the other two modes, and best of all, you can even adjust - via sliding bars - the extent of both the blur and judder reduction elements in any of the 100Hz modes.

From my own playing, I generally preferred the Clear setting, with the judder element slightly increased and the Blur element slightly reduced from the factory presets. But feel free to experiment yourself. The main point is that the flexibility is there for people brave enough to use it.

Actually, I think you should be brave enough to venture into the 32B650's onscreen menus for a while when you first get the TV. For as noted in previous Samsung reviews, the set's presets don't seem especially well thought through - even the new Natural mode.

With this in mind, it's a pity the 32B650's onscreen menus aren't very logical. Particularly weird is the provision of separate Advanced Settings and Picture Options sub-menus, when they both seem to carry useful tricks that surely could have been lumped together in a single menu.


June 15, 2009, 8:32 am

When did TVs become restricted web platforms? I would really just like to keep it as a simple display that I control what's plugged in and out, rather then some novelty entertainment feature that gets dated quickly and then soon forgotten by the manufacturer, as the user did just a few minutes after trying it.

Any reflections from a TV tend to be distracting to me, so I wouldn't touch this TV, with its reflective screen and bezel.

Unfortunately I find the curves that Samsung seems to be putting on all its screens just make them look 'flabby', like a beer gut of something.

Also I think the transparent 'neck' is tacky, mainly because it looks like it is trying to imitate glass. I would be concerned about it just cracking...


June 15, 2009, 9:11 am

"...I'm not sure the 32in screen size is really big enough to make the benefits of Full HD apparent..."

I am full_sure for this, 40+ TVs should have better resolution than Full_HD. It's so annoying.

20-22'=HD Ready, 32'=Full HD, 40+'=let's pray.


June 15, 2009, 3:07 pm

Blyndy wrote:

> I wouldn't touch this TV, with its reflective screen

Did you actually bother to read the review - on page 2 the thorough reviewer mentions that the TV incorporates...

"a proprietary polarising sheet in the screen design to reduce reflections by 30 per cent and pretty much remove the usual surface 'haze' caused by ambient light in your room. This stops ambient light from reducing the image's contrast. "

With regard to the stand... almost every TV set you can buy today comes with a plastic stand of some kind - why would this one be any more prone to cracking, just because it's transparent, rather than coloured?


June 15, 2009, 3:09 pm

Great review TR.

I too wish Samsung would beef up their audio in LCD products... I guess they're anticipating that most sets will be connected to a sound system of some kind.

My feeling is that even with the best sound system in the world, there are times when it's inappropriate to run it (or times when your away and the wife can't work out HOW to run it) - so having reasonable sound on-board does still have a place... at least in my home!


June 15, 2009, 4:51 pm

Stranded wrote:

> 40+ TVs should have better resolution than Full_HD. It's so annoying.

But wouldn't you then be compromising with upscaled images from HD video sources.

Generally, video looks its very best displayed at it's native size - things are always an approximation when upscaled/downscaled. Even the best upscalers introduce softening, through having to invent pixels that don't exist in the source image stream - which is then generally filtered to remove the jaggies that invariably result.

Crucially... if you really can make out individual pixels on a 40" screen - I reckon you must be sitting just a little bit too close!

Higher resolution would be great on PC displays though - at least those extra pixels will be put to good use there - giving more desktop real-estate for all those apps our multi-processor systems can now run with buttery smoothness (Excepting anything from CryTek).

Andy Wilson

June 15, 2009, 5:38 pm

I have the 37" version of this TV and can confirm that despite the glossy screen, the polarising filter does a great job in avoiding distracting reflections. So, we have the best of both worlds - nice deep blacks and no annoying reflections.

As for the bundled content features (recipes, children's stories, image galleries), some of it is of high quality, and can be added to. But it's true the novelty wears off. However I do return to the recipes occasionally (great if you like curry) and the images can form a great background. The internet features are slow to load, but it's handy to see the weather forecast and play with Twitter!

High definition broadcast images (1080i) are noticeably clearer and more impressive than SD on my 37" though the Samsung also makes a good fist of Freesat SD (better than the latest Sonys imho). But yes, sound is the weak point of this machine, though it's not horrible. Maybe Samsung want everyone to buy their new "cheapish" 2.1 soundbar/subwoofer combo.

As for the looks - I think it's classy, and no more prone to damage than others in the same price range. A great TV.


June 15, 2009, 9:04 pm

Yes, yes, i know, billions of arguments. Anyway, i am not a TV fan, i watch only for 1hr/month in a 20' set. But i get annoyed when i watch my friends 32' HD ready ones. A TV is made only for distant watching? Is 2009 or 1969?


June 15, 2009, 9:58 pm

why not 10 out of 10 for design thats easily the best looking 32'' tv I've seen. Get the audio sorted and samsung can get a whole lot closer to being a true high quality, high features, low price manufacture that I don't think we really have in this market


June 15, 2009, 11:39 pm

Is it possible to connect this set on a PC outputting 1920x1080 60p using HDMI ?


June 16, 2009, 3:07 am

Cant really see why anyone would want to upgrade their existing lcd for another lcd. LED is surely the only way to go now.

Howdy Doody

June 16, 2009, 8:24 am

Great review>

I dunno .. this looks like the LN32B650 we have in North America. It certainly seems great next to any other TV at the retail outlets. I agree that my mind remains unsettled re glossy screen-- but on the other hand the picture has a different feel to it re color, etc, etc. Very, very different than my "matte finish" LCD monitor.

As for the "connectivity" check out the user guide on your Samsung UK site -- it should give you a parade of PC settings. It certainly has HDMI. I am especially interested in the USB/Ethernet/wi-fi connectivity as I intend to keep the TV room, clear of PC and show my downloaded movies (lots of formats supported) on this TV. My video card has PC/HDMI/DVI outputs too.

The viewing angle is narrow -- much, much narrower than the Pannasonic 32's et al.

Great review. Many thanks.


February 23, 2010, 9:12 pm

I think you might find "Meh" was a trendy phrase quite some time ago like say the 90's.... "jeez" "like get with the program".. (see wot i did there "eh!")

"anyhoo" Great Review TR, I think the B650 is the best budget LCD currently out there n who cares how far away you watch it from the main thing is its a fantastic picture for the "Bucks"

Zuze out

comments powered by Disqus