Review Price £369.99
The LE32C580’s screen is a Full HD resolution, with a dynamic contrast ratio described as ‘high’ - though no numerical figure is added to this. The set carries Samsung’s new HyperReal Engine picture processing too, as well as a wide colour enhancer, a digital noise filter, an MPEG noise filter, and a film mode. Plus, tucked away in an ‘Advanced’ menu on the respectable onscreen menu system, you’re allowed to tweak the picture’s gamma settings, shadow detail emphasis, colour space, black tone, flesh tone levels, as well as, most significantly, the saturation, tint, gain and offset levels of the red, green and blue colour elements.
With so much flexibility at your disposal, it’s a pity Samsung doesn’t follow the lead of its great Korean rival LG and get endorsement from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for its TVs, denoting that they can be professionally calibrated by ISF engineers. Though having said that, we’re not sure if many people who’ve only spent £400 on a TV will really want to splash out a potentially similar amount for a professional ISF calibrator.
The last thing to report is something the LE32C580 doesn’t have, namely 100Hz (or higher) processing. It’s a 50Hz set only. So let’s hope the screen’s native response time is fast enough to save the TV from too much trouble with LCD’s response time problems.
Unfortunately, it isn’t. One of the first feelings we got while watching the LE32C580 was that the picture didn’t look particularly sharp when there was any significant amount of motion going on, and it didn’t take long to realise that this was because moving objects obviously lose resolution as they travel across the screen.
We’ve seen far worse evidence of this blurring, it must be said. But there’s still more evidence of it than we’d hoped for from Samsung, and it’s enough to stop HD looking as crisp and detailed as we’d like.
Relatively static HD material looks very impressive by comparison, especially with overscanning and all noise reduction deactivated, with plenty of sharpness and texture. This is pleasing, obviously, but at the same time, the static clarity also proves that the set has motion problems.
The motion issues aren’t the only things we felt slightly disappointed by while viewing the 32C580, either - its black level performance isn’t as inspired as expected. We don’t have one of last year’s equivalent Samsung models to compare with, but it actually feels as if the 32C580’s black levels are weaker than those of its predecessors. Or maybe it’s just that the quality of rival TVs has now improved to a point where dark scenes on this new Samsung model no longer look as outstanding as they might have last year.