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Samsung LE32C580 - Performance and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer



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Dark scenes display clear signs of LCD’s common grey clouding effect, and tend to look slightly hollow and detail-light. Nudging up the provided shadow detail tool does cleverly boost the brightness of the image’s darkest sections without pushing up the brightness of the image as a whole, but dark scenes still don’t totally satisfy.

As with the LE32C580’s motion, its black levels aren’t actually bad or anything. They’re OK. But OK still counts as a disappointment where Samsung LCD TVs are concerned.

There’s one more slight issue we have with the LE32C580’s pictures, which is that its colours don’t look as consistently natural as we would have expected. The colour range on show doesn’t look quite as extreme as we would have liked, for one thing, and occasionally a very slight yellowy tinge creeps into the colour presentation.

So far we’ve been rather critical of the LE32C580, so it’s high time we put our concerns in a more positive context. For the LE32C580 has plenty of things to commend it, too. Its pictures are extremely bright, for instance, which helps to hide some of the set’s contrast issues.

Colours are reasonably well saturated for this level of the market too, and the set’s standard definition upscaling does a good job of hiding source noise - even though this does mean that standard definition pictures at times look a touch soft.

Furthermore, as we’ve noted before, the weaknesses in the picture we’ve detailed aren’t massively destructive; they’re just slightly disappointing.

Finally, at long last, Samsung has started to address the audio weaknesses that have consistently plagued its recent flat TVs. It’s a small step, admittedly, but the LE32C580 produces a marginally more potent, aggressive and dynamic soundstage than we’d expected, with decently realistic vocals, plenty of treble information and even - shock, horror - a stab at producing some bass.

There’s still room for plenty of improvement where bass is concerned, mind you, and the set’s trebles can become too dominant and sibilant at times. But it’s nice to see Samsung finally heaving itself in the right sonic direction.


Looked at purely within the context of sub-£400 32in LCD TVs, the LE32C580 is a pretty good effort, with some decent multimedia features, fair-to-middling picture quality and tolerable sound. But it doesn’t stand out from the crowd as much as we’d hoped, making us suspect you might be well advised to save up longer for Samsung’s step up C650 series, which carry Internet@TV support, superior LCD panel design, and 200Hz processing - and which we will hopefully be reviewing soon.


July 27, 2010, 2:19 pm

I notice comments on DLNA support creeping in to more of your reviews of TVs, blu-ray players etc. Any chance of a feature on the state of play of DLNA sometime soon? While it sounds like a great idea in theory the implementation varies - I also believe the media and containers supported are limited - I guess basically my question is - is it worth paying extra for or would you be better of with something like an AC Ryan streaming media player?

Backlighting: I assume this isn't LED backlit despite the "LE" model number otherwise you would have said so but it would be nice if you were explicit this - and while we're on the subject when are you going to start putting power consumption figures in your specs? - some of us muesli eating tree huggers want to know this stuff.

Nathan 2

July 27, 2010, 2:34 pm

How does this compare with the B550 you rated so highly last year? I started looking into which TV to buy only this week and saw your review but in searching for the B550 found the major retailers now sell the C530/C580 instead and presumed it was the latest model (the B550 review was from 11 months ago)

Is this a step backwards in terms of the B550 though or like you say.. are you just judging it harsher as the competition advances?


July 27, 2010, 4:41 pm


It's weird. I expected there to be a directly numbered '50' successor to the B550 too, but it doesn't look like there isn't. Like you said it's either the C530 or C580. (For anyone interested) the distinctions listed on Samsung's spec sheets are : 3 HDMIs vs. 4, 1 USB vs. 2, and no mention of Freeview HD on the C530.

Don Kanonjii

July 27, 2010, 4:49 pm

I too would be interested to know how this fares against the B550. Would be appreciated if you could advise.


July 27, 2010, 5:49 pm

Are you sure the C650 is 200Hz? A lot of the other sites seem to point it out being 100Hz which would fit the general trend of : 5 Series, 50Hz; 6 Series, 100Hz; Highest end range, 200Hz.

The C650 is the review I'm most interested in (I'm personally most tempted toward 46") as there's a scarcity of reviews on the moderately featured standard LCDs. All the coverage is going to flashy, pricey thin LED and 3D models. Plus it's hard to find these things in the flesh, out on the showroom floor - again LCDs are easy to find at the 32 inch level, but for larger TVs everyone tries to upsell customers to LED, 3D and Plasma, when a lot of us don't have the pocket for it. Hopefully you'll get this in soon.

Some of us will also be looking for what type of panel they send out to you too as this is one of the hardest things to confirm either online, in store or even on the phone to Samsung themselves, and there's no evidence that Samsung have given up on their panel lottery racket.


kwg uk

August 4, 2010, 2:00 pm

This is only the 2nd review of the latest 32" tv`s that I have found. I hope there will be alot more - maybe the Samsung 32" 6 series will fair better

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