Surprisingly, given how cheap it is for an edge LED set, the UE32D5000 manages to give you 100Hz processing rather than being a straight 50Hz affair. Heading into the set’s clean onscreen menus reveals a couple more unexpected tools too, including backlight adjustment (on top of the usual brightness/contrast tweaks); a black tone booster; various gamma settings; a tool for reducing or increasing shadow detail; a skin tone adjustment; and even a degree of white balance control via options to adjust the offset and gain of the red, green and blue colour elements.
There are a couple of noise reduction systems available too, and finally we were pleased to see that the screen employs Samsung’s excellent ‘e-Manual’ system, whereby onscreen descriptions of what features do appear when you highlight them with the menu cursor. We strongly expect this to become a standard TV feature in the future.
So far, aside from the missing Freeview HD tuner, the 32D5000 hasn’t really put a foot wrong. And for the most part this handy trend continues into its performance.
For a start, the screen’s brightness level is exceptional for such a cheap set, driving pictures off the screen with easily enough intensity to grab your attention even within a really bright environment like a kitchen or conservatory.
What’s more, the brightness is put to great use in ensuring that colours are propelled forth with a level of vibrancy you just don’t usually see on sub-£350 sets. What’s more, these colours aren’t just vibrant; they’re also exceptionally and consistently believable in tone, as well as being immaculately rendered to the extent that blends and colour shifts aren’t produced with any obvious striping or blotching.
Another area where the 32D5000 delivers when many rival sets of a similar price do not is HD sharpness. Despite the screen only being 32in across, you can clearly and instantly perceive the difference between standard and high definition content, easily picking up the extra detail and clarity that’s abundantly apparent with the HD format.
That’s certainly not to suggest that the 32D5000 is in any way a poor standard definition performer, though. On the contrary, its upscaling processing is excellent for such a cheap set, leaving standard def sources looking sharper than they would normally, and achieving this without exaggerating source noise.
The only catch with the 32D5000’s general sharpness is that it makes the lack of an HD tuner look all the more unfortunate. Or to put it another way, not having an HD tuner in a TV capable of producing pictures this good just feels wrong.