It’s not entirely unheard of for other budget TVs to deliver a decent approximation of black colours. But usually the best budget black efforts only come at the expense of huge amounts of brightness, resulting in some heavy loss of shadow detail. The 32EH5000, though, retains a very decent amount of shadow detail in dark parts of its pictures, proving that its black level response is down to the quality of its panel and lighting technology rather than a basic willingness to take excessive brightness out of pictures during dark scenes.
While the 32EH5000 is predictably at its best with HD, it’s also perfectly watchable with standard definition. SD images don’t look as soft or noisy as might have been expected, and motion blurring doesn’t increase much either. There’s a slight drop off in colour naturalism, but it’s not a big deal, and is certainly nowhere near as damaging as it customarily is at the budget price level.
The 32EH5000’s pictures certainly aren’t wholly immune to its budget price. Skin tones look a bit mannequin-like, for instance, thanks to an apparent lack of subtlety in rendering marginally different skin shades.
Also potentially problematic to some people is the 32EH5000’s very limited viewing angle, which finds contrast and colour saturations both reducing quickly if you have to view from more than 30-35 degrees off axis.
Does more than it needs to
Just to be absolutely clear, meanwhile, you can do better in almost all picture areas – as well as likely getting Smart TV features – if you spend more money. But this is kind of beside the point when you’re talking about a £300 32in TV. All you can reasonably hope for with this sort of price-focussed product is that the 32EH5000 is better than other budget sets and comfortably outperforms its price – two targets it hits remarkably well.
A 32in TV as cheap as the 32EH5000 clearly has potential as a gaming monitor, despite its lack of a D-Sub PC port. So we were very pleased to record an average input lag figure of just 25ms. This is one of the lowest around right now, and should mean you can safely game on the screen without your performance being significantly affected.
The 32EH5000’s audio talents aren’t quite as far above expectations as its video ones, but they’re still more than acceptable for the set’s money. The biggest weakness is that there really isn’t much bass, leaving action scenes sounding a bit thin and trebly. The mid-range is quite clean and broad, though, helping voices remain clear even under duress, and trebles are well-rounded enough to typically avoid harshness.
Despite its lack of Smart TV and DLNA features, it’s pretty difficult to see how you could reasonably expect the 32EH5000 to be much better than it is, for the simple reason that its picture quality is leagues ahead of what such a puny amount of money would usually get you.
Samsung might have found itself up against stiff competition at the top end of its range this year from the likes of Panasonic and especially Sony. But if the 32EH5000 is anything to go by, Samsung is still the brand to beat when it comes to the mass market part of the TV world.
Now read Trusted Reviews Best TVs 2013
Score in detail
Image Quality 8
Sound Quality 7