Samsung LE32R41BD review

A cracker of a futureproofed LCD TV from Samsung

Our Verdict

This Samsung is every inch a benchmark product, redefining what we expect for under £1,000


  • Colours are rich, vibrant and authentically toned

    Fine detail levels

    Connections are exceptional

    Excellent value for money


  • Slightly limited volume level and frequency range

The LE32R41BD doesn't add up - its impressively long features list just doesn't tally with the lowness of its price. Incredibly, Samsung's bid to offer extreme bang for your buck hasn't led to performance compromises.

Considering the price tag, connections are exceptional. Every base is covered, including the HDMI and component options needed to meet HD Ready criteria, plus a standard PC jack, two Scarts, lower quality AV fallbacks, and a CAM slot for the built-in digital tuner.

Did we say 'built-in digital tuner'? We sure did. What's more, this is backed up by a full suite of digital functionality, including digital teletext, interactivity and support for Freeview's seven-day EPG.

With a native resolution of 1366 x 768 the LE32R41BD rounds off its HD Ready credentials, but surprisingly that's far from the end of its features.

It also employs Samsung's DNIe processing for improved fine detail colour response and contrast, as well as improving motion handling. There are picture-in-picture options, and automatic contrast control too.

Our concerns that squeezing so much functionality in for £800 would compromise the performance prove wholly unfounded. With our Troy test DVD, fine detail levels get us off to a great start, picking out every piece of ticker tape thrown as Hector, Paris and Helen arrive back in Troy after their travels.

Bright eyes

Colours are scintillating too; for instance, the brilliant shade of Helen's eyes seems to bore right into you even more unnervingly than usual. Colours are vibrant and also authentically toned, with tricky lighting causing no problems with the reproduction of skin tones.

Rich colours are accompanied by good black levels, and so it proves here. In fact, the shots of the invaders leaving the Trojan horse by night enjoy the deepest black levels in this group test. Other good news includes the absence of smearing over motion and few signs of dot crawl.

There is some minor bad news, however, although this is limited to some occasionally over-stated peak whites; a slight hollowness to very dark picture parts; occasional jumps in overall contrast presumably caused by unsubtleties in the TV's automatic contrast control; and softness during analogue tuner and one or two lower-quality digital tuner feeds caused by the DNIe processing struggling to handle source noise.

That said, none of these problems amounts to much in the context of all the good stuff.

Sound advice

The LE32R41's sound isn't quite as outstanding as its pictures - largely due to a slightly limited volume level and frequency range. But Troy's swelling music and battle scenes are clean, detailed, well controlled and reasonably well rounded.

This Samsung is every inch a benchmark product, redefining what we expect for under £1,000.