Ever since HD hit the airwaves just in time for the World Cup in 2006 there's never been any doubt that 32in screens look notably superior with hi-def than standard def but how much difference is there in a Full HD 32in screen over an HD Ready one of the same size? A lot, if the UE32C6000 is anything to go by.
Edge-lit LED screens need an awful lot of processing to deliver images that can compete with the best CCFL-lit LCD and plasmas and Samsung has certainly got a lot of things right.
Freeview HD performance
The screen does do a fantastic job with HD sources. The built-in Freeview HD tuner serves up some incredible pictures so that daytime shows such as The Chase on ITV sparkle with astounding detail and clarity.
Also impressive, albeit not unexpectedly, are the black levels this screen can throw up. The inky black darkness is simply unachievable on an ordinary LCD of this size.
Freeview just whets your HD appetite and by hooking up to Sky the delights of watching a sport such as cricket in HD simply puts an end to the idea that you could manage on an standard def diet if things got a bit tight. No Country For Old Men in HD on Sky shows how well MPEG noise is suppressed and movement is smooth whilst the screen's detail retrieval falters as before in dark areas. Skin tones, like deep reds are a tad orange.
Blu-ray reproduction is on a par with broadcast HD with generally excellent pictures.
SD picture performance
Using the screen's basic standard picture mode, standard def broadcasts and DVDs are served up with as much detail and definition as could be expected but they do sometimes suffer with shimmering around fast moving figures, which can be quite distracting.
Another weakness is that despite the innumerable picture tweaks available the colour palette cannot deliver really accurate reds like a good plasma screen can. Another problem of edge-lit screens is that detail is lost in shadowy scenes and it's particularly bad here so that dark objects appear as an amorphous mass. Messing around with the settings doesn't seem to resolve the problem.
A DVD of Fry and Laurie's Jeeves and Wooster shows the benefit and problem of 100Hz processing. Movement is smooth but footage often takes on a video-like appearance, giving it the feel of a studio sitcom so it's best to disable 100Hz Motion Plus via the menu settings.
It's pleasing to report that the screen is no slouch when running a JPEG slideshow and is adept at playing multi-media files although AVCHD is not supported. Viewing angles are also excellent with no drop-off in brightness as you move to the side of the screen.