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Samsung UE32EH5000 review
The Samsung UE32EH5000 is extremely good value

For a 32-inch television that costs so little, the Samsung 32EH5000 is surprisingly good looking - at least from the front. The main reasons for this is that its black bezel is both impressively glossy and strikingly slim by budget TV standards.

Why the 'at least from the front' qualification? Because surprisingly given the reasonably svelte fascia, the Samsung 32EH5000's rear end sticks out miles further than those of most TVs we see these days.

So much so, in fact, that it got us wondering for a moment if the Samsung 32EH5000 was using 'old-school' CCFL backlighting rather than the more common edge LED system. But no; the picture is still illuminated by an array of lights tucked within the picture's frame. Which means we're rather at a loss to explain exactly why the Samsung 32EH5000's butt is as big as it is.

Samsung UE32EH5000 review

The 32-inch screen's specifications include a Full HD resolution and a dynamic contrast system, though the image's refresh rate is a basic 50Hz, with no significant processing present to help tackle the potentially thorny LCD problem of motion blur. Hopefully the panel at the Samsung 32EH5000's heart will have a swift enough native refresh rate to circumvent this potential motion pitfall.

The straightforward 50Hz panel might have you thinking that Samsung isn't taking the picture quality of its budget 32-inch TV seriously. But a delve into its on-screen menus swiftly puts you right on this, as you uncover a startlingly ambitious array of picture set-up tools - way more, at any rate, than you would get with a typical budget 32-inch TV.

Among the highlights of these tools are extensive backlight controls, multiple modes for the TV's noise reduction and dynamic contrast systems, processing for improving black levels and skin tones, a few gamma presets and even a white balance adjustment via which you can tweak the RGB offset and gain levels.

Samsung UE32EH5000 review

We recommend that you familiarise yourself thoroughly with these various set-up tools too, because as is so often the case with Samsung TVs, the provided picture presets you're given aren't at all helpful. They routinely leave the backlight and contrast set too high, so that dark scenes look unconvincing and noise levels look high.

The Samsung 32EH5000's connectivity isn't particularly strong. For instance, you only get two HDMIs when many other budget TVs these days tend to manage three (or even four).

Also, there's no D-Sub PC port, no built-in Wi-Fi, and while there is a LAN port, a little investigation quickly reveals that this is only there to offer mandatory support for the TV's built-in Freeview HD tuner. The LAN doesn't permit you to either stream files from a connected DLNA PC or to go online with Samsung's smart TV service.

Samsung UE32EH5000 review

This is, of course, disappointing. But it's hardly unexpected in the context of a 32-inch TV that only costs £270 (around US$406/AU$398) at current prices.

And it's important to stress that the TV is not an absolute washout in multimedia terms, because if you really want to play back video, photo or music files on the Samsung 32EH5000, you can do so via a single provided USB port.