The Samsung UE37D5000 is one of best value flatscreen TVs available, despite a few surprising holes in the spec sheet.
Fitted with a full HD panel and plenty of HDMI inputs it may be, but there's no Freeview HD tuner. With the digital switchover having long since swept aside analogue broadcasting in large swathes of the country, it's a huge risk to sell a TV to the masses that doesn't have the hardware to fetch the likes of BBC One HD, ITV HD and BBC HD.
However, we're presuming that this gap in the UE37D5000's spec is deliberate. After all, subscribers to Virgin and Sky both need flat tellies (and at this price, there's none flatter than the UE37D5000), but obviously don't want to pay for duplicated hardware.
With Samsung's range of TVs that use LED backlighting growing by the year, the UE37D5000 – together with its siblings, the 22-inch UE22D5000, 27-inch UE27D5000, 32-inch UE32D5000, 40-inch UE40D5000 and 46-inch UE46D5000 – finds itself sandwiched between various models that are identical save for a few minor details.
It's got nothing on the sublime gorgeousness of the flagship D8000 and D7000 Series screens, and nor can it challenge the D6530 screens for sheer feature-count.
But it's a close call between this set and the D5530 Series just above it in Samsung's arsenal; those screens are also fitted with LED backlighting and 100Hz scanning, with the 32-inch UE32D5520, 37-inch UE37D5520, 40-inch Samsung UE40D5520 and 46-inch UE46D5520 all including the brand's expanded Smart TV Apps – including 3D content – as well as a Freeview HD tuner.
Below the D5000 Series is the – wait for it – D4000 Series, a two-strong range that removes 100Hz scanning and offers just a sole USB slot. The 32-inch UE32D4000 has four HDMI inputs, but the 19-inch UE19D4000 has just three. Everything else below these sets in the Samsung line-up are built around more basic, and cheaper, CCFL-backlit LCD panels, the likes of which have been around for yonks.
Looks-wise, the UE37D5000 is a cracker. At a mere 29mm in depth it's one of the slimmest around, and is sure to catch the eye of anyone impressed by the biscuit thickness of Samsung's much more expensive LED sets.
We're not huge fans of the 'looking glass' tube that connects the UE37D5000 to its desktop stand and aren't all that impressed by its build quality, either. In fact, the whole TV seems a little unsteady and, supported by a couple of tiny screws, it's not difficult to see why. Anyone with kids ought to bear this potential fragility in mind, though wall-mounters won't have anything to worry about.
Elsewhere the UE37D5000's bezel, while wider than Samsung's higher-end sets, measures just an inch and is rimmed by a couple of millimetres of yet more transparent plastic. Still, it's better looking than gloss black, a finish that's quickly becoming indicative of budget TVs.