Samsung LE-32C580 review

There's nothing particularly wrong with this Samsung 32 inch LCD, but we've seen better at the same money Tested at £500.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

There’s plenty to like here for the money – and we’ve seen it even cheaper already


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  • +

    solid Freeview HD tuner, decent sound

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    colourful, detailed picture


  • -

    Beaten by the best

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    not the last word in picture refinement

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

While consumer choice is rarely a bad thing, the number of screens competing for your cash can be bewildering – not least in the 32in bracket, which remains one of the most popular TV sizes around.

Add a wealth of new features and it's no wonder we see our online forums flooded with TV buying questions on a daily basis.

Samsung is at least looking to keep things simple with the LE32C580.

But don't go thinking that this means the spec list is sparse; you'll still find a Freeview HD tuner and support for connecting to DLNA-enabled devices for media streaming.

Fine with SD, but best with HD
Offering four HDMI inputs and a USB input for accessing music, movies and images from USB a storage device, the set is housed in a beautiful chassis that measures just 8cm deep – ideal for wall-mounting.

If you don't fancy drilling holes and messing with Rawlplugs, then it can sit on its swivelling pedestal stand.

The Freeview HD picture, complete with 5.1 sound when available, is a sharp, crisp and clean image – as we'd expect – while a flick to standard-definition channels shows that even though they're clearly a step down in resolution, they still hold up pretty well.

Sonically it's fairly decent too, with clear dialogue and fair level of insight.

Watching DVD content, we let the Samsung take care of the heavy lifting, using its own internal scaler to make the lower-resolution DVD content fit the 1920 x 1080 screen.

Could be better with Blu-ray
It does a reasonable job: classic test disc Training Day sees black levels struggling to reveal fine details and lacking solidity but it's otherwise a fairly clean, sharp and colourful picture.

Step up to Blu-ray and while the picture naturally improves and is eminently watchable, there's not quite the sense of depth, detail and involvement we've seen in the very best sets around.

It's perhaps no surprise that this set falls a touch short of the cream of this year's crop – it is, after all, one of the cheaper sets around.

That makes it a perfectly good budget choice, but spend a little more for better performance and features.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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