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Samsung UE32D6530 review

The Samsung U32D6530 ticks all our boxes for a TV in 2011 Tested at £600

Our Verdict

Best 32in TV, Awards 2011. A near-faultless marriage of form and function – and it’s a steal at the price

For

  • Excellent Freeview HD tuner
  • smooth motion, natural colours, fine attention to detail
  • extensive features including 3D…

Against

  • 3D performance is average

Samsung sells more TVs than any other company in the world. So, having been a company that had scooped gongs for ludicrously affordable big-screens, it’s not too surprising that it is now ensconced as one of the key players across the complete price spectrum.

Packed to the gills with features
The Series 6 sets are the most affordable of Samsung’s LCD screens to offer 3D, and at around £600 for this UE32D6530, it sits neatly between the more expensive Panasonic TX-L32DT30 3D TV and a cluster of more affordable sets.

It’s an active-shutter 3D set and you’ll need a pair of Samsung’s 3D glasses, which start from just over £50.

Samsung’s design boffins obviously reckon that more is more – so a full complement of features is present and correct.

There’s access to the company’s Smart Hub, finally now offering BBC iPlayer, plus LoveFilm’s streaming movie service, apps for the likes of YouTube and Facebook and a web browser.

A suitably smart solution
It takes a little time to get your head around the layout, but as we’ve said before, it’s ultimately a suitably smart solution and can be your entry-point to everything the TV offers, not just the internet video content.

Picture performance varies based on the app – we were underwhelmed by LoveFilm – but is generally as good as any rivals, while the search function works well.

The set itself – so thin you could almost lose it side-on – is certainly the biggest eye-catcher among its competitors. Not content with a slender profile, the D6530 has a similarly teensy bezel, giving the illusion of a particularly small 32in TV (don’t worry, we got the tape measure out on the screen itself).

Nevertheless, there are still four HDMI inputs, two USB sockets, a digital audio optical output and the usual selection of legacy terminals.

Superb Freeview HD tuner
As we found with this set’s 40in sibling, the Freeview HD tuner is superb – and a clear class-leader. Razor-sharp edges, a staggeringly realistic colour palette and insight that bores into every corner make for a broadcast TV picture with real depth and involvement.

It’s happily more of the same when we switch to DVD and Blu-ray. The internal upscaler is clearly capable, delivering sharp, clean images from DVD.

Improve the source material and the strength of punchy colours, realistic skin tones, smooth motion and again that sense of depth, make for compelling viewing.

Only a slight bluey tint to deepest blacks, which we couldn’t adjust away, makes its way into the negatives column.

3D is a bit of a let-down
Sonically, the D6530 is no great shakes – clear but a little lightweight, which is understandable given its girth – but our only real gripe is that the 3D picture doesn’t have the depth and involvement of the best.

There’s occasional instability, but it’s no worse than many rivals.

Once more, Samsung has cracked it: slight 3D moan aside, this is the best all-rounder and represents the best performance-per-pound package.

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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, New York 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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