Design and Connections
To the rear of the Samsung UE-32D5000 there are a generous 4 side facing HDMI inputs along with 2 side mounted USB ports, an SPDIF audio out and the audio jack to complement the down facing D-SUB PC input. Also pointing down there’s the headphone output, a LAN port and the aerial connection. The D5000 ships with adapters for legacy Scart and Component equipment, with the Scart on the down-facing connections panel and the Component to the side. It’s certainly a comprehensive selection for a budget TV.
Below the more standard selections we have the Advanced Settings, Picture Options and the Reset Picture option. From Advanced Settings, you can leave Black Tone and Dynamic Contrast set to off. Gamma can only really be adjusted successfully with the appropriate calibration equipment and patterns and if done so satisfactorily, it should make the Shadow Detail option redundant but we’ll go in to more detail on that later. The advanced menu also gives access to an RGB only mode, useful for a quick colour luminance calibration without the need for measuring equipment, and choices for Auto or Native Colour Space and further options – Flesh Tone (which does absolutely nothing!), Edge Enhancement and Motion Lighting – that had no beneficial effects on image quality. The UE-32D5000 comes with a 2 point white balance control that we’ll be utilising for the greyscale calibration.
Having measured both the Auto and Native colour spaces, we found Auto to be by far the closest to the Rec.709 colour gamut we’re looking for, with Native showing alarmingly under saturated and off-hue green, in particular, and cyan to a lesser extent. Only blue was showing overall errors that would be perceptible to the human eye, but being as blue is the colour we're least likely to notice being out, you'd be hard pressed to see it.
Whilst not quite a reference performance, we were very happy with the results here and only Blue is showing overall delta errors above the threshold of 3 where are eyes are able to perceive any issues. In truth it would take an extremely well trained eye to even notice the Blue error and we were able to mitigate the over saturation by compensating with under luminance. We’ve reviewed top of the range TVs with less impressive calibration results so we can offer no criticism worth the web page its written on with the UE-32D5000’s performance.
Did someone say budget TV? Well the video processing certainly doesn’t fit in with the status and the Samsung UE-32D5000 performed largely with excellence during our usual tests. Standard definition scaling was of a reasonable standard with just a hint of softness we don’t see with the higher end Samsungs. It’s certainly not something that’s going to offend at 32 inches but if standard definition content is a big concern the larger screen sizes, it might not be the best choice.
Moving on to our cadence detection tests and the Samsung UE-32D5000 locked straight on to both the most common film cadences when sent through an interlaced signal; movies are typically shot at 24 frames per second progressively (or 25 for PAL territories) and displays without effective cadence detection will perform unnecessary deinterlacing and thus throw away resolution and create unwanted artefacting but the D5000 show your DVD’s in full splendour. Blu-ray discs that more often than not output at 24p, natively, are also handled perfectly with no induced judder or indeed any other issues. We’ve certainly seen inferior picture processing on TVs attracting much higher premiums so we’ve absolutely no complaints with the D5000 here.
Having been mightily impressed by the D5000’s (virtual) predecessor, the LE-C530, as a gaming TV we had high hopes here that weren’t proved unfounded. As with the 530, there was no need to seek out the obscurely located Game Mode as every pre-set was showing an excellent 15-18millisecond input lag, when compared to our CRT referenced monitor. If you can perceive 16ms lag, you’re possibly close to being superhuman and you’ll need to seek out a lowly TN panel for your gaming pursuits. The motion blur may be an issue to some but somehow that never really concerns us when gaming.
A 32 inch LED TV was always going to be a reasonably ‘green’ display and the D5000 consumed an averaged 44W in calibrated Movie mode. Out-of-the-box, in Standard mode, figures were a little higher, hovering around 56W.
The D5000 did exhibit some of the typical LCD weaknesses with average motion handling manifesting in panel blur during faster action content. Off-axis viewing did reduce the contrast performance but it certainly wasn’t that bad out of the sweet spot. The fact is the (not so) bad was heavily outweighed by the good in the Samsung UE-32D5000 and we’d happily have it as our secondary TV. It’s far too small to be the primary, of course.
- Extremely respectable black levels and contrast
- Calibrated greyscale is near reference
- Very good picture processing
- Build quality doesn't feel budget
- Low input lag
- Lack of features
- No Freeview HD tuner
- Standard definition scaling could be better
- Game Mode is in a daft place. Not that it's needed.
- Typical LCD motion blur
Samsung D5000 (UE-32D5000) LED LCD TV Review
It’s hard to imagine that there would be many 32 inch LED TVs that outperform the Samsung UE-32D5000, particularly at this price-point. Not only are the black levels and dynamic range meeting the criteria for excellent but we were also surprised at the remarkably good screen uniformity, so often the Achilles heel of edge-lit televisions; perhaps 32 inches is the sweet spot for the technology? As we move up the range, in terms of size, it’s likely uniformity won’t quite be as good and the somewhat soft scaling of SD images would be more of an issue, that is if standard definition is still a big consideration for you. Backing up the contrast performance was a reasonably accurate greyscale and decent colour reproduction. Once calibrated to a near reference greyscale, high definition content, in particular, looked an absolute treat. Not the pictures one might expect to see from a £350 TV!
Certainly the Samsung D5000 is one to consider for the gamers out there with an exceptionally small delay between controller input and on-screen response, and this was good in all picture modes, not just the obscurely located Game pre-set. We also like the fact that build quality seems to have been taken up a notch from last year’s budget Samsung and cosmetically the D5000 doesn’t betray its entry level status; a back-lit remote control is always a welcome addition too. For £350, or thereabouts, the Samsung UE-32D5000 is a very enticing proposition, with only the lack of any real noteworthy smart functions and a Freeview HD tuner holding it back from a higher accolade. As it is, it’s yet another badge for Samsung. Recommended and comfortably so.
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.