Samsung Le26/32r41bdx Ultimate Review - Revised



For all you new owners of the above model, I have taken the time to find my original review (tweak it somewhat) and post it here for your enjoyment/info!

During my search for my original review I came across another worthy review of this model (much more comprehensive - but lacking some soul, LOL) - that I have pasted underneath also!

Enjoy, thank me only if you must! LOL

This screen is going to be big, and deserves all the attention it can get!!!

Okay its my turn to tell u how it is,

N.B Please read only if you are willing to except that most LCDS when it comes to the lower end connections (including freeview) are liable to have some degree of what I call sparklies/fuzz (around the edge of characters on screen) - this is the nature of LCD and must be accepted (IMHO) - I now realise to an extent that these lesser connections can also cause known problems such as smearing, pixelization, judder and even colour anomolies (of which i will touch on later)

First off, sexy bit ok kit, no doubting that, pretty easy to set up just as long as you keep an eye on them pesky stand screws, irratating buggers! You know what I mean! LOL - if your as paronoid as me, I suggest placing the TV on the stand first then installing the screens (You may need someone else to assist in raising screen to allow proper flushing of screws) rather than laying the screen on a "flat" surface and installing the stand then, jeez I wonder if anyone has damaged the screen doing it this way!!!

Ok, also bear in mind I was connecting the following components and upgrading from a 24" Sony Trintron CRT:

DVD player - components 480p - Now changed to a DVD player with HDMI connection
Dell laptop - WMV HD clips
Modded Playstation 2 - RGB connection - Now changed to IXOS component lead
Humax 8000T - Freeview Box - RGB connection

Tuning in the LCD channels on this model was a synch. First you tune in the analog channels (1-5) then you tune in the Freeview channels (seperate menu). It found all of these quickly and in the correct order. Well done.

Picture Quality (this is viewed at 3ft distance at all times, for a fair assesment) Also bear in mind my outdoor tv aerial goes into the Humax first, then loops back to the Samsung RF input! Signal strength is just above 50 on most channels and a lowely 36 on the ITV mutiplex channels!

Turned off: Dynamic contrast, LNA and left Auto brightness sensor on - TV settings Contrast 90 Sharpness 0 Brightness 60 and colour 47 - Colour tone normal (This will produce good results on all inputs)

I was then able to take the time and look at the idtv tuner in action. To be honest I was pleasantly suprised, pictures were full of colour and pixellization on any channel was almost non existent. Of course you got the fuzz/sparklies I mentioned but this is barely noticeable at the best of times and can easily be lived with on a day to day basis -In fact this is more noticeable on poor quality football broadcasts (pan wide camera angle) - I cant help wondering if this would of been eliminated completley if my signal strength was stronger - However, dont get me wrong, this screen was more than capable in showing football games, and kept up with the onscreen action easily. There was no ghosting of note either. It does have a 7 day EPG but you must scroll through the guide hour by hour to change to the next day - small quibble!. You can also pause the picture at any time, just in case your bladder cannot wait to the end of the programme or you need to take down that 0800 number for future reference! I find the "wide" setting works best for the DTV mode. However I will be honest with you CRT handles this type of feed much better and hides any nastiness more efficiently but thats no suprise. result 7/10
N.B what I have noticed with more time, and dont want to go into here is irregularities with faces on the Samsung screen usingthe IDTV & HUMAX pvr. (Check out my thread on Green Push) I have sinced replaced the panel and to a major extent this has eliminated the problem. I know now it is not a green push issue but many factors that can contribute, but I would be bold enough to state that this panel has a slight green hue to its pictures - especially on faces - However this is not evident on the Digital or VGA connection

secondly I looked at how my Freeview box would fare through the RGB connection. Again, pleasing results only slightly less pleasing to the eye than the Samsungs internal tuner.

Next, I swiched to the analog signal. To my suprise this picture quality was off a good standard too and is very watchable on a day to day basis. I will say there did seem to be quite alot of red in the picture (and freeview channels) but I'm sure playing about with the settings would yield more pleasing results to the eye. Channel changes are quick, text works well - again 6/10 - LOL dunno where I got the RED bit from, cant say i've noticed it since, I think what I was trying to say is REDS are really strikingly RED, but thats LCD technology through and through VIBRANT COLOURS and is a good thing - what i failed to mention first time is there is slight ghosting on Analogue feeds - but again not a suprise and not a hinderance either

Next I went straight to DVD, and as soon as I loaded up star wars (after setting up the THX optomiser) I knew I was on to a winner (and that was only 480p). Colours were vibrant, panning was so smooth no jerkiness and no pixellisation issues blacks were more than black. No complaints there (I even put in tester discs such as Alien - black space/stars and terminator 2 end scene - deatail in black jacket). I tried Monsters Inc, Flight of the phoneix and Fast and Furious (race scene) - gorgeous colours and pleanty of additional detail very pleasing to the eye. However, I did notice slight fuzziness on any DVD's of lower rate quality (copies etc) - I didnt expect that and maybe more picture tweaking is required. (Tech link components used) 8/10
I have since upgraded to a Toshiba DVD player with HDMI link. Monsters Inc OMG - FANTASTIC - really benchmark stuff, so good in fact I really wonder how High def is going to eclipse this, but I'm sure it will! the fuzziness I got on component connections with lower rate DVD's was gone. This is definately the better method for watching dvd's, just that little bit sharper and worthy of the upgrade. 9/10

Next I went to Ps2 (via RGB) - In fact, I cant believe I tried this last, I am a big PS2 user especially Pro Evo 4
and I was praying this would be a success story as the freeview channel/DVD story.

What goes up, must come down. Now I know these LCDS highlight any flaws in a poor source, but come on, this was RUBBING my face in it!!! All the details in the charaters were lost, they just looked like fuzzy men running round the field. The game was playable and speed/jerkiness was not an issue, but what once was a detailed sharp looking game, now had become a 8 bit Nintendo throwback from the 80's. I wanted to cry, I wanted to pack it up and send it back, I played about with picture settings but to no avail - I couldnt bring myself to put in Gran Turismo to destroy my CRT memories. I switched off the screen. 2/10
I have since purchased an IXOS component cable with the advise of people from AV forums. I made the necessary adjustment to the playstation 2 menu and grabbed a handful of games to try rather than my old time favourite PES4!
PES4 still crap - wont lie to you - looks awful.
Soul calibar - proggressive mode - amazing
Tekkan 5 progreesive mode - amazing
Socom progressive mode - amazing
Burnout Revenge - 60hz - AWESOME!!!
This LCD is defeinately for gaming, a basic Ps2 with components has got me salivating not to mention the new XBOX or PS3
p.s did I mention XBOX are ahowcasing these screens with the Samsung screen - lol
Ive kinda messed up the title of the next segment with this update - ah well, you get the jist!

A new Hope

After all this is an LCD screen, so I decided to connect up my Laptop and see what all the fuss was about with this High def clips.

I connected my basic VGA lead to the screen and by the time i'd selected PC input it was all ready synched and ready to go (no need to mess about with desktop display settings - windows XP user), my desktop looked gorgeous (I was thinking, too little too late mate dont try and turn me). So I then played my first clip - Madagascar.


This is what this screen is made for, its not called an LCD screen for nothing, this is where it is most comfortable. 3D dimensionality all the way, vibrant vivid colours not a hint of noise fuzz absoloutely stunning.
Sharks tale followed, again the same just beautiful.
This was the saving grace - I am keeping this screen. With that in mind I DID (update)explore the HDMI slot at some point, if this is a sign of things to come. Roll on true High Def.
The Cardboard box, is remaining in the bin for now.


fine. 7/10 lol


Ps2 - all is not lost as yet, I still can try this through the component connections (yet to buy lead) hopefully then that will do my games some sort of justice - at least till the new gen consoles come out! - I did and its well worth it, trust me

Screen does get a little warm after a couple hours use, I suggest you dont block ventilaition holes but the screen is (except top right to prevent them pesky thunderbugs LOL) virtually silent even when mute button is applied.
p.s Black levels on this screen are near on the best your gonna get at this price point and are more than adequate (with the right lighting conditions) dont let anyone else tell you any different! And detail retrival in blacks/shadow is very good too

summary:Fantastic value as long as you are realistic with the limitations of LCD and its benefits.
Higly recommended 8.5 Total

Hopefully this review will be of use to the every day users, more so than the high end users......


Now read below for a more comprehensive review.

, so I've spent close to 10 hours with the set today, a lot of that time was spent tweaking it, but I have had some actual use out of it. I have been adding stuff throughout the day, but I want to do a proper write-up now. I will probably be going over some stuff I've already mentioned, but hopefully it'll be better written. First off - upon opening the box you find a small cardboard box and the stand sitting on top of polystyrene. The stand is surprisingly weighty, as it's got a solid metal base. The box contains your remote, manuals, power cable and a cleaning cloth. You don't get any video cables included, and at first I didn't think they had even thrown in batteries for the remote. Of course I found them in with the Power cable once I had spent 15 minutes looking all over the house for 2x AAA batteries. I do wish they had thrown in a VGA cable at least, but wat can you expect when it's this cheap? There's also four screws there for attaching the base, and a bit of plastic to cover the hole for the stand if you're wall mounting. The remote isn't the best design, but it's fairly comfortable and seems to work well enough. Setup was simple - the TV is surprisingly light, so I just lifted it onto the desk myself, slotted in the stand, put the four screws in, and stood it upright. The black plastic around the panel is a lot like the PSP's plastic, so I'd recommend you leave the cover on it until you've moved the set into position. The rubber feet do a great job of holding the set to the desk, so much so that I ripped off one of them as I was trying to rotate the set to plug it in, as I mentioned earlier. The adhesive they had used just stuck it right back on though. There's a couple of bits of plastic sticking out from the back of the set for cable management, but it's pretty bad unless you're using really cheap cables. The SCART cable I use to connect my AV switch to the set didn't even fit in it! The stand looks nice, and holds the set at a nice height off my desk, but it's not the most stable I've seen. The TV is actually pretty wobbly on it, although it doesn't look like it's going to fall over or anything like that. When you turn the TV on for the first time you get the usual set-up information, but a lot of them will "confirm" the selection themselves if you leave it alone. When setting the time I was waiting for the minute to change and it accepted the time itself after about 20 seconds of being idle. The menus themselves are running in the native resolution, as you would expect, and are very sharp - a nice indication of what's to come with HD. While they're sharp, they're not the best designed, or the best looking. There's five icons down the left representing input, picture, sound, channel and setup. These look like .gif files, and are pretty poor. The menus aren't the quickest to navigate around, and it always brings up the input menu if you close/open them. I'll try not to go into any huge details, but will mention a few things. You have the option for a DNIe demo, but there is no option to turn "DNIe" on or off. I believe it's just a combination of the dynamic contrast, noise reduction, and auto-brightness though. Unlike most sets, Digital Noise Reduction doesn't seem to kill off detail. I've not spent long examining it, but it did a good job of cleaning up a horrible analogue signal I put in to test, but didn't seem to completely destroy details from good signals. Regardless of this, I have it turned off. I don't plan on watching analogue, and don't want to risk it ruining a good picture. Dynamic Contrast sounds great - boosts your contrast from 800:1 to 3000:1. Don't. It looks awful for starters. Yes, you do get very slightly darker blacks, but it throws away a ton of shadow detail and blows out the highlights in doing so. Even without these two issues, it just plain doesn't look good. When playing games it gets it all wrong - sometimes just scrolling down through a menu can change it dramatically, and it throws off the colour too. At first I didn't like the auto-brightness feature, but it's growing on me. I can't be certain, but it looks like it actually changes the backlight brighness, not the "brightness" setting which is excellent. If you don't have this on, you will have the backlight at full blast no matter what - there are no backlight brighness options. Whenever you turn the set on it's always at full brightness and will take a few seconds to adjust to the room's lighting - about eight seconds to go from max to minimum. Turning on the set itself takes about five seconds before it's on. Something I like is that it doesn't turn on the sound until there's a picture. It's a minor thing, but I like that. It's not as good as my Powerbook, which changes in about half a second, and seems to be more sensitive, but it's still rather good. The auto-brightness seems to make a bigger difference to black levels than the dynamic contrast does. I've got it turned on, and have the user brighness set to 50. This seems to keep it at just about the best black levels you'll get out of the TV without losing detail. While auto-brightness helps, if you're really fussed about black levels, this may not be the TV for you. Even with it at its lowest, the backlight is still very bright - 800:1 will be coming from it being so bright on the ligher end of the spectrum. The lighting conditions you watch in makes a big difference though, and today I've had a chance to test it in a wide variety. This morning / early afternoon it was a nice day, but not overly bright, and the set looked excellent. At evenings the sun is low in the sky, and comes in through my window directly on to the TV - it's a bright set, but I didn't find this comfortable to watch, it makes things too dark. I pulled down my blind (not blackout, but does a good job) and shut the door. The room was pretty dark, and black levels were awful before auto-brighness was on. With it on they're not perfect, but are good enough, in my opinion. While the set offers Picture-in-Picture, it's not very well implemented. You can only have VGA/HDMI plus one other input laid on top from what I can see. The smaller screen does look good though, and refreshes at 30fps, not 60. On my old Panasonic you could do picture-in-picture, picture-by-picture, picture-and-picture with any two inputs, with the second screen refreshing at 30. It sounds like a good feature, and I played about with it on my Panasonic for the first month or so, but after that I stopped using it, so I don't feel I'm missing out on anything here. There's two ways of switching inputs - Hit the Source button to cycle through them all one-by-one, or hit menu, right/ok, right/ok, and pick one from a list. This seems a bit slow compared to Panasonic's hitting AV, then red/green/yellow/blue once or twice for the specific input you want. There is a "PC" button if you open up the lower part of the remote which is handy though. It takes a second or two to go from one input to the next, as it "loads" it up fully before you can move on. There are four image "presets" - Dynamic, Standard, Movie and Custom. You can customise each of these however you see fit, although I hear that Movie activates 3:2 pulldown. Each input remembers which it was on last, but these four are shared between them all. On my Panasonic, each input remembered what it was on, and had three presets each. Again, this isn't an issue for me, as I'll only be using four types of input anyway, so each can have their own preset. Inputs do remember what they were last in, but everything on SCART seems to automatically switch into "Wide" (however it did that on my last telly as well - I think it's the AV switch I have) Sound is incredible for a TV, especially considering how thin the speakers must be to fit in there. Normally I wouldn't listen to sound from my TV anyway, but I'd happily listen to these if I didn't have anything else, or want to turn on a sound system. I have it set to SRS - Stereo, on the "Standard" preset and it's a lot better than I expected. There's also an equalizer for your "custom" preset, instead of the awful "treble/bass" settings you normally see on a TV. Turning on the TV will go to the last input you had selected - every other television I've had has gone to RF by default and it's bugged the hell out of me. My Panasonic IDTV went to RF and switched over to Freeview before the picture came on, but you heard the channels change as it switched. I love that it does this, as I don't switch inputs often, and have no plans on using RF with this TV whatsoever. Hitting the "source" button won't go to RF either, it just switches your AV inputs, and to get to RF you either hit a channel number or the "TV" button. It's been a while since I've had an eye test, but last time I was told I had near-perfect vision, so your results may vary. In my room my Powerbook is usually right next to the TV, so I had a bad habit of sitting at the desk using the Powerbook while either watching something on the TV or playing a game but staying close for MSN etc. You cannot do that with this set if you're playing back SD content on it, it's as simple as that. SD content looks awful up close. I found that I needed to be at least 2m (about 6.5ft) away from it before things were watchable. At this distance things were looking fairly good, about comparable to my old CRT in terms of sharpness, although I can see more detail partly because it's a larger screen, but also because this LCD shows up every little detail there is. If you plan on playing back SD content on this set and sit closer than 2m, buy a smaller model - you'll save some money and will have a better looking TV for your setup. If you're using HD, or have your PC/Mac hooked up through the VGA port, it's perfect as close as 12" away from the screen. Screendoor is not a problem with this LCD, even though they're big pixels. Of course you can see them if you get right up close, but at normal viewing distances, or reasonable PC viewing distances it's nonexistant. I did have two pixel defects on the set - the first thing I did when I turned it on after the auto setup was check for any. I had a white one in the top-left, and a black one in the bottom-right of the screen. (about 4" from the edges) I ran the "PSP Pixel Fixer" video on it for about 30 seconds, and it got rid of the white one. The black stayed as it was. When I went to get dinner in the evening, I ran it again, and it seems to have fixed the blue and green subpixels, as it's now red. (sounds bad but it's even less noticable now) At 2m away from the screen you can't see it anyway. When I demo'ed the set at Currys, I borrowed a VGA cable, and it was a cheap, thin, white cable with blue connectors on the end - the kind you get free with a cheap monitor. I hooked up the Powerbook and not only did it look great, but the Powerbook was able to automatically detect the native resolution. I bought a Belkin VGA cable from them, but it can't auto-detect it, and I'm having trouble getting a custom resolution on Tiger. 1024x768 is 1:1 pixel mapped at least, but in a 4:3 ratio. I plan on going down there and seeing if the guy will swap cables, but it's unlikely, so if anyone wants to buy this, or has one they're willing to trade, I'd be thankful. It's a £20 6ft Belkin male to male VGA lead. If you're on a PC it's a non-issue, as they won't auto-detect the resolution anyway. I've played my Gamecube with Component / RGB SCART, PS2 with SCART, SFC with SCART and some DVDs via my PS2 on it today. (modded so it's RGB over SCART) As I said, up close they all look rubbish. At proper viewing angles they do look nice though. They are maybe a little "softer" but still look great. The response time on this set is very good - over VGA there is virtually no ghosting / blurring / smearing. (whatever you want to call it) With SCART / Component there is some, but it's caused by interlacing - the set does try to de-interlace, and does a reasonable job at it, but rather than looking "combed" as it normally does, it looks blurred. From what I've played it does not get in the way of gameplay though, which is the most important thing. DVDs over the PS2 in 480i looked surprisingly good. I wasn't expecting much, but the TV does a great job scaling. There is some artifacting caused with certain images, but if you're serious about your DVDs (I'm not) you'll buy, or already own, a player that scales to 720p / 768p. My dad brought home Ladder 49, and while it was a better film that I was expecting, it certainly pushed the set to its limits in places. It's awfully dark at times. It may be 800:1 contrast but make no mistake - expect "LCD Blacks" here. It doesn't seem to wipe out all the shadow details though like many sets do, it just makes it lighter, but that only affects the darker areas of the image of course, unlike turning up the brightness on a CRT it doesn't make everything else look crap. While black isn't black, and LCD technology still has a long way to go, it's pretty good as far as LCDs are. It certainly looks a lot better if the lighting in your room is right, but even when it's pitch-black in it, it still looks good. RGB bleeds a little, so if it's an option, go component, or even better, go progressive with all your gear. It's not to the point of ruining an image though, it's more noticeable up close than it is at a proper distance. Windwaker over RGB or Component looks stunning. Everything is so vibrant, and the slight "smoothness" actually works in its favour. Metroid Prime also looked pretty good, although I've not gone back to it since starting to use the auto-brightness feature. 2D games scaled rather well, and Super Metroid / Symphony of the night have never looked so good. I've not done as much tweaking as I probably should have, but right now I've settled with Contrast at 100 (works differently on an LCD to CRT) Brightness at 50, Sharpness at 0 and Colour at 50. Colour Tone at normal, and tint left at default. This was all set during the afternoon sun, so I may have to do some more tweaking in the dark, but it seems to do pretty well adjusting to the light. I hope I haven't repeated myself too much and rambled on, but I'm not sure what else I can say about the set really. I am still a little let down by the black levels, but the rest of the set more than makes up for it. I put some X360 screenshots on it over VGA and if the games look half as good as they did then we're in for a treat."

cheers guys - good luck!


Established Member
Paragraphs mate. They avoid brain tumors when trying to read big bulky reviews!

Anyway, i have this set in mind, it's just a matter of going out and get one! Still not too sure about online sales to be honest, i feel safer with going to the shop and buy the thing and take it home with me!


Aaargh! My head just exploded :oops: :D :D

Please edit your review and put some paragraphs in :lease:
Thanks for the review Bonc, I managed to read it fine and it was informative to me, especially in describing the day to day workings of the set which most reviews ignore.

Tell me, can you assign an input to a channel? So for instance can you make channel 6 RGB1 or something? I used to have a Sony that did this and it was a help for other people to be able to say 'DVD is channel 6' rather than 'scroll through the inputs to RGB1' etc.


Established Member
Top effort mate - If only people would listen hey !!!.....let them waste a fortune on the overpriced panni's


Established Member
I might be about to "wate" my money on an overpriced Panni. I first saw the samsung in Comet running a hidef picture through HDMI. Picture looked great, good blacks, good response, little or no noise.

I then went to Currys and saw it playing a short DVD clip connected through component. Picture looked ok, didn't notice any digital noise or smearing. Colour looked a bit out but it was probably just not adjusted to my liking.

I really wanted to see it with freeview though as that is what I will be using it with most. I finally saw it running freeview in PCWORLD and what a dissapointment. You name it, it had it. Bad digital noise, smearing, red shadow to the right of a red players shirts in a football match, unrealistic skin tones. Some of the freeview channels were also missing.

I later saw all the latest Panasonic LCD's in a different shop, LXD50's, LXD52, LXD500's all running freeview and the picture on all of them was so much better. Sharp, no smearing, much less noise, realistic skin tones.

Now I don't want to spend nearly twice the price of the Samsung to get an LXD500 (I wan't the PC port) if the Samsung really is as good as people on this forum say it is.

I viewed all the Samsungs in the mentioned shops in Century Retail Park Watford. If by any remote chance a reader is visiting this retail park could they have a look at the Samsung in PCWORLD and let me know what they think of it. Was it just badly setup (although the menu reported a freeview bit rate error of zero), was it faulty, or am I just over critical. The one in PC world would have been an LE32R51BD, but its supposed to be the same as the LE32R41BD apart from cosmetics.

Does any one have another explanation for the poor picture I saw or has seen a poor picture on one themselves?

Doctor Hades

Prominent Member
I read about half of that review fine but then the lack of paragraphing in the second part made it difficult to read!

Still a decent review except for criticising the TV for not playing poor-quality dodgy pirate DVDs. Tut-tut, you should be ashamed of yourself! If they look poor then that's because they are poor! :rolleyes:

And PS2 games will generally look awful on an LCD because the machine suffers badly from jaggies/aliasing even on a normal CRT TV so LCDs just hightlight the problem further because of their sharpness. Also the machine has poor widescreen support. For example PES4 does not have a 16:9 setting so unless you play it in 4:3 with massive side borders it's going to look lousy as you found out because the image is ssssttretcheedddd! However Burnout Revenge has a 16:9 option so it will obviously look better.

Compare PES4 on the PS2 to FIFA 06 on the Xbox which runs in widescreen 720p and they look like games from different generations of consoles! :D


Thanks for your comments guys!

its a shame half of you didnt pay attention! - the top review was mine(with paragraphs)! the other review was copy pasted from somewhere else as is (didnt touch a thing)!!! and i certainly wasnt going to paragraph that behemouth for you guys - LOl

to the guy enquiring about inputs, NO i dont think you can assign say channel 6 to RGB 1

people have different experiences with their set and their individual AV set ups, I was lucky, this set looks real good whatever I seem to throw at it!!

All your points are covered innumerous samsung posts, do some research, it'll be worth it especially if your saving in the region of 500+ in sticking with this model!

p.s Hades - on the digital input via the Toshiba DVD the "dodgy pirate dvds" were fine.... (and dodgy pirate is not what it seems - 1:1 copies, using shrink/decrypter - might of had something to do with encoding methods)
Couple other quick questions before I order.

1. Does the samsung have any fans in it at all?
2. What is the width of the set in mm? The site says 797mm compared to the Sony at 658mm. Seems a lot different as the bezels look similar widths. Can anyone please quickly confirm the actual width?

Also, where is the best place to order online for fast and cheap delivery?


An excellent review but. Can you output the freeview signal to a recording device (DVD or VHS) like it says in the manual Page 48 (I think) ?


Established Member
I find Dynamic Brightness works pretty well for me.
Personal preference (and the room is normally dark anyway)


Standard Member
So basically consoles look crap through it unless you have NTSC/chipped consoles which can output in Progressive Scan?

Hmmmm. Not so sure about spending £630 on one at the moment. I've seen a lot (i.e more than not) that say the output from consoles via RGB Scart on this TV is a bit ropey.

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