on June 16, 2012
As many others have pointed out, this set has great picture quality. However, you will really have to work at it. Out of the box the picture looked awful and I was ready to return this set. Then I was lucky enough to find a review by "Gordon" for the Samsung UN32EH5000. I used the exact settings he specified and now the picture looks great. His settings are:
TInt: G/R 50/50
Standard color tone with screen fit in the additional options, with HDMI black level set to low.
I just finished the latest software update and Amazon Video on Demand has finally been added!
on June 14, 2012
Samsung's 2012 line of LCD televisions focuses primarily on switching their backlighting from CCFL to direct-array LED. Unlike CCFL lighting, LEDs don't diminish in brightness over time and have an incredibly long lifespan. Additionally, these sets are significantly lighter than their old CCFL counterparts which makes moving them around easier. However, this model is not edge-lit which means it's not really thinner despite the weight savings. The lights are directly behind the screen (i.e. direct-array), which many video purists prefer since it makes the lighting more even. This model does not support local dimming.
Direct array LED lighting
3 HDMI ports
2 USB ports (including 1 that has extra power for portable hard drives)
Great DLNA support and file playback support (including 720p MKV files!)
Keyboard and Mouse support via USB
Lack of swivel base
No S-Video port
U.I. is consistently clunky
Some important settings are made obscure
To start off, the display is fantastic. Colors are rich and the blacks are deep. The set only supports 60hz, but I have never really found myself needing more than that. The lighting is mostly even, but there is noticeably dimming in the corners of the set. The screen is semi-glossy, which I dislike greatly because I can see reflections of myself or the room in darker scenes. Glare from windows is also pretty obvious, so definitely factor that in about where to put this set before you buy it. The bezel which actually makes it look smaller than it is for some reason. The controls for the set are a 4-way joystick hidden under the bottom right side of the bezel.
The problem with thinner TVs is that sound suffers. My last LCD TV was a regular CCFL set and it had excellent sound. I am not an audiophile at all, but I can't find an audio setting I like for watching regular TV or movies. Either the dialogue is drowned out by music with heavy bass, or you can hear the dialogue (with added bass) and the music is barely audible. I fiddled around with a lot of settings and I just can't find one I like. After a few weeks I've gotten used to it, but for the first time ever I'm considering getting a stereo system to get "normal" sound back.
Samsung has reduced the number of HDMI ports on their cheaper, no-frills models to encourage people to upgrade to their more expensive lines. The "dumb" models only have 2 HDMI ports, this one has 3. Additionally, it seems as though no models support S-Video any more, and this set integrates composite and component into one set of ports. There are two USB ports, one of which is labeled as the "hard drive" port because it supplies extra power. WiFi is built in, and I'm able to stream content from YouTube without stuttering or buffering. The TV can download and apply updates very easily, too. After the last update, file playback includes 720p MKV files, although options during playback are limited. DLNA support is fantastic, but refreshing of file lists doesn't work very well. The menu has settings that allow for mouse and keyboard control via USB, which is useful if you use searches a lot in the smart TV apps. It would be great if you could sign into Samsung's app site and click which ones you want to download rather than doing it from the TV. The interface in general is kind of clunky.
It's a great buy. Lots of connectivity, access to smart apps (I enjoy the YouTube one, Netflix is also available and they are adding more). Definitely recommended.
Tips and Caveats
If you plan to use this as a monitor, make sure you label the source as "PC" of some kind. This removes a lot of post-processing. There is also a "Game Mode" under general that makes the display more responsive, but the downside to using this mode for me is that audio is stuck in "movie" mode which is very bass heavy.
on June 7, 2013
I am using this as a large computer monitor, so the TV and Smart features are just an added bonus. As soon as I got it unboxed, I plugged in the HDMI output from my late-model AMD 7850 video card, set it to 1920x1080, and was very disappointed with the picture quality. It ran off the screen and everything looked fuzzy. No amount of tweaking in the AMD control panel made any significant difference. I was about to pack it up when I stumbled across a review here on Amazon where somebody briefly mentioned changing the source name. He didn't say how, so I had to figure it out. Just hit SOURCE on the remote, followed by TOOLS and then EDIT NAME on the menu. Change the name to either "PC" or "PC-DVI" and the picture instantly clears up. You get 1:1 pixel mapping and everything looks great! This made such a huge difference I thought I would share since it didn't seem to be mentioned anywhere else.
on November 15, 2012
Update May 14, 2015
This TV has had two major problems which have led me to knock it down to 2 stars. Most significant, it spontaneously power cycles (shuts off, then turns back on) while we are watching it. A quick search shows that a lot of people have had the same problem, and it can be traced to a faulty capacitor.
The second problem is that the WiFi became non-functional. Updates to the latest firmware had no effect. Again, searching shows other people having this problem, and it appears to be do to a faulty WiFi adapter built into the TV.
Given the TV only lasted 2 years (my last one lasted 20) , I cannot recommend it.
The picture on this TV is great. Even non HD content looks nice, and HD content is outstanding. I give it three stars because, as of November 2012, the software requires some significant effort to get working completely, and that may not be for everyone.
I bought this model not only for the great picture, but for its ability to connect to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. They work well, though they are bit slow to launch. Finding content using the remote that comes with this TV is a bit tedious. I recommend using a computer to find what you want to watch on those services, and adding it to your queue. Then you can launch the app on the TV, bring up your queue, and start watching more easily.
The only snag for me in setting up the TV was getting the latest version of the Samsung software. After connecting to internet (which was easy), the TV updated all the software, which took about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, all the required updates were not available to the TV through its online update mechanism, and that caused the Amazon Prime Video software to fail to run. It complained that the Samsung Smart Hub software needed to be updated, but the Smart Hub software reported that there were no updates to be found.
Fortunately, a call to Amazon cleared up the problem. They informed me that Samsung had an update on their website that I could download, load on a USB thumb drive, and install on the TV. Doing that solved the problem. If you have this problem, you can get the latest version of the Samsung firmware from their support pages (sorry, Amazon doesn't allow links to external websites in reviews). Instructions on installing the update from a USB thumb drive are also available there.
So bottom line, the TV is great. The software is fiddly, and requires some hubbub to get updated properly. If you are willing to work through that, however, the experience of using the TV is very good.
on January 16, 2013
I purchased two of these Samsung 32EH5300s over the holidays, and I am greatly impressed with them. The "full-array" LED lighting makes the TV a bit deeper than the typical edge lit LED TV, but in return you get much more even lighting and an overall better viewing experience. I was also surprised to see how good the Samsung does with standard def (SD) signals - of course not as good as HD quality but much better than the horrible quality I've seen on some LCD / LED TVs in the past.
The three HDMI inputs is a must (sad to see so many other smaller TV now down to only two or even one HDMI input). And of course the vast number of Smart TV features is great - I've already set up Netflix, YouTube, and HBO Go, while I continue to explore more offerings.
One thing that I've found on all TVs including the Samsung is that the proper calibration / setup is essential to get the best picture. I thought I'd provide some basic setup for TV / movie with this set from multiple opinions on the web; for more details search on sites like AVSForum:
Set to Movie mode, then ...
Backlight - set to 20
Contrast - 96
Brightness - 45
Sharpness - 10
Color - 49
Tint - G46/R54
Color Space - Auto
White Balance - set gain to 17(R), 37(G), 12(B)
Gamma - set to -1
All enhancements (Dynamic Contrast, Black Tone, Flesh Tone, Motion Lighting, Noise Filter, LCD Motion Plus) set to Off or 0
Color Tone - Warm 1
on July 8, 2013
I bought the 5000 "dumb" version of this set about a year ago and have loved it. Needed one for another room & wanted Netflix / Amazon built in, so I got the smart version this time. Same beautiful picture. I also got the HW350 Samsung Audio Bar and scoured the internet for any documentation about ARC, which is needed to have full control of the SoundBar with the TV remote.
As another owner stated in a comment, yes, it does have ARC on HDMI2, even though it is not marked or well documented. The sound on this set is pretty thin, and this inexpensive soundbar does make a huge difference, and is exactly the same width as the 32"er so it looks nice below it.
So once you've got it connected by HDMI-ARC the next point of frustration is that the Soundbar will turn Off simulaneously with the set, but it doesn't turn back On with the TV remote's power button. There's a lot on the internet about this. Here's how you can turn it on with the remote:
Hit "AV Receiver"
Switch it to "On" and the Soundbar will turn on. (Note that when you set up Anynet+ from Menu you need to enable AV Receiver control.)
So bottom line is you *can* pair this with the HW350 Soundbar, connect it via HDMI-ARC (on HDMI2 of the TV), and control On, Off, and Volume using only the 5300 Series remote.
Hope this saves someone else a few hours of research :-)
on April 24, 2012
I really love this TV. This is my first flat screen TV. I did a lot of homework before zeroing on this TV.
I purchased it based on the following features:
- It is a smart HDTV, LED - 60Hz and this year's model available at considerably better price as compared to even last year models with similar features. Though, I would have been very happy if I could have closed the deal at $ 650 :-p
I did see the earlier reviews for this TV but most seemed like user training issues.
The sound/picture quality is excellent. Picture quality will seem dull with the eco friendly setting of Standard. However, it is configurable per your liking and the user manual is very effective in identifying and setting up your needs. 3 HDMI + 2 USB available
Setting up Network/WI FI is also very easy.
Depending on Internet speed, the smart TV works good. Youtube videos does not stream so fast for me directly through the TV but when I connect to my laptop through HDMI, it just works fine.
Movies through Netflix are great. No 3D but I did not want it. The LED TV comparison chart that Amazon provides is very helpful in determining what features you need and what you do not need.
The Kids stories is very useful for my 3 yr old son. Recently saw our first 1080p HD movie "Journey to the center of the earth" and it was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Movie files with .vob,.avi and .wmv works perfect. I have not tried others yet. Even, if some do not work, there are many sites where we have converters available. So this is not a big deal too.
On the whole, it is a great TV with very good features. Its a good tradeoff between the basic models this year and the higher end versions which made it attractive for me. I did not have to settle for a lower less feature version nor wanted to go for umpteen number of features with a higher version costing above 1000 bucks.
Samsung makes great TV's that surpass every other manufacturer in their class. I have this TV as well as another Samsung in my house and I can tell you the image is beautiful. Now add in that this TV can directly connect to the internet and I'm sold. TV's of this class have never been cheaper.
One thing that I have found with TV's that its very important to actually look at the TV in person. Now when you look at the TV's, go to a place like Walmart to see them, because many times specialty stores like Best Buy play with the lighting controls on the TV and in the store to skew the image to there advantage. Once you look at the TV simply look and decide which one looks better to you.
The next step is features:
This Samsung comes with Auto Volume which automatically adjusts the volume of the desired channel, lowering the sound output when the modulation signal is high or raising the sound output when the modulation signal is low. This reduces the difference in volume when changing channels. The Auto Volume feature can be set to Normal, Night or Off.
As far as outputs most of these TV's will come with more than enough Inputs and Outputs. This TV comes with
3x HDMI Audio/Video In, 1x Ethernet LAN In/Out, 1x RCA Component Audio/Video In amd 1x Digital Coaxial
Next thing is in box technology:
With this Smart HDTV there is a full web browser with WiFi built-in apps made for TV. Some of the apps this TV features is Hulu Plus, YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter. Browse the web while you watch movies and TV shows, and enjoy TV while you chat with friends and family online, all on one screen with this Samsung.
Thank you for reading my review, if you have any questions feel free to email me, I would be happy to help you with any questions you have.
on July 5, 2012
The TV is amazing. Retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart etc don't display this TV in their stores because they want you to buy the higher priced LED TVS... This TV is a well kept secret and has all the "next gen" features of a SMART HDTV.
Without getting much into the technical details of the TV..
1) Great Picture Quality... Samsung is the best in the business and lives up to it's reputation.
2) Amazing surround sound.. you won't be disappointed
3)High number of HDMI and USB ports.. You can plug in your Roku, DVD Player, Cable Set top box connection.. etc without needing an adapter to increase HDMI ports
(4) Best of all.. I have lots of movies on my Portable USB Hard Drive, I plug it in the TV and *BOOM* I am able to watch ALL the movies from my USB Drive.. All popular formats supported including avi.
(5) This TV has built in apps for Netflix, youtube etc... Roku.. Who needs Roku?? Sell it off in eBay and pocket the Money!
The setup was easy.. piece of cake. Also, it's easy to install the TV stand (included with the TV) and get started right away. Buy this one compared to the other Smart TVs which Samsung sells.... You won't regret this purchase!!! (3D.. Who needs 3D?...Meh.. I surely will look stupid sitting in front of the TV with those ugly 3D glasses.. Still a long way to go for 3D to catch up)
One small thing which I need to mention.. When I ordered the TV, the bezel was cracked below the SAMSUNG logo. I called amazon and they immediately arranged for a new TV to be delivered for free the NEXT DAY and my old TV got picked up from my apartment by the UPS guy..No hassle to drop it at UPS office, etc.. Amazon returns department is awesome.
Go get this TV guys.. This TV is a hidden gem.
on November 26, 2013
UPDATED 11/27/13 - Check below
Good TV, just some minor problems.
Well first of all the set up is easy and the stand is great.
It just takes a few minutes to set up the internet, date, time, etc.
What I first noticed was the picture and I didn't think it was that great UNTIL I MESSED WITH THE SETTINGS. I see a lot of people just rating it out of the box and you shouldn't do that. You need to mess with the settings and get the best out of this thing. So, I did just that and the picture was even better. Right now I just have analog television (well digital TV if you want to call it, no cable/satellite) and the quality is a bit ... blurry (not the TV's fault). But I expect movies from DVD's and whatnot to be better but that's another story (WHICH I HAVE UPDATED BELOW).
The audio - out the box, it sucks. You need to mess with the settings again. Put it to stereo and some other settings I can't remember right now. I remember I could barely hear the audio even when it was on high. When I changed the settings, then it started to get more surround sound and more clear. There's A LOT of settings when coming to the audio, so that's a good thing. Right now it sounds like a movie theater in my house.
The apps - There is a lot of bloatware. I don't know if I can delete some apps or not, I haven't tried. But for now there are some useless apps that I don't think I'd ever use. Amazon, Youtube, and Netflix works great. Also this is dependent on your internet connection. If you have a good connection, especially wired (I have wireless though), you should be fine. There were times where it froze for a few seconds, but that's because I was trying to do too much. This is like a computer and if you try to run too many things on a computer, that freezes too. So just be cautious.
Web browser - Works but you need a wireless mouse and keyboard or else this is tedious.
Regarding GLARE in bright environments - Well I live in a sunny place and I have sunlight coming in from the left side of the TV. So far I don't see a problem. Nothing is reflecting off of it. But I mean if the sun was right AT IT, I'd expect it to reflect. I don't think this screen is glossy, it's matte. Everything is fine on my side. Despite light coming from the side, it doesn't effect the picture quality or anything. I'm just speaking from a side view though.
Picture - Mess with the settings to get the best out of this. Out of the box that isn't what it should be, because it doesn't look that great until you mess with it. I love Film/Warm 2 settings personally. But there's a setting for everyone.
Audio - You DEFINITELY need to mess with the audio settings. It sounded so quiet with not a lot of bass at all until I tuned it up and now it's like a movie theater in my house.
Apps - They work fine. Just don't try to do too many things at once or else there will be glitches, similar to computer freezes but it doesn't last long.
Also for 400 bucks this is a great deal. I'm kind of bummed I bought this when it was 419, now it's 397! But before it was 442. Basically 2 weeks ago this TV was 442 and now it's 397. Just in time for black friday I guess.
UPDATE 11/27/13 - Okay I messed with the settings and since I don't even have cable, I don't have a good stable connection for TV and because of that, it's blurry BUT NOT BECAUSE OF THE TV. I started to watch movies (Amazon prime HD) and they are AMAZING!!!!!
I put the mode to Film, and the Picture Quality to Warm 2, It's like BluRay lite without actual bluray. The quality is amazing on this. I was watching Thor and everything was perfect.
I saw someone on here say how Dynamic with high contrast and all that was the best and in my experience IT ISN'T. It burns my eyes. I love the subtle Film/Warm 2 look in my opinion. There is a "Cool" picture option but it makes everything too blue but when you get the settings you can mix it up, and there's A LOT of settings.
I LOVE THIS TV!!!!!! I hope it lasts awhile.