on July 15, 2011
I bought this item a few days ago after doing a multitude of research on flat screen TV's. Frankly, I was ready to be done! Our focus was finding a TV with an external width no larger than 37 5/8". We were faced with a limited selection of 37" TV's or some barely close 40" TV's. The 40" TV's that we had to choose from were LED and cost roughly $1000 or more. Rather than being faced with a close fit of an expensive TV, we decided 37" would suffice. Then we were caught between buying a Samsung or a Sony and whether to get LED or LCD. In my opinion, the Sony brand commands a brand premium in price. Nice TV's though. I read a lot about LED v. LCD. The LCD is still energy efficient and is energy star qualified. After seeing the picture difference of the LCD and LED. My wife and I were both okay with LCD. Then I researched the difference of 60 hz versus 120 hz refresh rates. Okay, I understand the technical mumbo jumbo of this, but after comparing in a store the difference I couldn't tell. Maybe my eyes are not good enough anymore. We also bought the Samsung USB wireless adapter. I thought from all my reading that this TV had some Internet functionality i.e. Netflix etc. It DOES NOT. If you have a Wii or some other game platform that allows internet access - use it and save your money. The wireless adapter will work with some Samsung Blu-Ray players as well. The only thing the wireless adapter will do is connect with your pc network and play movies, music, and pictures from your pc. If this for you - great buy the wireless. Note: it has a network interface for wired applications on the back as well.
The nitty gritty of the TV. It works fantastic. Exceeded expectations on standard definition movies and TV broadcasts. No dark "halo" effects when the picture is dark. HD works fantastic...almost too clear and crisp to tell the truth. Works great in the game mode with the Wii. I know other's have said the sound/speakers were issues, but my family thinks it works just fine. The PIP(picture in a picture) function only works when viewing programs from two sources i.e. broadcast and DVD. Not a big user of PIP. Set up is easy. Remote is easy and intuitive to use. The enclosed manual is "light" on info. TV does have a manual you access through TV - it is more in-depth. For $569 and our first upgrade from a CRT TV - I have no regrets. TV is great for everyday use - watching broadcast, movies, games, and PC use. But then again, we didn't need all the bells and whistles of higher end models. Hope this helps your decision.
on April 2, 2011
For the last year I've been looking for a TV to replace my 2009 Samsung 26" LCD. It had what some people call "smudging" or "smearing" where if two really dark images move near one another, the black area would leave a trail. It looks sort of like when you make a dark circle with a pencil and run your finger over it. It made night scenes in movies and games really distracting. I even saw it in people with black hair watching 720p Lost episodes.
From what I can tell so far, this set has none of it. I went through a Sony, a Toshiba, an LG, and another Samsung. All but the LG had this issue, and the LG had atrocious black levels due to it being a technically "better" IPS panel. I love my LG IPS monitors, but for TV it looks awful. So I stuck with Samsung's PVA panels, and boy am I glad I did.
I immediately turned off all the video processing options and turned the backlight down from 14 to 8. IMPECCABLE picture as far as I'm concerned. Looks incredible even at 1080i. It's no plasma, but hey, 32-inch plasmas don't exist, so I'm content with LCD.
I have no idea how the input lag is for video games since I play relatively slowly paced games. No fighters, competitive FPS, or other twitch reflex games in my library. I'd be a bit leery if that's super critical for you until more accurate tests are out there. It seems fine to me, but I'm not very sensitive to lag, so take it with a grain of salt.
Bottom line, great picture quality, great black levels (for an LCD), decent motion handling (it IS only 60Hz), lots of options to mess with, plenty of inputs, a sleek design. I would buy this TV again in a heartbeat, personally. As the first reviewer said, JUST what I was looking for.
About time. Here is a TV for 2011. It is a wonderful TV for a bedroom or other similar space, and it is an excellent monitor for a PC with a good video card, one with DVI or HDMI out. Colors are very accurate (photography is a serious hobby for my wife and me).
As a TV, the hi-def channels look fantastic, what you would expect from a quality set. Rich colors and excellent contrast. Standard-def is upscaled very well; Turner Classics looks particularly good on this size set.
Mine came with a light to moderate matte screen, not a glossy screen. The matte effect is very good during daylight hours in my office, while "glossy" photos still look sharp and rich. I think the screen coatings have improved on most TV's the past couple of years, and this TV is a good example.
I've got it on my desk, and the size feels just right. I can have browser windows open that are the size of my old monitor, and in the corner still have a nice sized Windows Media Center with live TV going. And I can set those browser windows at 100% (instead of 125 - 150%) and still read comfortably!
(I remember the days when we would laugh at people who talked about getting a 17" monitor, and if somebody wanted 19", they were nuts!)
The stand is sturdy, and I like the solid black (instead of the clear stand some are shipping with). The stand was easier to put together than on another brand that didn't work out as a monitor.
Playing video games is about as immersive as it can get. I see no lag at all. This is functioning exactly as a monitor.
Sound is rich and clear; I was able to take the clunky old PC speakers off my desk. In fact, I have to keep the volume down now, or my wife, who is studying in the next room, gets distracted. The sound is a major factor in my satisfaction with this! I like all kinds of music, but this is especially good with ballads, swing, classical, and jazz. (Another good reason to have this in a bedroom!) Older rock without earthquake bass sounds good too!
I agree 100% with JA Adams Mullins, another reviewer of this item, who says this is basically a smaller version of the fantastic A650 series, but with 60Hz instead of 120Hz. As a monitor, as a movie screen for DVD's, and as a TV, this is fantastic. Yes, I have a 120Hz A650 in my living room, but I have found that the cable company and cable networks are compressing the source material so much that the 120Hz doesn't seem to come into play (and I still haven't upgraded to Blu-Ray). Also, you can find reasonable opinions that suggest 60Hz is still best for PC games and apps, so, for me, the big savings over the same sized Samsung with 120Hz is a huge factor.
Consider NetFlix streaming. Even with the 120Hz, if I am in full-screen mode, my DSL connection just doesn't pump enough bits to avoid the judder from compression. But on a monitor this size, I can really enjoy movies in a browser window about half the size of the screen, and the motion is very smooth.
There are two types of TV content where the Auto-Smoothing available with 120Hz may be a factor. One is sports. In my office, I only have hi-def on the local channels, not on ESPN or other sports channels. I haven't caught a baseball or golf game on this yet, but when I do, I will report back right here. The other time I like to ramp up Auto-Smoothing is when watching animation, but at the time of writing this, I haven't been able to watch any cartoons in hi-def. (In standard def, motion in sports and animation looks fine, but standard def isn't pushing any of the processors on this set, for sure.) Again, after watching on the weekend, I'll report back here.
(EDIT: Update, 5/9/11. This is fine for sports in high-def, and cartoons look great too. I haven't hooked it up to a Blu-ray, so no comment possible. As for PC video games, especially first-person-shooters, this is fantastic. Before investing in a higher priced 120Hz set for video games, be sure that the set you want to buy actually allows you to enable the auto-smoothing feature while in GAME MODE! I know auto-smoothing on my 120Hz LN46A650 really helps with movies, sports, and animation; however, most content is looking better on this set than on the LN46A650 without auto smoothing. In other words, if the two sets are compared without the auto-smoothing enabled on the LN46A650, the action seems smoother on this LN32D550. BUT, certain movies (e.g. VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER) look MUCH better (that is, smoother and clearer, especially when there is lots of action all over the screen) with the auto-smoothing on the bigger set. I know this is all very subjective, but I'm trying to point out that it seems very important, if a set claims to run at 120Hz, to be able to activate the smoothing feature. Since GAME MODE actually disables many processing features to speed up response time, you need to check to make sure any 120Hz set you want does allow the 120Hz to kick in even in GAME MODE (otherwise, the benefit is questionable).
For using this as a monitor, just be sure to use the HDMI port in the back and label your connection as either PC (if your video card is HDMI out) or PC DVI (if your video card is DVI out). This is not just a naming thing, but a real configuration that turns the TV into a monitor.
The Samsung LN32D550 really improves the comfort level and pleasure of using my desktop computer for photo editing, writing, researching, and playing.
What could be improved? The included eManual is clunky and should be improved a lot or dropped (c'mon, we can download one). I'd like a little sturdier feel to the power jack in the back. The carton it shipped in should be beefed up. Finally, I think the clear area of the bezel extends a tad much beyond the main frame.
Winding it up, I think this is pretty much a game changer for the TV and monitor markets. Why should we pay very close to what this costs for a display that only serves as one or the other?
One last thing: Thanks to all the Amazon reviewers and others around the Web who make it possible to zero in on quality and performance in the ocean of choices!
on April 5, 2011
I have purchased this TV for $629 at Wallmart, so I did not have high expectation, though I did chose Samsung, because I generally like their displays.
I am really impressed by the quality of this product. Everything is great. There are lots of options to tweak, the colors are amazing, the sound is very, very good for this quite thin TV, there are lots of input (4 hdmi, 2 USB, 2 components, etc...), have nice energy saving options, and even 480i looks much nicer than on other LCDs I have tested. I honestly did not expect this for $629.
The only possible issues are:
1) The black becomes dark blue if viewed from the angle. This is common problem for LCDs, and I think that as LCD TV goes, it is very minor effect (it is very even dark blue background, noticeable when you view TV at around 30 degree of axis), but some other TVs (like plasma or projection TVs) do not have it by design.
2) While piano black design is very nice to look at, if you have source of light behind you, you will see some reflection from the edge of the screen, which may be a bit destructing. True, though, if you watch TV, you should not have sources of light behind you anyway, still, this may be a small factor on your choice of the TV.
3) This is 60Hz model, so, for fast moving images this is not the best TV (consider 120Hz ones, but it costs $$)
That's it! The negatives did not cost a star, so 5 stars for TV this price.
The rest are all positives! Samsung really does it quite well with this TV.
on September 29, 2011
Based on all of the glowing reviews, I did not imagine that I would have any complaints about the tv. To be fair, I have not used all of the features; however my primary use is to watch tv (i.e. not use it as a monitor or for gaming as others mentioned).
Pros: really clear picture, vibrant colors, and super easy to set up. It also has extra features like sleep timer, the ability to program the tv on and off, and the screen automatically dims to adjust to the lighting of the room (e.g., if you are watching tv in an unlit room, the picture darkens so that it's not glaringly bright). I also like the idea that if I want to use it for other purposes besides tv watching, there are a lot unexplored options that other reviewers discussed.
Cons: the speakers are located in the back so the sound comes across as somewhat "tinny", even after changing the settings for my personal preferences. I have considered the possibility that the "tinniness" may have to do with where it is located (in an alcove); however I feel it's more about the tv's design and the speaker placement since I haven't experienced this problem before with other tvs. I haven't run the sound through an external speaker system yet so I am hoping that will alleviate this issue.
My biggest complaint that was not mentioned in any of the reviews was the issue of closed captioning. [Updated information as of 11/5/11: Originally I thought the closed captioning did not work at all with the tv. So it made no sense that there was a cc button on the remote because the message always said it was "not available" when you pushed the button (and this wasn't because the tv program did not broadcast in cc). However, I discovered that if you don't have a cable box and the tv is connected directly to the cable line, then you can use the option of closed captioning through the tv. But if the tv is connected to a cable box via component or HDMI, then the only way to access cc is to go through your cable box and enable and disable it that way]. It's a minor process to do it but inconvenient. Once you enable it through the cable box, cc always remains on whether the tv is on mute or has sound. There is no cc on mute only.
And speaking of mute, when you do mute the tv, the mute icon remains on the tv screen. It also travels up and down the left side of the screen which becomes distracting after a while. Unfortunately there is no way to change that either.
Bottom line: If you aren't particular about sound quality and don't care about closed captioning and mute, then you will probably be satisfied overall.