Customer Review

460 of 490 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent picture AND sound, software needs some improvement, April 11, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung UN32F5500 32-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim Smart LED HDTV (2013 Model) (Electronics)
NOTE: Scroll to bottom of review to read 2014 updates -- I am returning this TV.

This TV was released in February as Samsung's "budget" 32-inch As of this writing it's going for around $475, so about $200 more than the budget Smart TV's from Vizio. First my review of the TV, then I'll compare it to Vizio's product VIZIO E320i-A0 32-inch 720p 60Hz LED Smart HDTV, which I have also purchased and decided to return in favor of this unit. As you would expect, the TV has a great picture. Smooth, no pixelation, even sports look great on here. It's advertised as a 60hz -- but then the box refers to "120 Tru Motion" so I'm not sure what to make of that, but suffice it to say that refresh rates are good. The remote control is decent - lights up at night and has good sized buttons, but I'd like dedicated buttons for Netflix and Amazon VOD. This TV begins to blur the line between TV and computer... the internet browser is competent, but pretty frustrating to use without a keyboard. You can hook up a USB keyboard through the TV's slot. This TV does NOT accommodate bluetooth keyboards, so wireless is out of the picture. I believe the next model up of Samsung (the 6000 series) accommodates Bluetooth as that is referenced in the manual. The "Smart Apps" section reveals many apps (Pandora, Picasa, etc) that you would find on your Smartphone. Due to the dual core of the TV's processor, apps load quickly and the TV starts immediately. As for the sound, it's really decent to good. You're not ever going to get good base etc without an external sound source on any HDTV... but this provides a good viewing experience. Figuring out the DLNA networking (to watch videos and pictures stored on my computer) was unnecessarily complex (very simple on the Vizio). The TV couldn't "see" other devices on the home network until I clicked "Play to" on the computer in the right click context menu and selected the Samsung. The Samsung asked for permission to link to the computer and then I was able to browse. I'm sure this will be fixed in a future software update. By the way, Netflix, Amazon, every app I have tried works great.

I think the software on these "smart TV's" is still overly complex to navigate... At some point a company like Apple is going to figure this out and make a truly seamless intuitive experience. For example, to get to my media on my computer, I have to click "smart apps" then scroll to video, click that, then select a source, then start scrolling through files on the computer. There has to be a better way. Having said that, it's not terrible, and the dual core makes for gorgeous animated menus and really nice response time.

Comparing it to the Vizio... if you are thinking "Should I spend the $200 more for the Samsung?" here's why I ended up returning the Vizio in comparison to this unit. First off the positives: The Vizio had a gorgeous picture also, comparable to the Samsung. So it's a draw between the devices. But in every other aspect, Samsung wins. Setup on the Samsung was a breeze -- it scanned all of my Comcast digital channels WITHOUT a converter box, and then automatically subtracted out the scrambled channels. Vizio couldn't/didn't do this. Samsung also has an interactive/nice guide much like the guide you'd see on digital TV/satellite... grid format that tells you what's on all the channels. Vizio didn't have that. The Vizio TV took 5-9 seconds to start. That's a long time when you're trying to catch the end of a show. Samsung starts up instantaneously. The Vizio had TERRIBLE sound -- everyone sounded like they had a lisp when watching TV... the Samsung has a million sound options including even an equalizer. Great sound. There are many more apps on Samsung's unit, and there's also the Samsung version of video on demand where you can download and watch movies. Vizio has placed a button for this on their remote control but it is still a "coming attraction."

If all you care about is a nice picture, get the Vizio. But if you care about sound and the internet apps, as well as platform stability, get the Samsung. They are both energy efficient - the Samsung is $6/year according to the Energy Wise label on the set and the Vizio is $8.

This TV actually begins to blue the line between TV, computer and tablet. You can attach a keyboard. You can also attach a webcam and have Skype video calls. There's also a social app integration that I don't plan to use where you can link everything to Facebook and other social sites, sharing comments on TV shows etc with your friends. Not my style but some might like that. As I use more of the functions on this TV I will update this review, but for now, hope this helps!

UPDATE January 2014: So less than a year later and I'm having some pretty significant trouble with this TV. I've spent four hours on multiple phone calls with Samsung to resolve, but they have been unable to. In short, they released a firmware update last week which made the Netflix app not work... and nothing (factory reset, having them take over the TV from remote somewhere in Japan) will get this working yet. A fix is always "24 hours away" but the deadline comes and goes with no fix. AT this point the new 2014 models should be coming out and perhaps their software will be more stable but this TV has really been a disappointment. One other issue -when you are viewing videos / movies via DLNA streaming you cannot fast forward or rewind, and there is no resume function if you watch half the movie and turn the TV off (or have a power failure) you have to start watching the movie over! I'm not sure it's fair to change my star review on this TV at this time -- I will think about it and see if Samsung is finally able to get this TV working, but I have to say this whole experience has soured me on the Samsung brand.

UPDATE February 2014: After trying and trying with Samsung, it appears they are unable to fix their firmware update. The TV displays a "no new firmware" when you check for updates and Netflix is still broken. Basically, Samsung has great hardware but terrible software, and in the era of Smart TV's you have to have both. Fortunately Amazon stood behind Samsung and is taking this piece of junk back, but I have to go through the hassle of taking it off the wall, boxing it, and then installing a new one (I'm ordering the new Vizio's that are coming out in a few weeks). I don't want to sound like a bitter person ("I'm never buying Samsung again!!!") but I have to admit this experience has soured me on the brand. Their customer support and their software development is just terrible. I'm downgrading this to two stars as the picture/sound are indeed good on this TV but the SMART features... not so smart!!
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 7, 2013 10:50:38 AM PDT
D. Applegate says:

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 12:16:16 PM PDT
i am planning on using it only for PC monitor by connecting it to my asus laptop. have you tried that? if so, how did it work out?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2013 1:08:39 PM PDT
Goldengate says:
Sorry, Homer, I haven't tried that... it's mounted to the wall and I just use it for TV. If I had the proper cable and port on my laptop I'd try it for you but alas, I do not. sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2013 1:11:44 PM PDT
no problem. thanks for the reply.

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 5:52:42 PM PDT
dsw1204 says:
Just curious, your review for the Samsung UN32F5500 32-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim Smart LED HDTV is listed under the Samsung UN40F5500 40-Inch 1080p 60Hz Slim Smart LED HDTV listing. Why did you do this?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2013 7:13:04 AM PDT
Goldengate says:
Actually, Amazon has this product set up that way. As of this minute there are 83 reviews if you select the "32" button and still 83 reviews if you select the "40 inch" button. You might want to email Amazon if this concerns you. I guess they assume that the features / performance is the same across the model. I cannot believe how this model has declined in price since I bought it just months ago... WOW

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2013 9:55:19 AM PDT
dsw1204 says:
My bad. I see what you are saying. It make sense. I, today, purchased the 40" set. I am excited to get it since this will be my first flat panel tv.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2013 10:17:44 AM PDT
Goldengate says:
I think you will like it. The picture and sound are great. I still wish there were a Netflix button on the remote. And sometimes Netflix doesn't launch right away when you turn on the TV - it goes back to live TV and you have to try again. But overall I'm still happy with this set.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2013 7:35:41 PM PDT
dsw1204 says:
I am pretty sure I will like it, also. I almost purchased a 40" Vizio M series set from Sams Club and almost purchased an LG 47" set a guy on Craigslist (which was still sealed in the box), but both screens were very glossy and I could see reflections pretty badly with them. Not so with the Samsung screen (or should I say not nearly as much). I can't wait to get it.

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 2:46:23 PM PDT
Very good review sir!
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