87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent value for money, 31 July 2011
I've had this unit a few days now. My main motivations for the purchase were:
1. I needed a 32 inch TV for a bedroom.
2. The TV brand must be recognised for quality and reliability.
3. I wanted to be able to stream movies from my home network to the TV.
4. The TV didn't need to be 1080p compliant, for the following reasons:
a. The set I intended to purchase wasn't going to be larger than 32".
b. I would be further than 3 meters (approx 9 feet) from the tv when viewing, so 1080p would be pointless.
So, satisfying number 1 was a no-brainer (the TV's 32") and, as for 2, Samsung is recognised for building quality sets that tend to be reliable (which is why many other brands use Samsung panels in their units). Furthermore, with work I tend to live in hotels a lot. Many that I've stayed in tend to have Samsung sets in their rooms, which is perhaps evidence of quality and reliability at an affordable price (something lacking robustness would soon break in a hotel environment). Even if that's a false impression on my part, I've become familiar with the interface and have found the sets (of varying models) to be user-friendly and more than satisfactory in terms of picture quality.
Regarding the streaming of movies, this brings me to an interesting point (and back to the issue of brands): after much research I was initially considering a few models by various manufacturers (LG, Toshiba, and Samsung) but a review of another Samsung model (the LE32c450) surprised me by stating that most Samsung's will play movie files directly from a USB device plugged into the TV. For me, this was an added bonus, as I wouldn't necessarily have to go to the trouble of streaming movies from my home network -- I could simply plug a drive/usb stick into the TV and watch movies that way. So, I decided to buy the le32c450 from another retailer...but they'd sold out. The LE32D450 (the tv which this review is about)was a little more pricey than the bargain price I'd spotted but, on Amazon was still a bargain, so I took the plunge.
Upon attaching the TV to the stand, I noticed what others have commented-upon: that the stand can appear flimsy and a little difficult to attach properly. Some brute strength (I don't have a cordless screwdriver) sorted this problem and, although the stand 'appears' flimsy, I don't think it is...if you have the strength (or a cordless screwdriver) to attach it properly. That said, the stand is only temporary, as I will soon be fixing the TV to a wall bracket.
When I powered the TV on (via the standard, but nothing special remote) several easy-to-follow prompts helped me set-up the TV (including automatically scanning for freeview channels). Once this was done, I viewed several of the channels and found the picture and sound to be more than satifactory (I am no expert reviewer of TVs, but I've watched enough in my time to know what, to me, qualifies as a good picture...and bad speakers annoy me -- yet no red flags were raised in that department). I've now been using the TV for a few days and have watched a variety of programmes and movies (of various file types) and neither the sound nor picture has been of concern; in fact, I've been delighted with both. Who doesn't love a bargain?
Now, onto the USB 'magic'.Up until recently, I didn't know that many Samsung TVs could play movie files directly from a USB device. In fact, if they marketed this feature more aggressively, I'm certain many people wouldn't have the need to buy media-streamers. This was the feature I was most keen to explore, so, over the past few days I've been watching films and documentaries (in order to test the tv) via a hard drive I have connected via the USB port of the TV. I've found that the TV will play the following formats: avi, mp4, mkv, TS. I've read that it plays others, but haven't had the chance (or need) to verify that yet. Regardless, it's pretty astounding, and the on-screen menu for navigating through my files (on the USB device) is nicer than the one that comes (for example) with my dedicated media streamer (a WDTV Live). I couldn't be happier. For those wishing to plug their camera into the TV to look at pictures, this feature should also allow you to view the video you've taken with the camera. You'll find that you can't do this with many TVs (as they normally only support the playback of pictures -- and in some cases music -- via the USB port).
Finally, an oddity (and I've read that this applies to most, if not all Samsung TVs): there's no 'power off' button. The TV can be put on 'standby', but you can't completely power off unless you unplug the unit from the wall. For most people this won't be a problem, and it certainly doesn't bother me. It does however, bother my significant other (who likes to completely switch off most electrical devies before going to bed). So, luckily, I found a use for a free 'Lime Energy Saving Plug' we received in the post a while ago. This device can plug into the mains and allows another device to be plugged into it (in this case the TV). When I press the button on the remote to put the tv into standby now, the 'Lime' picks-up the infra-red signal and powers the tv off at the wall.
Despite the lack of a 'power off' and the potential difficulty assembling the stand (it's only 4 screws but they were a little dificult to screw-in) I still give the TV 5 stars -- it's an absolute bargain! I hope this review hasn't bored you to tears, but I thought some of the back-story was relevant.