I bought this TV as an upgrade from the Samsung UE32H5000 32-inch Widescreen Full HDTV, believing that it was worth paying the £60 difference to have the ability to record programmes to USB, let alone the ability to connect to the internet and access 4OD; BBCi and ITV Player via Ethernet cable or wireless connectivity.
This brings me to another point. On your computer, you know whether or not you have installed antivirus software; you know what you have installed, what it does, and whether or not it is up to date. In comparison, this TV has its own firmware that can be used to scan attachments and devices in order to detect, quarantine, or block bad stuff, but no specification for the firmware is included anywhere, so you don't know exactly what it includes, what it does, or whether it is sufficiently up to date to detect and deal with current online security threats. That said, there is a TV option to switch off wireless internet connectivity, but then you have to re-enter your password via the TV to re-connect if you wish to be re-connected. Both are done by pressing the Menu button on the remote and selecting the "Network Settings" option. So, if you happen to have linked your computer to the TV wirelessly, and don't want Samsung or their partners viewing, storing collating and sharing data on what you view, switching off Wi-Fi connectivity should prevent them spying on you, unless they can still find a way via your router?
Recording to USB works a dream, as does playback. However, the TV requires you to allow it to format your USB stick to FAT32 prior to recording. It was my intention to save the recordings on a Samsung RF711 notebook computer, however, the computer insists that the USB be formatted again before it can be used. The result is that I cannot transfer the recordings to a computer (I tried with an Acer Aspire Notebook computer too and experienced the same problem) for storage or burning to a DVD. So, for me, this TV was not worth the £60 extra to upgrade from the Samsung UE32H5000, but other family members believe the extra functions to be worthwhile. It should be noted that a trustworthy HDD Recorder does cost ~>£100, if you were to buy one to attach to the TV. I guess that you could still experience the same problem when attempting to move files to your computer.
I decided to see whether I could play TS files containing Freeview programmes that I recorded on a Bauer TV and stored on a portable hard drive. The Samsung TV did not require me to format the portable hard drive (only if I wanted to record to it: which would mean, of course, that it would have to be formatted again if I wanted to use the portable hard drive with my computer)in order to display the files, but it could not play the TS files, which was another great disappointment.
I attached our FreeSat box (Make: "Manhattan") to see if we could also access FreeSat channels. The answer is yes, but you can't record them. However, you can record a Freeview channel while watching a FreeSat channel.
Minimal reflection and great picture, even when viewed at an angle. The sound is adequate, provided you turn off the SMART sound adjustment option. The sound, to me (a person free of any hearing defect), sounds a little muffled. I would say it is certainly worth buying a sound bar. Then, I believe this TV would have sound to match the quality of the HD images it displays. However, my partially deaf mother finds the sound perfect (it if far better than what she had become accustomed to previously).
There are lots of settings options specifically for football fans. I can play my PS2 and old DVDs (both NTSC & PAL formats) fine and all look very good. However, the DVD menu screens look poor quality with the images having jagged edges.
Our TV included an IR cable: one end plugs in to the rear of the TV and the other end has a IR sensor, which you place in front of a Blue Ray player, home theatre system, set top box, or X-box (PS3/4 is not listed as an option). Provided the thing you placed it in front of is of a make the TV can recognise (an on screen menu lists compatible makes), you can then control the device using your TV remote. Nothing indicates that this is of any use with an old DVD player, and our make of FreeSat box is not recognised.
Our TV came with a 12 month Samsung Guarantee, so long as you register the product within 14 days of purchase. However, we bought from JohnLewis store and they provide a free guarantee of the product for 5 years. You have the option to sign up to "The Samsung Repair Plan: £79 for 2 years or £119 for 4 years (prices are higher if you paid £300 or more for the TV).
It would have been nice to have a hard copy (printed) of the TV manual included. Instead you get an E-Manual, accessible by pressing the Menu button on the remote and selecting "Support", then E-Manual. A free PDF of the manual can be downloaded from the Samsung website too.
Oddly enough, the TV does not have a power off switch/button. Unless you unplug the TV, standby is the only alternative. Given this, I can't imagine how it got an A+ energy efficiency rating.
One final complaint is that there is a delay of about a second or more between selecting a channel and the channel appearing on the screen. Similarly, when you try to cycle down the channel menu, the guide, or some other menu, there can be an even longer delay moving between options. It would appear that the TV needs quite a bit of time to process commands, particularly if you are moving several places through a menu. This can be frustrating, as you occasionally press a directional button thinking that the TV did not receive the command the first time, only to find it did and that there was just a delay, so now you have moved beyond the selection you wanted to make.
The controller buttons are very sensitive. Numerous times I have accidentally placed a magazine on the controller or picked it up and accidentally changed channels. As there is a slight delay in the TV responding to commands, this is particularly frustrating if you are in the middle of watching a program: more so if you can't remember the number of the channel you were watching!
Playing Video Files:
With regard to supported video codecs, the Samsung UE32H5500, 32-inch TV User Manual (PDF - Newer version) - [ENG]X14DVBEUH-1.113-0626 - states "Certain files, depending on how they were encoded, may not play on the TV".
The following information is provided within the manual (the File Format is listed first, followed by the Container [in brackets, where given], followed by the Video Codec - preceded in the list by a dash):
*.avi - H.264 BP / MP / HP
*.mkv - H.264 BP / MP / HP
*.asf (AVI) - DivX 3.11 / 4 / 5 / 6
*.wmv (MKV) - DivX 3.11 / 4 / 5 / 6
*.mp4 (ASF) - MPEG4 SP/ASP
*.mov (MP4) - MPEG4 SP/ASP
*.3gp (3GP) - Window Media Video v9(VC1)
*.vro (MOV) - Window Media Video v9(VC1)
*.mpg (FLV) - MVC
*.mpeg (VRO) - MVC
*.ts (VOB) - MPEG2
*.tp (PS) - MPEG2
*.trp (TS) - MPEG1
*.mov (SVAF) - MPEG1
*.flv - Microsoft MPEG-4 v1, v2, v3
*.vob - Microsoft MPEG-4 v1, v2, v3
*.svi - H.263 Sorrenson 1280x720 MAX 30
*.m2ts - H.263 Sorrenson 1280x720 MAX 30
*.mts - Window Media Video v7(WMV1) ,v8(WMV2)
*.divx - Window Media Video v7(WMV1) ,v8(WMV2)
*webm (WebM) - VP8
This TV would not play MOV files directly from my Panasonic DMC-TZ18 camera. :(
5 Months after purchase, with the volume level set to 16, the speakers vibrate when the soundtrack on programmes includes "low" sounds, such as the low notes played on piano or cello. That is irritating and ruins my experience.