Everyone likes shiny technology; from rumors about the newest iPhone to reviews of the hottest TVs, it's your passion for the latest gadgets and gizmos that keeps this site running. But aspirations and practicalities are rarely the same thing, and so while we may be waiting with bated breath for the first OLEDs to arrive, we know that not many people will actually buy them. In reality, most people will be buying 32-inch televisions -- it's still the most popular size in North America. But if you're researching 32-inch TVs, you still want to know what to get, right?
The Samsung UN32EH4000F is a fine example of a no-frills television that gets the basics right. It has the best picture of the models we tested, and doesn't bother with frivolities like Smart TV. If you want online content, then stumping up for a $100 Apple TV is the best way to go. The EH4000 also bettered its rivals in terms of design -- it has a superslim bezel for a 32-inch TV -- and it comes with a backlit remote, which the others we compared it with didn't have.
If you want more features or better picture quality, you'll have to pay a lot more, which makes this Samsung the 32-incher I'd recommend.
Series information: I performed a hands-on evaluation of the Samsung UN32EH4000F, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
If you're looking to fill a space in your living room, you don't want a gaudy TV uglifying things up; and compared with its peers the EH4000 is actually attractive. It features a slim bezel all around in a tasteful piano black, and while it doesn't have a swivel stand, the set is so light that it's just as easy to physically move anyway.
The remote control is the most fully featured of its kind, but usability is an issue. The remote is basically the same as its more expensive brethren, but shrunken, so all of the gaps are removed. Ergonomically, this makes changing channels and menu options by feel quite hard. Thankfully, the remote is backlit so you can see what you're doing in the dark.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||Full-array|
|Smart TV||No||Internet connection||No|
|3D technology||No||3D glasses included||No|
|Refresh rate(s)||60Hz||Dejudder (smooth) processing||Yes|
|Other: 1,366x768-pixel (720p) resolution; compatible with 1080i and 1080p sources|
As the Samusng EH4000 costs the same as buying a couple of peripherals for the company's flagship sets, you can't expect much in the way of features. Like the other 32-inchers we tested, the Samsung has a 720p (1,366x768-pixel) resolution, but it will accept a 1080p signal. At this screen size, you won't notice the lower resolution unless you practically touch your nose to the TV.
Also worth noting is the full-array LED backlight, as opposed to the fluorescent variety still found on most budget competitors. LED alone doesn't mean better picture quality, but it does help the EH4000 stay slim. There's has no dimming or other fancy tricks but it does include the company's Clear Motion Rate 60 processing for some smoothing.
While we don't usually mention this about more expensive TVs, as they usually include a wider range of streaming options, the Samsung does include some media playback functionality as we'll detail shortly.
The Samsung offers some advanced controls for such an inexpensive TV, including a two-point grayscale. Despite its lack of a Color Management System, I was able to eke quite a good picture out of this television.
The Samsung lacks Internet connectivity but does offer movie, music and photo playback through the single USB port. Other connections include two HDMI ports (one each of component and composite) and a digital audio-out for external audio from the onboard tuner. Interestingly for a small TV it lacks an analog PC input, which perhaps excludes it from use as a monitor for some people, though there is always the option of using an HDMI port.