It’s been a while since we have had a good look at a budget TV, so we were pleased when we got our hands on Samsung’s UE37D5000 LED TV which you can pick up from a very reasonable £460.
The Samsung D5000 range of TV sets are available in a variety of sizes, starting with the smallest 22″ model (available from just over £200) and growing to 46″ (prices start at around the £650 mark).
All models come packing 1080p HD and Samsung’s HyperReal Engine and Freview – although not Freeview HD. We grabbed the 37-inch D5000 Samsung to see how it performed…..
It might come at a budget price, but the Samsung UE37D5000 certainly doesn’t look it. It’s a slim, well-weighted, feels sturdy and is an extremely attractive little set finished with a smart, thin black bezel and clear glass from edge to edge – lovely stuff.
Around the back you’ll find connections for VGA, RGB Scart, Ethernet and the RF input, and there are further slots on the left hand-side of the set, which include four HDMI inputs, two USB ports, a digital optical out and component sockets.
The D5000 range also come equipped with quite a large remote – which bucks against the trend of remote control miniaturisation that seems so prevalent with manufacturers – with nice, chunky buttons that are perfect for those with a larger set of hands.
Once you’ve plugged in your Samsung UE37D5000 and switched it on, you’ll need to have a play around through the menus so it is set up to your own personal tastes.
This can often be a pain to do, but the menus and management tools of the UE37D5000 are excellent, with an intuitive feel to them and some clean, well-designed graphics and icons that provide clear instruction.
As with all modern TVs, the Samsung UE37D5000 comes equipped with an Electronic Program Guide – and it’s a good one. The D5000′s EPG is easy to use and quick to navigate around, with nice, big text meaning you won’t have to squint every time you want to see what’s on after Corrie.
Other features include support for playing various media formats, including DivX, Xvid, AVI, MP3 and JPEG – however, don’t expect file support to run too deep; this is a budget set, after all and Samsung have had to cut corners somewhere.
That budget has also been trimmed by the non-inclusion of access to Samsung’s Smart TV Internet platform, which means no widgets for Facebook or the BBC iPlayer. This is quite an unusual step for a contemporary TV and you will find most other budget TVs will have Internet access of some kind – it’s almost a requirement.
However, Samsung seem to think otherwise with the D5000 range and if I’m honest, after looking at the picture quality (which we’ll go into next), they could just about get away with it.
Picture quality on the UE37D5000 is exceptional, considering the price. There is no hint of the usual image quality issues that are so often found on budget sets, such as unrealistic colours, muddied definition and ridiculou-looking skin-towns.
The UE37D5000 performs weel in both HD and SD, with upscaling adding a good amount more clarity to DVD and the built-in Freeview. Once you are plugged into an HD source, however, the set really comes to life.
Pictures are clear, crisp and have realistic colours throughout, while blacks are deep and well-defined. Movement is also excellent, with the 100Hz processing responsible for trail-less sports viewing.
However, audio quality doesn’t quite fare so well. As with many TV sets of its size, the Samsung UE37D5000 just can’t push out sounds and audio in an impressive manner, with the bass sounding flat and the mid-ranges a little watery.
Having said this, the UE37D5000 reproduces speech rather well and manages to push back those noises that could muffle dialogue – but if you want to hear the full excitement of Hollywood explosions and gunfire, we would recommend grabbing a home cinema system to use alongside your TV.
For the money, there really isn’t much on the new TV market to rival the Samsung UE37D5000. It lacks in audio quality and we were disappointed not to have Freeview HD or Internet access, but for a nice-looking set with great picture quality that gives you a fantastic bang for your buck, we thoroughly recommend having a closer look.