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Samsung LN32C550 LCD HDTV Review

32 in.

Overall, the Samsung LN32C550 is a mediocre TV.

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Viewing Effects

Viewing Effects Summary
Editorial Note: This is a review of the Samsung LN32C550. Test results are for this model, but should indicate the general performance of other sizes in the C550 series. The C550 series includes the following models: LN32C550, LN37C550, LN40C550 and LN46C550.  Read here for more details on series differences.
{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN32C550-vanity.jpg']}} • Terrible viewing angle • Lots of video processing features • Testing done using DisplayMate Software
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Motion Page 6 of 18 Calibration {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

 

Formats*(10.0)*


The Samsung LN32C550 is a native 1080p display, but has no trouble processing all the other NTSC formats. 

 

Viewing Angle*(3.40)*


The viewing angle on the Samsung LN32C550 was bad, no two ways about it. The screen lost a significant portion of the contrast ratio at only 14 degrees from center in either direction (28 degrees in total). Even for an LCD display, known for narrow viewing angles, it was a weak performance. For reasons unknown, the cheaper Samsung LN32350 produced a much better viewing angle. Hence, cheaper is not always worse. (More on how we test Viewing Angle.)

Viewing Angle
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Compare the Samsung LN32C550 to other HDTVs
{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN32C350-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['LG-32LD350-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-32BX300-vanity.jpg']}}
Samsung LN32C350 32 inches LG 32LD350 32 inches Sony KDL-32BX300 32 inches

 

Reflectance*(5.5)*


The Samsung LN32C550 did not try very hard to stave off reflections. More expensive LCD screens frequently have some sort of light diffusion or refraction that minimizes light annoyance unless it's hitting the screen dead-on. The Samsung LN32C550, along with cheaper LCDs and most plasmas, produces a soft, wide glow when hit with oncoming light. ( More on how we test Reflectance.)

 

Video Processing*(6.0)*


The Samsung LN32C550 has a number of video processing features, which we've detailed in the charts below.

Setting Claimed Function Our Impression
Black Tone Enhances the picture depth by adjusting the black level density. Four settings: Off, Dark, Darker, and Darkest. That pretty much explains itself, yes?
Dynamic Contrast Automatically controls the contrast level to avoid excessive level differences while maintaining the optimal picture quality. Boosts contrast dynamically, and frequently, as the shots change, which can be distracting.  
Shadow Detail Adjusts the dark level of the screen. Minor increase in darkness or brightness of shadows. 
Gamma Adjusts the middle level of luminance. From -3 to +3, this gives you more detail in the shadows of highlights. You pick. 
Color Space Selects an available color space. Choose between Auto and Native
White Balance Adjusts the red, green, and blue brightness so that the brightest point of the picture becomes white. Lots of parameters here to give you the level of control you may or may not want.
Flesh Tone Adjusts the flesh tone to be more or less red. Like it says 
Edge Enhancement Sharpens the edge detail. Pushes the contrast along edges
Digital Noise Filter Reduces the noise of the picture to avoid distracting flickering. Slight reduction in mosquito noise
MPEG Noise Filter Reduces MPEG noise in the picture. Slight reduction in noise
Film Mode Optimizes the image quality for video or film-based programs. Only affects native 24fps video.

 

Other Models in the C550 Series
This is a review of the Samsung LN32C550. The other sizes of HDTVs in this series should be similar in terms of performance and usability. For details about any differences, click on the image to jump to the Series Comparison page.
{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN32C550-120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Samsung-LN37C550-120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Samsung-LN40C550-120.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Samsung-LN46C550-120.jpg']}}
Samsung LN32C550 32 inches

Samsung LN37C550

37 inches

Samsung LN40C550

40 inches

Samsung LN46C550

47 inches

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Multimedia & Internet
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Vs Samsung LN32C350
  14. Vs LG 32LD350
  15. Vs Sony KDL 32BX300
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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