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Operating Samsung LE32R87BDX

by Colin Tang
7 May 2007

The menu system in the LE32R87BDX is typical of the 8th series from Samsung. Here, the notable difference is the exclusion of xvYCC colour space from the detailed settings submenu. The key benefit over previous Samsung's implementation is the diverse range of picture adjustments under user control and optional DNIe feature.

Picture Menu
Picture Menu 2
Picture Menu 2
Picture Menu 3
Picture Menu 3

Samsung's extensive menu options are fully exposed under the Movie mode option. Dynamic and Standard mode give varying levels of adjustments, especially on core features of the DNIe engine.

Warm 2 is the closest temperature setting to D65 standard. You have a handy backlight option to tweak the overall brightness of the panel. Absolutely essential to bring out the best blacks in your panel. Screen mode hides the Just Scan option which only works on HDMI and on 720p and 1080i material only. Movie Plus feature is the combined frame interpolation and 3:2 reverse pulldown feature of the Samsung LE32R87BDXBuy this for £398.99 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £21.00 discount
.

Under detailed settings you have the `pro' adjust menu that controls the gamma and colour aspects of the TV. The white balance option opens up the welcomed greyscale adjustments to fine tune your colour temperature (not that it needed a lot anyway). Together with the backlight, the gamma feature allow some lattitude in viewing under different ambient lighting to achieve your best picture. My Color Control is a very subtle saturation and/or hue modifier that is difficult to detect and measure with standard test patterns. On normal programmes, [Pink] generally affects skin and red tones, [Green] on foliage appearance and [Blue] with skies. [White] appears to affect the colour temperature of the greyscale. The Colour Space feature is divided into Auto and Wide choice.

Seeint 1
Setting Menu 1
Setting 2
Setting Menu 2

The general setting menu allows minor tweaks that can affect performance. For example, for console gaming, the `game mode' probably disables most picture processing to improve input lag. Under PC mode, you can adjust picture position (but not stretch) and clock response with VGA connection. Energy Saving gives another layer of control over backlight brightness. HDMI Black level seems to affect the dynamic range and overall gamma of the picture. The PIP controls are also located here.

Misc
Misc. Menu

You can rename the source inputs under this menu. AnyNet+ is Samsung's take on HDMI-CEC protocol. It allows universal control of AV components connected via HDMI from a single remote.

EPG
EPG

You can check out the EPG strengths in Vincent' M86 review. It's a step in the right direction and certainly trailblazing the way for other manufacturers.

PIP
You can surf us and watch Tom at the same time!

The PIP settings is not as intuitive as it should be, but I was still impressed by the range of adjustments possible. You can manouevre the size and position of the PIP screen quite freely. PIP combos are shown in the table below.

PIP combo... Source: LE32R87BD manual

Remote 1   Remote 2
More of the same...(hover to enlarge)
 
So aerodynamic... it can fly...

Samsung ships out the same `stock' remote control with their TV, but that is no way a bad thing. It's one of our favourite remotes as far as remotes with rubber-button feedback is concerned. The sexy contour at the remote's back feels right and comfortable in my hands. Buttons are suitable large and the more important ones are marked for easy recognition. The aspect control on the remote [Size] allows switching between Auto zoom, 16:9, Wide zoom, Zoom and 4:3 frames. The remote response is a little sluggish but it shouldn't be enough to derail you from exploring the submenus.

One minor gripe with the Samsung LE32R87BDXBuy this for £398.99 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £21.00 discount
is the lack of audio-visual indicators to tell you when you've switched the TV on from standby mode. Pressing the red button just creates a flicker on the red LED, so you're never sure if you need to hit the button again. The TV also takes an uncomfortably long time to power up from standby which adds to the above problem. It's a small issue, but it's something you should be aware of.

Samsung has one of the quietest operation around, which is no small achievement. It's one of those understated qualities you don't really appreciate until something goes wrong. Something like this can make or break a TV, so kudos to Samsung for keeping an eye (or ear) on this.


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