Samsung 32R81B Review ~ Pinoy Reviews

Bringing Filipinos news, reviews, and resources about the rest of the world.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Samsung 32R81B Review

I’ve been wanting to get a new LCD TV for some time now and I’ve finally had enough money to get one last month. I’ve purchased the Samsung 32R81B. I would have gotten the 37 inch except that I didn’t have that much money. Also, it was a toss up between this and the Toshiba 32C3500 but upon comparison, I think that the Samsung 32R81B has a better picture quality.


Here’s a run down of the Samsung 32R81B’s important specifications and what I think about it.

  1. 32 inch display. I have to say that 32 inch is really not enough, however since our living room is cramped and it is larger than our old 29 inch CRT TV, the 32 inch size will do.
  2. 8000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio. This is one of the specifications of the Samsung 32R81B which I considered most important. The Toshiba 32C3500 only has below 1000 contrast ratio. The high contrast ratio of the Samsung 32R81B allows this LCD TV to produce great video quality and allows you to view white colors as white and black colors in its blackest state.
  3. 178/178 Viewing Angle. The viewing angle on an LCD TV allows you to watch from all sides. I can’t really say much more in this category because most of the times, I’m not wearing my glasses inside the house so I don’t know if there’s picture distortion when I view the Samsung 32R81B from other angles instead of dead center.
  4. Audio. The Samsung 32R81B has an SRS TruSurround XT and stereo output. I must admit, because of the sleek piano black finish of this TV, I thought there were no speakers and the audio output would not be good. I was surprised that it produces a loud and clear audio output even without a home theater system.
  5. Picture in Picture. The Samsung 32R81B has a picture in picture feature. The picture in picture allows you to watch two different sources at the same time. Please take note of “sources” because you won’t be able to watch two different channels like some picture in picture feature of other TVs but it does allow you to watch TV and at the same time a DVD.
  6. Input and Output. The Samsung 32R81B has many different input sources. It has 3 HDMI input, S-Video, PC input, 2 component inputs, 2 composite inputs, headphones, and an RF input. I was surprised that the Samsung 32R1B has a great PC input. I was expecting grainy output or a distorted picture but when I plugged my notebook running on Vista, it was like having a 32 inch notebook screen. Everything was readable and I was even able to play a downloaded high definition video which looks AWESOME!


The HDMI input of the Samsung 32R81B is only version 1.2 and the latest version in the market is 1.3. The difference in HDMI version means there’s a difference in picture quality because some say that HDMI version 1.3 produces more high quality videos. Also, the Samsung 32R81B can only output up to 1080i videos. It is not yet 1080p capable so if you have a 1080p source like a Blu-ray player or PS3, you can only output the picture up to 1080i otherwise, if it is a 1080p source, the TV will just go black. I was also bummed that the picture in picture feature can only work with two different sources. I also hate the fact that even though the Samsung 32R81B has an auto channel scanning, it doesn’t scan the channel according to the channels of your cable company. You have to manually arrange the channels so it’s a good thing that the appliance store I bought the TV from had their guys do this for me or I would have just stick with what the TV scanned.


All in all, I was happy with my Samsung 32R81B, it’s a good choice for those looking for a budget 32 inch HDTV.