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Samsung UE40H5500 review

 Review: June 2014  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: Samsung's 40-inch Series 5 television is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a family-sized Smart TV on a budget.



 

Review

Samsung's 2014 television range delivers exceptional value for money, and the Series 5 is where bargain shoppers stretch their budget to the max. A 40 inch Smart TV for £400? The UE40H5500 does it, and it doesn't skimp on any essentials either!

Design & looks

Just because this is the bargain end of the range it doesn't mean that Samsung has skimped on design and looks. The Series 5 retains the smart looks of the Series 6 range thanks to the ultra narrow black bezel surrounding the screen. It comes with a matching rectangular stand and is very slim too. Overall it's a smart, modern-looking TV that belies its budget price.

Energy consumption is extremely low, at just 45W in normal use or 25W in energy saving mode, giving it an A+ rating.

A standard remote control is included in the sales package.

Picture quality

The H5500 delivers good picture quality for the price. It uses the same kind of LED-backlit panel as the Series 6 models, with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The screen is capable of reaching very dark blacks, enabling it to deliver a very effective dynamic range with plenty of contrast and shadow detail. Viewing angles are reasonably wide too.

The motion interpolation suffers a little from the fact that the Clear Motion Rate is just 100Hz, which can be noticeable when things start moving quickly around the screen. 

There's no 3D capability.

In Game Mode the screen is responsive with little lag, making it a good choice for Xbox/PS4 gamers.

In summary, picture quality is excellent for the price, with only the lack of refinement in motion interpolation to bother the sharp-eyed.

Audio quality

The TV is equipped with twin full-range downfiring speakers, delivering a maximum power output of 10W x 2 - typical of a mid-range TV. However, being such a slim TV there's little space to develop real body to the sound and the lack of dedicated woofers means that overall the sound can be a little hollow. If you want to improve audio quality, we'd recommend pairing the TV with some kind of external sound system - a soundbar, subwoofer or hifi system.

Smart TV

It's rare to find Smart TV on such a cheap 40 inch television, but it's here on the H5500 in its full glory. The H5500 includes all the Smart TV features of the Series 6 range, including the quadcore processor previously seen on high-end Series 7/8 TVs. This makes the system quick to respond, avoiding any frustrating lag.

As well as a 7-day electronic programme guide, you have access to a huge range of catch-up TV services via the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITV Player, the 4oD service from Channel 4, and Demand 5 from Channel 5. The TV guide even recommends programmes based on your viewing history.

You'll also find staples like Netflix, Amazon/LoveFilm, Skype, Twitter, Facebook and others. The new Games Panel offers casual gaming access to categories including racing, sports, action and family games.

Social media are fully integrated into the Smart TV system, so you can keep up with your facebook and twitter feeds and watch your friends' videos.

Connectivity

This can sometimes be the fly in the ointment in the budget TV sector. After all, what use is a shiny new TV if you can't connect it to your games console and Blu-Ray player? Fortunately that won't be a problem with the H5500. Not only does it come with built-in Wi-Fi and an ethernet connection, but there are 3 HDMI ports (one with Audio Return Channel support), 2 USB connections and a host of legacy audiovisual connectors, including SCART, digital audio out, component and composite. There's also a built-in Freeview HD tuner.

Conclusion -  a recommended bargain buy

If you're shopping for a bargain family TV, then the Samsung UE40H5500 should be on your list - probably near the top. For not a lot of money you get good picture quality, outstandingly good Smart TV and connectivity, all wrapped up in a smart, stylish design. It's hard to go wrong at this price.

If you want to spend a little more, the Samsung UE40H6200 gives you better motion control, an extra HDMI connection and even a 3D capability for just £100 more. That's a bargain too! The Sony KDL-40W605B is also definitely worth a look.


Samsung UE40H5500 features include:

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Can you record to usb or external hard drive with this tv?

Asked by mike from uk on 29th Jul 2016

Reply by Dave from UK on 20th Aug 2016
Yes.



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