Samsung UN32EH5000 32-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV (Black)CUSTOMER REVIEW
***UPDATE 2014 - July 17th ***
-Added updated panel identification information in the review and at the bottom. Credit to review comment from Dawn B. Roy.
-Added brief subjective experience.
-Listing of which panels to expect depending on the model/series (still, check your box, or the back of your TV as described below) - also credit to D.B.R.
Short version: A “TV” is a container for its panel, with some additional features (such as speakers). Buying a TV with a different panel, even if it’s the “same TV,” is buying a different TV. Samsung seems to think we don’t care - and many consumers may not. Most buyers may compare their new TV to an old one that isn’t even full HD or to a typical* computer monitor, so any panel will look great, even if it costs more than it should due to (arguably) deceptive practices. In my experience, my TV seems to have the deficits listed for its panel - subpar viewing angles, especially with dark colors.
*TN panel or a CRT, as opposed to IPS or anything with better viewing angles, color, etc.
Many of these TVs don’t have a Samsung panel (the screen/the part that has/makes the image!)! I cannot believe this has not been mentioned. It makes a SUBSTANTIAL difference, because some panels they use should be in TV’s that cost $100 less.
Can you imagine buying a car because you know its manufacturer uses great, reliable engines, only to find out that they use completely different engines without telling you, all of which are of lower quality? Samsung does this with their TVs, and some of them don’t EVER have Samsung panels (e.g., the 37” model will NEVER have a Samsung panel because they don’t make 37” panels). Samsung uses 4 different panel types from four different manufacturers - each with a substantially different technology.
You can tell which panel YOUR TV has by the “Version” on the sticker outside of the box. There’s also a sticker on the back of the TV; the “Version” code is below the Model number and above the S/N. BTW, reviews can’t be interpreted without the four-digit Version code because they are quite simply different TV’s. Here’s how to interpret them:
(“x” means a number, probably from 1-4, that represents the version of that panel - higher means newer but not always better).
TH0x or TS0x: Samsung S-PVA panel (possibly just a PVA, if you’re less lucky): This is what you thought you were buying. Best color, best black, best viewing angles.
HS0x: Sharp ASV panel: Lower contrast ratio, more narrow viewing angle. I read HS02 in particular has terrible ghosting.
A_0X: AOU A-MVA panel: Even lower contrast ratio.
CH0x or CM0x or CS0x: Chimea S-MVA panel: You lost the lottery. Markedly worse in every way - way worse viewing angle, color reproduction, etc. Just a terrible rip-off.
UPDATED 2014 July 17th: Quoting Dawn B. Roy, “Just remember A or M = AU Optronics, T, U, or W = Samsung, and H = Sharp. ” I have not followed the comment thread (my apologies), and do not know if the stopped using Chimea panels.
Mine, from Amazon, is an HS03, so a Sharp panel. I will be testing it tomorrow (DVD and watching football - no Blu-ray). There is a decent chance I return it, because it is not a Samsung. Also? Sony and Panasonic do much less “panel lottery” and are vowing to stop entirely. LG does not do a panel lottery. Samsung has absolutely no plans to stop, and they only use “standards” that won’t reveal a difference between the different panels.
I will update after doing more testing. I just simply could not believe that this was not mentioned. Nothing like finding out you paid $500 (40” model) for a $400 TV when that extra $100 could have been used for sound, Blu-Ray, etc.
**Other reviewers, please, update your reviews to give your version code!**
UPDATED 10/24/12: Added info on how to find version number without the box.
UPDATED 7/17/14: A listing of which TV models carry which panels, again quoting the very-helpful Dawn B. Roy:
"Here are the panel codes per Samsung own part site: H7150: 46=TS01, 55= TS01, 60= HH01, 65=TH01, 75=TS01. H6400: 40=unknown, 48=TS01, 50=AS01, 55=TS01,US02, 60=HD01, 65=MD01. H6350: 32=TS01, 40=TS01, 48=TS01, 50AH01, 55=TH01,UH02, 60=HS01, 65=AH01, 75=TH01. H5500: 32=TS01, 40=TS01, 48=TS01, 50=WH01.
Hopes this helps prospective buyers. One change from last year is that other then the 60” Sharp, only Samsung panels are being placed in the H7150 line. Also curios is the 5500 series that has all Samsung panels. It makes sense that I heard David K say that the 5 and 8 series were very solid but the middle lines were a mixed bag. ”