The 10 Best 32 Inch TVs
10. Soulaca Magic Mirror
- mounts on or in the wall
- ip66-rated protection
- incredibly expensive
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
9. Sceptre Home Office
- extra-wide 178-degree viewing angle
- passable as a second monitor
- no wireless connectivity
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
8. Sony W600D
- accesses major apps via wifi
- auto-upscales sub-1080p content
- dimmer than most others
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
7. LG Electronics LJ500B
- 100mm x 100mm vesa mount compatible
- controls are somewhat cumbersome
- poor quality integrated speakers
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
6. TCL S305
- user-friendly setup and navigation
- feature-rich at a low cost
- limited to 720p video
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
5. Samsung M5300
- easy and fast user interface
- wifi can be inconsistent
- limited audio connections
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
4. Samsung UH750
- capable of 1 billion shades of color
- integrated split-screen functions
- unmatched clarity and realism
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
3. Sceptre X328
- only 3 inches thick
- supports mhl mobile connections
- usb port reads external media
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
2. LG UD99-W
- hdmi and usb-c inputs
- nearly edge-to-edge viewing area
- incredible 550-nit brightness rating
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. Vizio LED
- super-smooth 120-hz refresh rate
- easy-to-use streaming functionality
- remarkably slim bezel
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
When Big Is Too Big
Nobody likes to sit in the front row of a movie theater. For starters, there's nowhere to put your feet up and no one at whom you can anonymously throw popcorn. Those are two pretty big negatives. The worst part, however, is your viewing experience. When sitting a dozen feet away from a movie screen spanning twice that in diagonal length, you'd be lucky if your eyes could even take in its entirety. Whatever you manage to see, you'd leave the theater in a neck brace.
Televisions operate within certain ideal viewing distances themselves. These distances are determined by their size classes, but they also change slightly depending on their resolutions. You'll notice that at 32 inches, none of the TVs on our list feature 4K resolution. That's because, with a 4K 32-inch television, you'd need to be closer than 4 feet away from the screen to begin to appreciate any difference in resolution compared to 1080 HD.
With that in mind, manufacturers realize that consumers won't support the cost of cramming that extra resolution into such a small space, that the resulting price would be too high to stick onto a TV that's relatively small by today's standards.
For the right room, though, 32 inches is a perfect size. Larger kitchens, dorm rooms, smaller bedrooms, or even a killer RV can greatly benefit from the introduction of one of these 32-inch units, which would likely be an upgrade in size and quality from what's presently there.
These are all LED TVs, which utilize light emitting diodes situated behind a liquid crystal display. The LEDs provide the light, while the LCD shapes that light into the image intended. The color comes from a third layer working in conjunction with the first two to organize greens, reds, and blues into a full spectrum of visible colors.
Light From Every Corner
You're likely to encounter one of three designations of LED arrangement on a television's specification sheet, all of which are artfully shrouded in vagaries. Throughout the TV market, there is very little by way of standardization in measurement. Manufacturers manipulate the numbers on everything from refresh rate to dynamic range in an attempt to make their sets seem superior to the ones on either side of them on the shelf.
Some big box retailers have even been known to take payments from certain brands in order to run superior quality feeds to that brand's TVs in the store, so even looking at them all arrayed in person can't give you a clear picture for comparison.
It's that LED arrangement, however, that's usually listed first among the specs at hand, so it's important to understand exactly what it means in terms of your entertainment experience. When you see backlit as a designation for an LED TV, that means it's got a panel of LEDs living behind the screen that light up consistently to form the scene.
Edgelit, by comparison, usually indicates one to four strips of LEDs located across one to four corresponding edges of the screen. If, for example, an edgelit LED TV had one strip of LEDs running along its bottom edge, it would be more difficult for that screen to display a bright part of an image toward the top of the screen.
Additionally, you might encounter a feature called local dimming, which is the ability for individual LEDs to reduce their brightness and give you a more dynamic picture. If a TV offers this, it's usually a good sign.
Despite the fact that most people prefer a backlit display, the 32-inch size class is small enough that a single strip of LEDs situated along just one edge of the screen could provide sufficient lighting for almost any image. Couple that with the industry's improvements in light direction technology, which mimics the local dimming of full-array backlit LED screens by funneling and redirecting light, and smaller, edgelit designs quickly seem like a viable option.
From The Lab To The Living Room
In less than a century's time, the television has become the cornerstone of practically every American household. Growing up in the 1980's, if you didn't have cable, you were considered weird. I had one friend whose parents didn't even have a TV in their house until he was twenty years old.
The phenomenon started in the early 1920's with a Scottish inventor named John Logie Baird, who pioneered both the first mechanical television and the first purely electronic color television throughout his lifetime.
At the same time in America, Charles Francis Jenkins was busy working on the wireless transmission of television images. Jenkins received a patent for his work in 1925 after successfully transmitting silhouette images of a toy windmill over a distance of five miles between a naval radio tower and his laboratory.
Once broadcast standards established themselves under expanded wings of American radio corporations, television production and ownership grew slowly but steadily. In the 1960's, ownership began its steady explosion, with rates skyrocketing all across the country.
It wouldn't be until 2011 that television ownership in the US would see any significant decline, spurred on as it was by the advent of higher resolution computer screens and more advanced television and film streaming services.