Names and numbers


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Oct 22, 2007
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Thinking about a new TV, I turned to my Guru - What Hi Fi? (Still happy with my Denon PMA-250 II amp bought 18 years ago after careful perusal of the Guru's pages!). The Samsung LE32R87BD reviewed in October 07 issue's 32" Supertest looked just the job so I started surfing looking for deals. And deals there are, but for the LE32R87BDX and the LE32R88BD etc.

What's the difference bewteen these - are they just variants, or different models, is one better than the other? What to choose? (As may be guessed from the age of my hifi, I don't venture into these waters often so forgive me if this is a perennial question.)


Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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Well, you're certainly not the first person to be confused by Samsung's model numbering policy!

Basically, the '88 numbered models are exclusive to Currys (part of the Dixons Group), while everyone else gets the '87 models. Now in theory they're supposed to be the same, but when we tested two 40in Samsung LCDs in our November issue, again with only one digit difference between them, we found considerable variations in performance and quality between the two sets.

So be warned. Our Award this year for Best Budget 32in TV went to the LE32R87BD, so that's the one you should buy. Anything else may have a similar on-paper spec, but that doesn't guarantee it will be as good.


Having just purchased both What Hi Fi Awards 2007 and What Hi Fi Digital TV Ultimate Guides, I faced exactly the same problem. I selected the Samsung LE32R87BD, but found it very hard to buy... all the on-line web-based retailers are selling the LE32R87BDX. I searched long and hard on web forums (and Samsung's own web site) to find the differences between the two, but to no avail. However, they're obviously quite different: The "X" model is both 10cm wider and significantly thinner. It seems to offer more inputs as well. Given that many more retailers are selling it, I suspect it's a more recent model. However, given the change in physical dimensions, there has obviously been some significant internal changes (which makes me nervous it might not be as good). In the end, I've taken Andy's advice and stuck to the LE32R87BD (no "X"!) model. I had to order from one of the few retailers (Hughes Direct, via Amazon.Com) that's still selling that precise model. But I didn't want to take a gamble on a model that might be worse... It seems particularly difficult and obtuse of Samsung - how about pressing them for a clarification on the differences between the two models, and publishing a clarification in the magazine, What Hi Fi? It seems like any other buyers trying to purchase the Samsung will face the same problem...


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