What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sun, 20 Sep 2009, 9:00am

Toshiba 32RV635

Tested at £480
80100
4

'Above average’ must count as a victory given the strength of rivals, and the Toshiba’s got enough going for it to make it worthy of consideration

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For

  • Fine spec at the price
  • decent TV tuners
  • good facility with motion
  • sounds as well-realised as the best of its rivals

Against

  • Soft-ish Blu-ray images
  • warm-ish colour balance

Toshiba, once an LCD TV front-runner overhauled by a chasing pack, was getting along quite nicely for a while thanks to the brilliantly simple strategy of making its screens as affordable as possible – until other manufacturers began responding with inexpensive sets of their own.

But if the 32RV635 is anything to go by, Toshiba might just be ready to come on strong again.
 
Here's a screen at the bottom end of our 32in TV price-range with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, all the inputs any reasonable customer will require and a blandly handsome chassis to contain them all.

It's well made and properly finished and benefits from comprehensive, simple-to-navigate on-screen menus.

Good performer at a great price
It's a very agreeable performer, too. TV reception, though occasionally a little blocky and spiky, is less coarse and crude than quite a few rivals, and its warmish colour balance doesn't detract from the proficiency of its skin-textures or clean white tones.

It handles motion well enough, and even has a passable stab at detailing very dark scenes.

Watch our vidcast about this TV

The slightly overheated colour palette is also in evidence when the screen's upscaling DVD pictures but, again, that's ultimately of less significance than the low picture noise, efficiently drawn edges and convincing depth of field the Toshiba serves up.

The finest of fine details may elude it, but in the context of the price and its obvious rivals it's an assured set.

Blu-ray pictures, in this instance 3:10 to Yuma, have a slightly different emphasis. The toasty colour balance simmers down to something more neutral, and skintones look authentic.

Clean and controlled contrasts
Black scenes are certainly dark enough, with some detail to be discerned, and even glowering contrasts stay clean and controlled.

Motion is followed tidily, and edge definition is smooth, but there's no doubt that the overriding signature is slightly soft.

Sound, unexpectedly, is quite dynamic. That may sound like faint praise, but ‘quite dynamic' is as good as it ever gets for flatscreen TVs.

It's as thin as a homeless whippet, of course, but that's all too common.

This set isn't about to set the sector on fire but it's a solidly capable device – if you can find it with a few quid knocked off online, it could be ideal.

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