Not perfect, but the Toshiba is an elegant set representing fine value for money
good stability and detail to images
Noisy Freeview picture
ruddy colour balance
sound lacks clarity
Toshiba has a fine tradition of producing good-value flatscreen TVs and the 42XV505D is a prime example.It's well-equipped and stylish in a cool, understated way.
The set offers Full HD resolution, 24fps support and three HDMI inputs (two on the rear panel and one on the side). These features are to be expected on a TV of this size, but it's good to see you don't lose anything just because the Toshiba is the cheapest set here.
The '505D takes quite a bit of fine-tuning, but the clear, concise menus and accompanying remote control don't make this a long and laborious process.
Freeview signals provide a stern test and the Toshiba's 1920x1080 resolution means it has to do a lot of scaling. Compared with some rivals, you can see more noise, and the images aren't quite as stable as the very best at this size.
Switch over to Blu-ray and DVD playback, and the results are better. For the money, the Toshiba shows good detail and remains relatively calm during tricky action and panning scenes.
More after the break
A touch too warm?The TV's colour balance does err to the warm side, though. During Die Hard 4.0, the Toshiba gives Bruce Willis's ageing cheeks a slightly ruddier complexion than usual, but it's hardly off-putting.
Blacks levels show good richness for an LCD set, although it's certainly true that other sets on test can unearth extra layers of detail.
You're privy to a decent amount of weight from the TV's speakers, but their cloudy nature robs dialogue of clarity, so we'd recommend partnering the Toshiba with a decent surround sound ensemble.
While the 42XV505D doesn't quite possess the finesse or star quality of the class-leading sets, it certainly represents good value for money. Those on a strict budget should take a close look.