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Toshiba 32XV505 review

Full HD, good looking set, that keeps a grip on motion Tested at £450

Our Verdict

The Toshiba does a lot well, but doesn’t excel in any area

For

  • Tidy looks
  • good motion tracking
  • simple to use

Against

  • Slightly unnatural colour balance from any source in any circumstances

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Toshiba does a lot well, but doesn’t excel in any area

Pros

  • + Tidy looks
  • + good motion tracking
  • + simple to use

Cons

  • - Slightly unnatural colour balance from any source in any circumstances

There have been several worthwhile price reductions on LCD television, but none as significant as on the Toshiba 32XV505. We last looked at this set in August 2008, when it would have set you back £650. No one is going to be disappointed at finding £200 lopped off the price tag.

And yet even this hefty reduction isn't enough to elevate the Toshiba out of its four-star comfort zone. The fact that all but one of its rivals have had (admittedly more modest) price cuts eats into its advantage, of course, but the simple fact is that the Toshiba 32XV505 doesn't quite have the chops of the cheaper Sony KDL-32V4000 screen, let alone be able to hit the heights of its Samsung (LE32A558) opponent.

Mixed Blu-ray performance

A quick glance at our Blu-ray of The Dark Knight wouldn't immediately alert you to the fact, though. It looks good, carrying plenty of detail even
in busy scenes, and drawing edges confidently. Contrasts are impressive too, and motion is gripped tenaciously.

Look a little closer, though, and the black levels aren't as downright black as more accomplished performers, nor do they carry the same amount
of information. There's a hint of coarseness and softness to skin-tones, and a rather ruddy colour balance no amount of tweaking of the (simple, comprehensive, but unhelpfully small) menus can eradicate.

Noticeably noisy tuners
That tendency to coarseness and softness isn't helped by a switch to DVD content, but then it seldom is.The same can be said of the XV505's onboard TV tuners, which can be noticeably noisy in extremis.

That's not to say that TV pictures are less accomplished than on, say, either of the Sony sets – but the Sonys have areas of class-leading expertise that the Toshiba can't challenge.

Take all these factors into account, add in insubstantial sound which is entirely unprepared for a big HD action set-piece, and the Toshiba's got ‘four stars' written all over it.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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