I'm one of those sad people that has to have a TV in every room (except the bathroom). The main TV viewing room in my flat is the lounge. But without a doubt, the second most important TV for me, is the kitchen telly.
I spend a fair amount of time in this room, which being a basement flat, has a window overlooking a brick wall. Not very stimulating or inspiring as may imagine. Now while I'm pottering around in the kitchen, trying to prepare ever more varied meals to tempt my family, I do like some sort of distraction from the delights of grated carrot or potato peelings. This is where the TV comes in.
My old TV, an analogue, was simply too large, Despite only being 14", it just took up too much of my precious worktop space. Thank heavens for the invention of digital TV's. Aren't they wonderful? As slim as a cigarette packet, you can push them against a wall and hey presto, a whole new area of worktop space.
So, despite my old analogue working perfectly, it was time to consign it to the pavement outside. I never need worry about it being collected by the bin men. It'll be long gone before then. We can guarantee one of the locals, who regularly scour the streets for unwanted electrical items, will rescue it. Before too long, it'll re-appear down at the local market where someone will make a small profit.
After a bit of research, I decided to go for the Toshiba 15" 4:3, LCD, Integrated Digital TV with Freeview. Pricewise, it seemed to be very competitive and its performance was highly rated.
I'm very loyal to Toshiba anyway, especially when it comes to televisions and DVD players. I've always found them to be a very trustworthy brand, with few, if any breakdowns and excellent quality.
I didn't want or need anything larger than 15" for the kitchen but I did want Freeview. This Toshiba seemed to fit the bill.
I ordered my Toshiba 15V330 online from Amazon for around £225. It arrived a day later and I couldn't wait to unpack it. It was incredibly easy to set up. I just had to follow the quick set up guide which involved plugging the aerial input into the TV set and plug in the power socket. Scrolling through the options that appeared onscreen I set it to auto tune.
Unfortunately, it wasn't plain sailing. Due to the fact that my TV aerial was the rooftop kind, I always use a set top aerial. This still doesn't provide a good reception as there's too much interference so it was impossible for me to tune into any digital Freeview channels at all.
I panicked at first that the TV wasn't working. So, to check it out, I took it into the lounge and plugged it into the rooftop mains aerial. Turned on the automatic tuner, and hey presto, it found all the Freeview channels straight away. And they were all as clear as a bell.
Now, until 2012 when they switch off analogue in London and it's fully digital, then I can't use the digital option on my TV. Instead, I usually send the picture from the lounge using my DigiSender (another review), or watch a snowy picture.
When you want to turn the TV on, you need to first press the 'power on' button on top of the TV, then press the relevant channel button on the remote control. I find the picture is clear enough for the kitchen or a bedroom, but I'm not too fussy as I'm usually pottering around doing other stuff and not glued to the screen.
Sound quality is good. It's certainly sufficient for a kitchen or bedroom. It's also extremely lightweight; I can even pick it up with one hand. It sits on a small, square silver stand but also has fixings on the back so you can attach it to a wall rather than use the stand if you prefer. I keep meaning to get hubby to drill some holes in the wall because that way I'll have even more table top space.
The remote control is fairly straightforward, not too cluttered with buttons but you do need to go through the manual first to understand what they all do. It takes 2 x AA sized batteries.
Being situated in the kitchen, the screen does get splashed with food stuff from time to time. I've wiped the screen down a few times, but it doesn't seem to have caused any damage!
The only annoying aspect is the reaction speed of the TV in response to the remote control. After pressing a channel button on the remote, the TV takes at least 5 seconds before it responds. I think this may be a common feature with digital TVs though.
On a couple of occasions it's lost all its channels, but I think this has more to do with the fact that the reception is so poor in my kitchen. Tuning the channels back in is very easy.
~~~Some Technical Information~~~
The television operates in either digital or analogue mode and features digital interactive services as well as analogue text services.
The TV screen can also operate in PC mode so you can use it as a screen for your computer.
The remote control has settings whereby you can use it to control your Toshiba video recorder and Toshiba DVD player as well as Toshiba TV's.
~~~Price and Availability~~~
Typically priced around the £220 mark but they can be found on Amazon for as little as £100 refurbished. They're also available at Comet and many retail outlets and electrical stores as well as online.
I'd definitely recommend this as a good replacement television for bedrooms, kitchens or small rooms. It looks smart, functions well, is reliable and takes up little space.