There's nothing I love more than watching a video or DVD in bed and this is the TV I use to do just that. This TV has been in my room at my mum's house, my room in the halls of residence last year while I was at uni, my neighbour's room in the halls when I got a new TV at Christmas and is now in my bedroom in my new flat which I moved into last Monday. This has been a good TV and has done well over the three years I have owned it. It was a Christmas present from my mum.
Please note, I only use this TV for watching DVDs and videos, and for playing games. I cannot currently afford a TV license so I do not have one and don't watch live TV. So I won't really be reviewing the built in freeview, except from past experiences (I haven't used it to watch TV for over a year).
==How is the Picture Quality?==
The picture quality is excellent. It's a high definition TV and you can tell. Videos are of a better quality than they were on the old CRT tellies. Watching live TV, the reception was as good as any other receiver.
==How is the Sound Quality?==
The sound quality is a slight let down. My hearing is not the best but I do sometimes have trouble hearing the TV if the volume is in the mid range (I usually have it at 20 bars). When I'm watching a video or a DVD of an older film (e.g. Star Trek) the volume is really low and it has to go right up to 50 bars (the maximum).
==Ease of Installation==
I've moved it about a lot and I can tell you there isn't much installation needed. It's really just plug in and go. You may need to re-scan for digital channels but as long as your aerial is set up right there shouldn't be much trouble with it.
I lost the remote control during the latest move so I'll be reviewing it from memory. The remote was easy to use. Unlike some where you've got symbols on all the buttons which are harder to decipher than hieroglyphics this had, in writing, a description of what each button does directly above them. The buttons were worn down by the time I lost it but that was roughly two and a half years after it was bought, a decent life for a remote these days (although my gran's video player, bought before I was born which was 1993, still has the original remote which works perfectly and has only suffered minor wear and tear - things just aren't made the way they used to be).
Replacement remotes, for those as good at losing things as me, will set you back £10 to £15 online, which is not bad. I considered getting a replacement remote directly from the manufacturer for an old Hitachi TV and they wanted £44.99 for it (this was 4 years ago though and it was a CRT).
The instructions (long in the bin now) were easy to follow but were lacking in some areas. For example, it didn't tell you how to connect a TV which confused me at first but now I know exactly what I'm doing.
==Range of Features==
The built-in DVD player is excellent. It means there's no wires leading to a DVD player and just the one plug. It also frees up the ports to use for other peripherals, as I have done.
I haven't used this feature in over a year, but it was easy to use and the channels installed quickly and easily. When I first used the TV, analogue was still being transmitted in my area and it was difficult to use but since digital has now been rolled out across the country and analogue is no longer transmitted (or transmission will end this year) so that doesn't really matter.
===VHS and Xbox===
My VHS and Xbox are both connected to the TV through the Scart and HDMI sockets. This TV has one of each socket, as well as socket to plug in a PC and use the TV as a monitor. I've hooked up my laptop to it many times to watch a film, although if its a Blu Ray you're better off using the HDMI socket. The TV also has the older AV sockets that were used before Scart (i.e. a red, white and yellow socket: two for audio and one for video). It has all of the sockets you'd ever need for a small bedroom TV.
The VHS, as I've mentioned before, gives a great picture on this TV, despite being old and an outdated technology. I still love my videos and wouldn't dare trade them in for DVDs. They work perfectly well and the image is only slightly sharper on DVD (I can hardly tell the difference). If you're watching an old film, for example Star Trek IV, which I watched the other night on DVD, the quality isn't going to be great and just putting it on a digital format isn't going to make it any better. Sure, it'll sell more copies today because most people don't have VHS players any more, but it'll still be low quality compared to today's blockbusters. I'm getting off topic though - if you've still got your old VHS player and a library of videos this TV is ideal as the picture quality is ever so slightly improved and it features a Scart socket, which you'll need to connect the VHS to the TV.
The Xbox, as I've said, is connected through the HDMI socket. There is a difference in quality (e.g. the aspect ratio) but I've not noticed a huge difference from using Scart. The TV, itself, is HD so it's already quite a good quality. I love playing a few rounds of Halo or Call of Duty before bed and its ideal having the Xbox in the bedroom.
This TV has lasted three years. Apart from me losing the remote, there's really nothing to complain about. There's a few scuff marks, owing to the TV having been moved around a lot but that's understandable. It's done well, especially considering how much it's been passed around.
==Value for Money==
This TV cost my mum £349 when "Santa" gave me it at Christmas. It's now down to £169 and the RRP was £389, which at the time was very reasonable for a combination of a TV, a Freeview receiver and a DVD player. You're likely to get some these days in the region of £100-150 but I think this is a very good TV and is worth the £169 it's on the market for now.
Currently available on Amazon at £249.99 plus £8.95 postage and packing (total: £258.94), sold by Harrow Electronics. There are currently no other offers on Amazon.
soundandvision.com also sell this model for £169.99 with free delivery. I don't know their reputation but they appear to be a UK company so any UK consumer would be protected by the laws on online sales (including the Distance Selling Regulations which allow you to return the TV within 7 days if you change your mind). So, it is worth trying them first, as you'll get nearly a £90 saving on buying from Amazon.
I am not aware of any shops that still sell this model. My TV was purchased from Argos but having looked through the catalogue briefly I do not think they still stock them.
==Would you recommend this to a friend?==
Yes. This is a decent TV for a bedroom. It's got all the peripheral sockets you'll need and won't take up much space. It's not suitable for a large lounge or family room as it is too small, I think. However, if you live in a flat and have limited space it may be perfect.
A decent TV at a good price. Has everything you could want in a TV - built in DVD player, freeview, high definition, a HDMI socket, the ability to act as a PC monitor, a Scart socket for older machines (like VHS and games consoles) and it's from Toshiba, a reliable brand. Overall, a great product.