Product Type: Toshiba 3D LCD TV
Newest Review: ... in my opinion that some more expensive competitors. It gives a good picture and sound generally - a lot better than expected for the p... more
Yes Tosh...I gotta Toshiba
Member Name: sandemp
Advantages: Looks great, excellent picture quality, low price
Disadvantages: No way of disabling channel installation
The 32BV700B (forever afterwards known as the TV) arrived securely packed in a standard cardboard box that was surprisingly easy to carry from the front door into the lounge. Considering it took two very strong men (one of them also extremely gorgeous, but that's neither here nor there) to remove the old 32 inch CRT from the flat, it was a little amazing that I, with my weak joints, could carry this from room to room as it weighs a paltry 11.6kg, which is only a kilo more than my ten month old son.
Once removed from the box, I was faced with a beautifully sleek and glossy black trim surrounding the perfectly flat LCD screen. Although this glossy black surround does look very sleek and fits in perfectly with my other A/V equipment, it does attract a lot of dust. I was expecting to have to fit the stand but happily found that it was already attached, which is great for me as I had a unit to place it on. The TV is also wall fixable, but if you wish to do this you will need to purchase a separate bracket.
Once unwrapped from the packaging and placed on the stand, set-up is pretty standard although the on/off switch is rather inconveniently placed at the rear of the TV. Although I originally thought there were plenty of different connection options, I must admit I would find more than the two HDMI connections available helpful. Along with the HDMI connections there is also a single SCART connection along with two sets component video sockets, PC input and USB socket. Oh and of course there is the standard aerial socket common to all TVs.
Although this TV has Freeview built in, you really need to have an outdoor aerial and be in an area with a decent signal for this to work. As we don't have either, we have never tried to view the Freeview on this and so I can't comment on how easy this is to set up, navigate or how clear the picture is. That is other than to point out that while this is a full HD TV, it does not appear to be compatable with Freeview HD. I personally use this TV in conjunction with SKY+HD, an upscaling DVD player (both connected via HDMI), Wii (via SCART) and laptop (via VGA), which gives me plenty of options for watching televisions and playing games, although an extra HDMI connection would have come in handy for the PS3.
On first switching the TV on, you are faced with an installation, whether you have an aerial connected or not, so it's time to make sure the Duracell batteries are inserted into the reasonably intuitive remote control. I must admit I was pretty impressed that the control came supplied with Duracell batteries as I have found that even some top-name brands come with some very cheap and nasty generic batteries. Not having an aerial connected I skipped the channel installation and went straight to changing the source to correspond with my Sky+ box. I will say that there does not appear to be a way of permanently disabling this 'first' installation, and should the TV be switched off at the back or the source accidentally changed to DTV, it will once more demand that you install channels. This maybe a small gripe to some, but for me it can get frustrating, especially when learning your way around the functions.
Although the remote control is fairly intuitive, I do find that it needs to be pointed pretty much directly at the TV and the buttons need to be pressed quite firmly. Now this isn't a huge problem, but it can become hugely annoying if I'm trying to quickly turn the TV off before rushing out.
==Picture And Audio Quality==
Before playing with any of the settings the picture quality when watching was, while perfectly acceptable, a little washed out. I had no trouble changing the settings to ensure that we were making the most of our SKY HD and even when viewing non-HD channels through the HDMI cable the picture quality is noticeably better than it had been on the old CRT model, and there is also a noticeable difference between using the SCART connection and HDMI. When viewing HD channels, the picture is, in a word, breathtaking, with not a single instance of ghosting or pixilation. The same goes when watching DVDs through the up-scaling DVD player, the difference between watching them on this TV and the old CRT is amazing. When playing the Wii, which inputs via the component, I personally feel that the picture is a little washed out, but otherwise good and this picture is slightly improved by using the dedicated game mode.
We also regularly watch iPlayer, via the PC VGA connection, running the signal through a high quality cable and I find the picture is more than acceptable, not HD quality but at least as good as if I was watching it on my laptop. I don't pretend to exactly know what is meant by a viewing angle, but can say that I've never noticed a problem with reflection (even with the sun streaming through the window) or glare no matter where in the room I've sat, whether in front of, to the side of the TV or even sitting on the floor. There are no dead pixels either and even leaving the Sky+ paused for half an hour hasn't caused any screen burn.
Although the audio quality is perfectly acceptable when we use the built in 6W speakers, having a surround sound system means we rarely use them. Top volume is more than loud enough to fill a medium/large room with sound with little distortion and no buzzing. I have tested listening to MP3s using the USB connection and I would say the quality is above a cheap stereo but not really the thing if you're looking for 'pumping' sounds. Talking about the USB connection, while I guess it's a nifty little extra, it's not the easiest thing to use. The TV had no problem recognising my Samsung Monte mobile phone (and even started charging the battery), but I was once more faced with the channel installation that needed cancelling before I could browse the files. I was hoping to be able to play my video files, but these are not recognised. My photos did display nicely on the screen though, and were enjoyed by visitors.
As with any high gloss surface, this TV does attract a lot of dust and fingerprints, which I find clean up best with a little glass cleaner. I really wouldn't recommend using furniture polish as this leaves smears (as testified to when my partner forgot that I'd warned him not to use it). Although I'm sure that specialist cleaners would be recommended for the screen itself, again I use glass cleaner (sprayed onto kitchen roll) and the screen is still in perfect condition.
With the power switch being at the back of the TV (and rather a pain to get at), I must admit I'm rather naughty and tend to leave it on standby for the majority of the time that it's not in use. I must say though that this has an extraordinarily low standby power consumption at less than 1W (compared to 150W in use), so I don't feel too bad at doing this. The batteries in the remote control have been used for the last three months, with no sign of running out, which is just what I would expect from Duracell and the whole TV is working just as well as when we bought it.
I officially love this TV and think that we got a real bargain. The picture quality is fantastic and such a huge improvement on our elderly CRT model that we couldn't help but be amazed at the level of detail we had been missing out on. That's still not to say that it's perfect, I would have liked at least one more HDMI connection, and I find the way the TV keeps asking me to install channels frustrating to say the least. So, all-in-all, taking the price we paid for it £299.99 I would give the Toshiba 32BV700B a healthy four stars out of five, as it falls firmly into the price bracket of those on a budget, and yet offers features and quality that I would expect to cost far more.
Summary: Not a bad TV especially for the price
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