Review HDTV Toshiba 32D3454DB from What HiFi Magazine

Review HDTV Toshiba 32D3454DB from What HiFi Magazine

Review HDTV Toshiba 32D3454DB

There’s more than one reason this Toshiba LED TV might catch your eye in the 32in crowd: it comes in white (available in black too), it has a built-in DVD player, and it costs £300.

Other features are decent for the price, too, with essential smarts like Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and a web browser accompanying extra apps like musicstreaming service Deezer. Simply connect the telly to your home network over its integrated wi-fi – or directly via ethernet – and you’re away.

It’s well-equipped for external sources: two HDMI inputs, a scart and PC input, and a coaxial output in a small area on the back panel. USB, component and composite inputs are easily accessible on the unit’s side. Underneath, a group of buttons for input, volume and channel prove handy.

Not so hidden depth

The matte-white plastic bezel (curved at the corners) is eye-catching and a nice finish. It’s not the skinniest TV, but the cumbersome, slot-loading DVD player justifies its 9cm depth. Despite its relatively bulky backside (some rivals are just half the depth), it sits securely on the supplied base.

The remote feels and looks a bit cheap, though, and its tall, thin body means you can’t reach all the keys with  one grip. With a panel resolution of 1366 x 768, the Toshiba is ‘only’ HD ready (not Full HD like some of its pricier rivals). And though performance is good, price-matching rivals do better.

We load The Raid 2 on Blu-ray and the picture is crisp. Colours are balanced, albeit not as rich as some rivals. In comparison with the rival Philips 32PHT4509, the Toshiba can’t quite produce the same depth of colour when the film’s title splashes up against the red background. The punchiness of the white bold lettering is inferior as well.

Review HDTV Toshiba 32D3454DB from What HiFi Magazine 2

The Toshiba struggles with subtlety, too: detail in our martial arts hero’s cut, muddied face is marked, though scars are often overdone. Contrast is fair, though, while black depth is admirable and whites are convincing. Even in the breakneck fight scenes, the picture stays composed. Meanwhile, the Toshiba’s upscaling of Top Gear in standard-def is perfectly watchable, if not the sharpest.

The integrated DVD player (which can play CDs too) can be found on the right-hand side of the TV along with general playback buttons, though keys at the bottom of the remote are handier.

Play Star Wars: Return of the Jedi on DVD and its sharp, reasonably detailed picture is watchable. Colours are a bit overcooked, though. Switching back to our Panasonic DMP-BDT260 DVD player emphasises the Toshiba’s weaknesses.

Sound is sufficiently detailed through the TV’s twin 6W speakers, but can’t disguise its brittle delivery. Dialogue on daytime TV is OK but when things get frantic, it’s hard on the ears.

If convenience is key, and you’re after a competitively priced one-box solution to save on an extra DVD player or Freeview box taking up space, then this Toshiba is a versatile option. But if you’re willing to forgo this, there are better performers out there for the price. Or cheaper (for example, the Philips 32PHT4509). It’s your call.

Rating ★★★

FOR Sharp, stable picture; attractive design and solid build; built-in DVD player; good price
AgAinst Lack of subtlety; detail is secondbest to rivals; brittle sound
VeRdict A do-it-all TV that’s let down by a so-so performance

Credit : What HiFi Magazine