/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Toshiba Regza 37CV505D review: Toshiba Regza 37CV505D

If you're on the hunt for a stylish budget TV, your eye may come to rest on the Toshiba Regza 37CV505D. It should: for around £750, this TV has much to offer and at a decent price too.

440x330_1.jpg
7.5

Toshiba Regza 37CV505D

The Good

Picture quality; styling; ease of use; price; support for 1080p/24.

The Bad

Sound quality is murky.

The Bottom Line

The Toshiba Regza 37CV505D is a strong, entry-level TV that has a lot to offer. We'd suggest this TV is ideal for people who aren't interested in keeping up with the Joneses but just want a decent 720p TV

Design
There isn't much to say about the way the CV505 is styled. It's attractive, simple and will fit into any room with the minimum fuss. Toshiba seems to be learning from other brands, applying simple, rounded edges to the design to give it a classy look.

At the rear of the set, you'll see a pair of Scarts, a pair of HDMIs and component and VGA sockets. On the side, there are S-Video and composite sockets, as well as a third HDMI. The location of this HDMI socket is for people who have hi-def camcorders or games consoles and want easy access.

The remote control is slender and nice to hold. The TV reacts quickly to button presses and all the controls are sensibly laid out. It's guilty of having quite a number of controls you'll never use, but so do most remotes.

Features
Toshiba makes a big deal out of the 'full power down' option it includes. It's just a power button, but off switches are a dying breed, so it's a relief that it's making the effort to bring them back. Turning your TV off instead of leaving it on standby will save you real money each year.

Toshiba's Regza Link is present on this TV, just like its older brother, the Regza 37XV505D. In theory, if you hook up a compatible Blu-ray player you'll be able to control the player from the TV remote. It also names the input to the device you're connected to. For instance, our HDMI 1 input carried the name 'BD' when we connected a Sony BDP-S500 to it. This feature is handy, but it doesn't always seem to work brilliantly. That said, powering off the TV when you're watching a Blu-ray disc does seem to turn the player off as well, which is pretty nifty.

You also get audio description, designed to assist people with sight problems. It enables you to hear what's happening on-screen, and can also be handy if you're doing something where you can't look at the TV the whole time, like ironing or pretending to do the accounts.

When ambient light in the room drops, Toshiba's 'luma sens' technology kicks in, automatically dimming the TV or increasing the backlight in a bright environment. Although it's not necessarily a new idea, it's a good one and can be handy if you watch TV in a room that has different light levels at certain times of the day.


Performance
We really liked almost every aspect of this TV's performance. Freeview looked good, although considerable tweaking needed to be done to get the very best out of the picture quality. For example, the backlight was initially set far too high, leading to reds looking very overdone and everything lacking in detail. Knocking the backlight down to 20-30 per cent really helps; we'd suggest it be the first thing you do when you get the TV.

HD material looked brilliant. There was plenty of definition and the darker areas had enough detail. Our Blu-ray test discs, such as Casino Royale, had remarkable detail levels. The incredibly grainy black-and-white opening scene was awash with the intended noise. Conversely, the opening credits start and the picture is pure and totally noise free. Some quick testing with the HQV benchmarking disc confirmed that picture processing was doing a great job too.

The TV has a mode dedicated to dealing with games consoles, which sets the screen up to handle motion and also better pixel mapping. We found our trusty Burnout Paradise disc got plenty of use during this phase of our tests.

We did think the sound was muffled at times. Plus, there are far too many ways to increase the bass and the TV really isn't very good at handling this low-end sound. The result can be the sensation that the TV is a long way away or at the bottom of a pond. For normal TV viewing, you won't have a huge problem. For games and movies, however, you should invest in an external speaker system or simply hook the TV outputs to your hi-fi, which will help a huge amount.

Conclusion
We can strongly recommend this TV if you're looking for a good buy. It's not quite as brilliant as its older brother, the 37XV505D, but we'd be lying if we said the difference in resolution made much of a difference.

If you're prepared to spend more, we'd suggest the Panasonic Viera TH-37PX80B as a very credible alternative, and of course, Toshiba's own 37XV505D. Whichever you choose, we're sure you'll be thrilled.

Edited by Shannon Doubleday