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Toshiba Regza CV (32CV711B) review: Toshiba Regza CV (32CV711B)

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Tuning wizardry, unmagical EPG

Setting up the 32CV711B is very straightforward. An installation wizard runs automatically the first time you switch it on and guides you through tuning in the channels. The TV only has a standard-definition Freeview tuner, so you don't get access to the HD services from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 that are currently available in many Freeview areas.

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The EPG's vertical layout makes it difficult to spot clashes between shows on different channels.

Once you've got the channels tuned, you'll find the TV's electronic programme guide is a little disappointing. It uses a vertical layout that shows all the upcoming programmes of a channel in a single pane on the right, rather than the usual bricks-in-the-wall layout you find on most other TVs. The problem with the vertical layout is that you can't easily see clashes between different shows. It's also hugely annoying that you can't see what's coming up on another channel without actually switching to that channel. In saying that, at least the TV doesn't suffer from the slow channel changes we've experienced on some other budget Toshiba sets, like the 32DV713B.

Panel of judges

The TV's display panel has a resolution of 1366x768 pixels, which means it's an HD Ready, rather than Full HD, set. The benefits of 1080p at this screen size, however, are somewhat debatable. Often budget sets do a better job of upscaling standard-definition material to 720p than they do to 1080p. The panel certainly looks sharp when showing movies on Blu-ray and HD channels via a Sky HD box. But, when you look closely, you can see it doesn't have the detail of a higher resolution panel. Nevertheless, colours look strong for a set that uses traditional CCFL backlighting and the TV is certainly capable of delivering bright pictures. Its black levels aren't all that great, though, and it's a little less accomplished when it comes to shadow detail than we would have liked.

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The 32CV711B delivers particularly bright pictures for a CCFL-backlit TV, but its poor picture-processing betrays its budget roots.

The set lacks much in the way of picture-processing, so it's not as kind to more heavily compressed channels on Freeview than Toshiba's Resolution+ televisions. In fact, even the better quality Freeview channels can look a little noisy from time to time. You can turn on the set's noise-reduction circuitry, but this noticeably softens up the picture. There's some blur evident in fast-moving material like quick camera pans. It all adds up to a performance that isn't quite as sophisticated as you'll get from Toshiba's next step up -- the 32AV713B.

The TV's sound is something of a mixed bag, too. Perhaps surprisingly, it's able to produce quite deep levels of bass and handles high frequencies rather well. The mid-range frequencies sound thin, however, and give the overall sound of the set a rather hollow, lifeless feel, which sometimes makes dialogue sound a little indistinct.

Conclusion

The Toshiba Regza CV 32CV711B would make a decent set for the kitchen or bedroom, but we don't think it's a great option as a main TV in the lounge. It just doesn't have the range of inputs or the refined picture and sound quality we'd expect of a primary TV.

Edited by Emma Bayly

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