Toshiba Regza ZV (47ZV635DB) review: Toshiba Regza ZV (47ZV635DB)

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The Good Excellent high-definition pictures; Dolby Volume prevents a surge in volume when adverts come on; plenty of connectivity.

The Bad Styling won't suit everyone; fairly chunky by modern standards; larger plasma screens are cheaper.

The Bottom Line We think most people will be very happy with the Toshiba Regza 47ZV635DB. It's big but not too large to fit in a normal lounge. It's also got the features that most people want in a TV, and it does a superb job with high-definition images from Blu-ray and other sources. While it's not the most exciting telly ever, it's a solid performer

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7.5 Overall

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Toshiba does roaring trade in the likes of Sainsbury's and Tesco these days. It's managed to get the price of its TVs down to the point where they can be purchased along with your milk, eggs and bread on your Sunday afternoon shop. That said, most people don't buy 47-inch tellies down the supermarket, and most punters aren't looking to spend about £1,000, plus whatever the inflation-ravaged eggs, milk and bread cost.

What, then, can the 47-inch, 1080p Regza 47ZV635DB LCD TV do to make us sit up and take notice of it, and is it worth the asking price of around £1,000? Let's take a closer look and find out what makes this screen tick.

Hungry for attention
Toshiba has clearly tried to make the 47ZV635DB's appearance different to that of other TVs on the market. The bezel has a sort of 3D style, as a result of having a hollow edge with painting below the surface. It's not a bad look, but we don't see what the problem is with a solid colour or something slightly more subtle. But it's the sort of thing that will attract your attention in a store, and that's going to help Toshiba shift more TVs.

Because this screen doesn't use the latest LED edge-light technology, but instead has a fluorescent-tube backlight, it's not the thinnest TV you'll ever encounter. Toshiba itself told us at one of its events recently that UK consumers care more about the depth of a TV than its picture quality. That makes us wonder who the company thinks will buy this TV.

As LCD TVs go, the 47ZV635DB is something of a porker

The front panel has an illuminated Toshiba logo, which looks fine and almost certainly won't distract you too often. On the back, you'll find three HDMI inputs, which are complemented by a fourth on the right-hand side of the set. There are also component, VGA and Scart inputs.

The off switch is making a comeback. Toshiba calls the switch on this TV 'full power down', which is fine, but we're going to keep calling it an off switch, if it's all the same to you.

Cuts adverts' volume 
Toshiba deserves a mountain of credit for including Dolby Volume on this TV. Anyone who has ever been happily watching a programme at normal volume and then been blown away by the sudden, ear-splitting volume of the adverts will also appreciate its inclusion. Dolby Volume works by looking at the incoming sound, and reacting very quickly if there are either changes in volume, or a change to the compression of the sound that will make it appear louder -- a trick used in adverts to attract your attention.

We love this feature and wish it were on every device ever made. From the demos we've heard and the experience we've had with this TV, it's well worth having. It also improves the volume at low levels too, which means you don't miss dialogue just because you've dialled down the sound late at night.

Backlight to black
The 47ZV635DB is a cold-cathode-fluorescent-lamp TV, which means it isn't the most sophisticated set in terms of how the LCD panel is illuminated. With more modern LED edge lights or, even better, proper LED backlights with local dimming, you should get greatly improved black levels. But the 47ZV635DB isn't terrible in this regard -- we've seen much worse from other companies' LCD TVs. The benefit of using a CCFL backlight is that the TV's pictures are generally more even than sets that use LED edge lights, which can have bright spots in the corners of the screen and dim areas in the middle.

We were impressed by the 47ZV635DB's picture quality. High-definition images were excellent. Our old favourite, Casino Royale, looked the part, despite the 47ZV635DB removing some of the grain in the opening black-and-white scene. Ideally, we'd like this grain left in, but, because modern TVs are designed to remove things like this, we're happy that the 47ZV635DB managed to strike a decent balance between removing all the grain and letting it overwhelm the picture.

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