Toshiba 22bv501

The main attraction of the 22BV501 is brutally simple: it's cheap. In fact, at £140 for a 22-inch LCD TV, it's incredibly cheap. Which makes it rather surprising to find it packing such 'value added' tricks as a D-Sub PC port so it can double up as a PC monitor, and a USB port for multimedia playback.

There are inevitably some signs of cost-related corner cutting, though. The screen isn't full HD for a start, managing an HD Ready 1366x768 resolution instead. And it only has a Freeview tuner, not a Freeview HD one. And it uses CCFL lighting rather than the 'trendier' edge LED lighting. But these are all forgivable compromises on a budget, second-room TV.

Especially when you consider that in some ways the 22BV501's pictures are great for such a small, cheap TV. Bright images look really punchy and dynamic, with lots of detail and crispness.

There is a problem, though. Namely that dark scenes look a mess thanks to one of the most inconsistent backlights ever. In other words, if you want a TV for anything other than casual daytime TV viewing, the 22BV501 is not for you.

We liked

The TV is decently designed, and manages to include a welcome bit of multimedia support despite its affordability.

Its pictures look superbly bright and colourful too, making it an unusually capable option for a bright room environment.

Its remote control helps the set be impressively easy to use too, but its biggest attraction, of course, is its remarkably cheap price.

We disliked

While bright scenes look very good, dark scenes are really quite poor on account of the screen's multiple and serious backlight consistency problems. Its viewing angle is very limited, too.

The TV isn't full HD and doesn't have a Freeview HD tuner, but these are forgivable issues for the money.

Final Verdict

If you just want a very cheap and very bright TV for casual use, then the 22BV501 is almost uniquely well qualified. Its quality at times, with bright footage, is really quite remarkable for £140.

If, however, you're after a small TV for more serious gaming or movie watching purposes, the 22BV501's quite egregious backlight consistency flaws make it a much more considered purchase, if not one you might be better avoiding altogether.

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