Toshiba 42DB833B review

Blu-ray is built-in but is this the all-in-one TV it claims to be?

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toshiba 42db833


The 42DB833B isn't particularly well endowed in the audio department, with two stereo 7W speakers that struggle to produce anything other than distortion-free and relatively clear dialogue from TV.

Switch to a movie and those speakers really struggle, with a Virtual Surround Sound mode not exactly saving the day – in our tests all it did was squeeze audio to the flanks and reduce the clarity of speech.


Compared to its nearest rival in terms of its main feature, the 42DB833B is very good value; Sony's KDL-40EX43B was selling for just shy of £1000 at the time of writing. Granted, that particular set does feature Sony's awesome Bravia Internet Video hub of online TV (such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Lovefilm) via a Wi-Fi connection, but the 42DB833B can't help but seem a veritable bargain in the face of that.

It may not have online gubbins, but this 42-incher boasts decent all-round pictures on its Edge LED panel and a space saving design that will suit most living rooms well. In fact, our only reservation is its denial of Freeview HD, though that's hardly a terminal omission.

We always recommend using a dedicated Freeview HD PVR that permits recording, series links and more, or a Sky or Virgin HD box, rather than relying on a built-in Freeview HD tuner. The lack of a DVB-T2 tuner will, nevertheless, make the 42DB833B unsuitable for some households, but it's perfect for any PVR or pay TV environment.

Ease of use

If the main GUI, a line of icons along the bottom, is attractive yet effective and simple, the interface that rules over the USB inputs is incredibly rudimentary.

It's not just that we had to select which media we were searching for as well as the having to choose the correct folder they were stored in, but the four-by-three grid of low-resolution folder icons and thumbnails is ugly indeed.

Select a photo – JPEG and BMP (the latter with no thumbnail in support) in our tests – and it's then visibly resized until the TV works out the correct shape. Various slideshow options and other information can be displayed, too, but it's a cluttered approach that's not intuitive enough.

Accessing music was just as simple, but just as ugly. This time a list of what was on the USB appeared, rather than a grid of thumbnails. Only MP3 files were displayed, and when selected, a screen appeared with a no-frills blocky graphic equaliser so that it appeared to bear no resemblance to what was actually playing.

Playing video from a USB thumb drive is more pleasing, largely because of the comprehensive file support. In our tests we successfully played all kinds of AVI, MP4, MKV and AVC HD files. All loaded quickly and played with stability.

From the Blu-ray disc we managed to play a variety of digital files from a DVD; both MP3 and WMA music files and JPEG photos, though video is restricted to AVC HD (typically from a HD camcorder) and AVI filetypes.

As quiet as any during playback and never a distraction during District 9, the built-in Blu-ray player is so easy to use it screams of a well thought-out design. Not only does the drive spring into life automatically when a disc is inserted – over-riding whatever is playing on the TV at the time – but there are some simple navigation controls on the remote. Playing, pausing, scanning and operating BD Live can all be done direct from the TV remote, and a nicely joined-up experience it is, too.

Freeview, however, is not one of our favourite features. Without a HD dimension, it's also shackled by an unusual electronic programme guide. Containing information for nine channels in a GUI that most closely resembles a 1980s BBC computer, the right-hand side of the screen shows a list of what's on a particular channel.

It's only possible to see what's on a single channel for the next six or seven hours that day; the normal approach that shows what's on at a particular time across multiple channels is surely more useful. Were also not big fans of the low-resolution grey, blue and turquoise colour scheme.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTV/Blu-ray Combo
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports2
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyREGZA DB
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Weight with Stand (Approximate)15.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 200
Operating Power Consumption158 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power14 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand677 mm
Width with Stand1070 mm
Depth with Stand238 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory100
Height630 mm
Width1070 mm
Depth45 mm
Brightness360 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Virtual Surround
Product SeriesDB
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Audio FormatsCD-DA
Media SupportedBD-RE, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-R
FeaturesTeletext, Media Player, Auto-off, Auto Program
Product Model42DB833
Product NameREGZA 42DB833 TV/Blu-ray Combo
Product LineREGZA
Video FormatsDivX, DVD Video, AVCHD, AVCREC
Manufacturer Part Number42DB833B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The DB series is a LED TV with built-in Blu-ray player bringing together outstanding image quality and total convenience. LED technology delivers amazing colour and brightness in a thin, space-saving design with the reassurance of Toshiba quality.

The DB series delivers Full High Definition 1080p image quality, along with access to all your content including Blu-ray and DVD playback via the built-in Blu-ray player, integrated Freeview digital TV with 7 day electronic programme guide, photo, video and audio playback via USB and multiple HDMI inputs as well as PC input to connect the TV to a range of other digital devices.

Package Contents
  • REGZA 42DB833 TV/Blu-ray Combo
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • Instruction Manual
  • Stand
Response Time8 ms
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)14.50 kg