toshiba 42db833

There's no getting away from the fact that, despite the inclusion of a Blu-ray player – 2D only, mind – this is one of Toshiba's cheapest TVs. The Edge LED array used here is one of the more basic types, with a performance that's good enough for a living room environment, though inconsistent.

We liked

Its lack of a Freeview HD tuner might be a money-saving positive if you've your own source of hi-def TV, while the 42DB833B's 42-inch size and built-in (and thoroughly respectable) 2D Blu-ray player makes this a tempting proposition for a clutter-free living room.

We also loved its fast and spotless playback of MKV files – among many other digital video files – from the USB slot, which could be decisive for some users.

We disliked

Just two HDMI inputs could get irritating, as could some light leakage from the LEDs and a tight viewing angle that sees contrast ruined if you watch from the wings.

Poor audio, a lack of any online dimension save for BD Live, and that 'missing' Freeview HD tuner, is a shame, as is the existing Freeview tuner's rudimentary EPG.

And although picture quality is what you'd expect at this price, Edge LED backlighting's reputation is somewhat flattened here; it's highly watchable, but certainly nowhere near more expensive Edge LED TVs.

Final verdict

Without any networking, online hubs or Freeview HD, this is no home entertainment hub, and nor does it offer AV perfection, but there's something about the 42DB833B that we love.

Perhaps it's that integrated Blu-ray player, a genuine space-saving idea that offers enough quality where it counts, or maybe it's the 42DB833B's playback of AVI and MKV files, but we can see this 42-incher doing a sterling job in environments where convenience and a low price are the most important features.

The 42DB833B may not be stunning, but it's a great value proposition that will suit many homes, though demanding viewers will most likely consider it for a second room.

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