The 42HL833's speakers go a bit louder than those of most budget LCD TVs and can produce a soundstage on a scale appropriate to the 42-inch pictures. However, there's precious little audio finesse, with bass in short supply, a thin and echoey mid-range and harsh, poorly defined trebles.
The 42HL833 is good value for a 42-inch LCD TV with edge LED lighting and will make a solid everyday set.
However, its lack of any sort of online features or 3D options together with its backlight issues compromise its overall value.
Ease of use
The 42HL833's onscreen menus are logically organised and very cleanly presented and kick off with an attractive icon-based opening screen that provides a much more inviting starting point than Toshiba's usual boring, text-heavy system. The menu navigation system is intuitive and requires minimal brain engagement.
The remote control is small, plasticky, and plain, but turns out to be a handy companion to the clear, uncomplicated menus, with responsive buttons and most of the main navigation buttons falling within easy reach.
For the electronic programme guide, Toshiba has sensibly shifted away from its previous system that would change channel whenever you moved the cursor to a different station, slowing navigation down horrendously.
The information presented in the EPG is also clearly legible displaying programme names in full.
The 42HL833 does takes an age to switch display modes when you move from a standard-def to an HD channel (or vice versa), though and the automatic aspect ratio system doesn't always seem to work properly with some Sky broadcasts.