Image quality with HD material is pleasing, with a few caveats. The Standard preset produces healthy looking colours with a natural reproduction of reds and greens. This is helped by the level of brightness; the colourful, well-lit interiors of a news studio offer a decent visual pop. Test patterns hint at a lack of tonal subtlety with very bright colours, but it's nothing major.
Standard-definition viewing from the TV tuner revealed a picture that seemed somewhat soft, but not overly noisy. Even calling upon Toshiba's Resolution+ sharpening tool did little to crisp up the image.
Thankfully, the HD tuner means a good proportion of your everyday viewing will be of better quality. Switching to Blu-rays and the Hollywood modes is rewarded with sharp, realistic images.
The Russell Crowe thriller, The Next Three Days, set in the tonally conservative suburbs of Pittsburgh, benefits from the improved colour fidelity of the Hollywood 1 setting. This fine-tuned preset lacks a little brightness, but presents a truer image, and black levels are improved considerably (though still not to premium grade). Shadow detailing is good.
There are two definite areas where the 32RL853 stumbles a bit. Its motion handling is only average. Even on some quite pedestrian test footage, there is noticeable judder and picture detail is clearly reduced when things get going. With no frame interpolation technology to call upon, you're stuck with what the 50Hz 32RL853 can do. It's not a disastrous performer with fast motion, by any means, but it will be an occasional distraction if you watch a lot of fluid material. It also limits its appeal as a dedicated gaming TV.
Another flaw with the 32RL853 is the implementation of its edge LED lighting system. As with many TVs that use side-firing LEDs to illuminate the panel, it has a detrimental effect on the viewing angle, with blacks becoming greyed out if you stray off-axis. While that may not be much of an issue depending on the seating arrangement in your living room, the visible pools of light in the lower corners of the screen when watching dark material are occasionally distracting.