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Toshiba 22BV501B review

Toshiba's BV501 TV range is the biggest selling in Britain

Toshiba 22BV501B review
The Toshiba 22BV501B is a decent budget option for a second room TV


  • Pictures look bright and colourful
  • The remote control is unusually good
  • USB multimedia playback is much appreciated


  • Dark scenes are blighted by an annoying backlight 'hot spot'
  • Viewing angle is very limited
  • Sound is flimsy

While Toshiba is rightly wanting to talk right now about its current flagship TV, the recently reviewed Toshiba 55WL863, it's no surprise to find in the current economic climate that the buying public seems more interested in something rather lower down Toshiba's range: the BV501 series.

In fact, the BV501 series - comprising the 19-inch 19BV501, the 22-inch 22BV501, and the 32-inch 32BV501 - sits right at the bottom of Toshiba's 2011 range. A fact which finds it using traditional CCFL backlighting rather than the edge LED lighting now found across so much of the LCD TV world at large.

Also, all the sets in the range, including the 22BV501 under scrutiny today, only feature HD Ready 1366x768 resolutions rather than full HD ones. More predictably, they also fail to provide a built-in Freeview HD tuner, restricting you to a standard definition one. But despite these two fairly fundamental and typical budget limitations, the 22BV501 isn't a completely 'feature-free' zone.

Particularly unexpected but welcome is a USB port through which you can play a reasonable variety of multimedia file formats. But also of note is HDMI support, a D-Sub PC connection, a dedicated Game picture preset, and more picture adjustments than you customarily find on such a small, cheap TV.

With an eye-catchingly high claimed contrast ratio of 8,000:1, a cute design and best of all a price of just £140 adding further to the 22BV501's shelf appeal, it's easy to see why this set is doing so well. But is it really the perfect second-room TV it first appears?