Toshiba 32DL933B review

It has built-in DVD player, but is this LED TV really an all-in-one?

Toshiba 32DL933B
Great Value
This 32-inch TV has a DVD player but no Freeview HD tuner

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Not surprisingly for such a basic set, the Toshiba 32DL933B puts in a lacklustre performance in terms of sheer image quality. Although it does have HDMI inputs so can show a feed from a Blu-ray player, such HD sources are cut down in terms of ultimate detail.

It's for that reason that we'll concentrate on the Toshiba 32DL933B's performance with standard definition from both its Freeview tuner and integrated DVD player.

We'll start with what we do like, and it's largely down to Toshiba's use of an Edge LED-backlit LCD panel. Without the across-the-board brightness that basic LCD panels supply, there is some significant local dimming at work here that aids the dynamism of the image.

Toshiba 32DL933B review

Edge LED backlighting doesn't often achieve what it sets out to do, and that it does here is testament largely to the small size of the Toshiba 32DL933B; the light fired across the back of the panel appears to create a uniform brightness.

There's also little noticeable light leakage - a common weakness on Edge LED sets - aside from a tiny amount in the top-right-hand corner.

A shot of Barack and Michelle Obama shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth II on Newsround immediately reveals a complete lack of shadow detailing - the president's black suit appears to be as all-in-one as the Toshiba 32DL933B itself.

Toshiba 32DL933B review

Aside from forced black levels and unremarkable contrast, softness is the Toshiba 32DL933B's real issue. Despite it being the norm until only a few years ago, the use of a 32-inch HD-ready panel proves a poor decision here.

At least it's not noisy; a showing of Pointless is far from flawless, but there's no suggestion of blocking, twitching around moving elements, or background noise. Quick, and even relatively pondering, camera pans suggest some motion blur, and a messy moving shot beside some railings confirms it.

A murky sequence from In Time on DVD where Will and Sylvia swim in a lake at night displays little detail, although it's back in the brightly-lit mansion that the real problems lay.

Toshiba 32DL933B review

A panoramic shot of a crowd of extremely deep black-suited party goers against white walls again suggest forced, rather false-looking, black levels, although most noticeable is both the overly warm colour tones and a slight blur evident in almost every movement.

As actors move about, there's a significant loss in resolution, but it's most obvious during close-ups. A quick turn of the head, or even a slight change of expression, is done under a sheen of softness, of blur, that we're simply not used to. Most Full HD TV screens - by now the dominant force in flat TVs - engage in some upscaling, and don't constantly stain images with motion blur.

Again, though, we note how clean the image is. It's as if upscaling has not only been completely ignored, but the opposite is taking place - so the finished image is so soft that problems with the image are less noticeable. A car chase later in In Time underlines that endemic issue with motion blur.

Toshiba 32DL933B review

Turning to a Blu-ray disc of Avatar, the Toshiba 32DL933B suddenly does rather better. The detail-heavy performance makes it all the more disappointing that the Toshiba 32DL933B lacks a Full HD tuner.

The same criticism surrounding motion blur remains, particularly on camera pans, but appears lessened for objects moving horizontally across the screen. Nor did we notice any film judder - an unexpected plus point - while colour also seems more realistic.

Everything is better in HD... although it makes us miss Full HD even more, since a lot of fine detailing is either lost or stained slightly by jagged edges and/or flicker and shimmer.

While never impressing as such, judged as basic all-round TV for a living room or bedroom, this LED TV makes the grade - but only by a whisker.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),