Toshiba 32RL958 review

The ultimate trickle-down TV?

Toshiba 32RL958
The Toshiba 32RL958 has Wi-Fi and a good price

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Although the Freeview HD tuner inside the Toshiba 32RL958 provides crisp, stable TV channels, the default electronic programme guide is poor. Providing two and a half hours of TV schedules for 13 channels at once, this busy and ultra-comprehensive EPG uses fonts that are too small, and works too slowly.

Nor does it include a thumbnail of the live TV channel you're watching, though it does keep the audio playing, and if not used for around a minute the EPG sensibly disappears from the screen.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Still, it's best to opt for the alternative, a web-connected MediaGuide that gets its schedules - as well as thumbnails and programme information - from the web instead of from the broadcasters.

Quicker and easier to use and more helpful, it's available as a separate app in Toshiba Places, though it's possible to select it as the default way of accessing TV schedules when you first install the Toshiba 32RL958. If you've got Wi-Fi, it seems silly not to.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Toshiba Places works quickly enough, though we must say that its logo - the folded corner of a page - is a little esoteric and doesn't come across well on the remote control's shortcut button.

Otherwise, the responsive remote itself is excellent; well weighted, sleek and shiny, the buttons are mostly large, and soft to the touch. It operates the five-pronged carousel of the user interface well, though it's a GUI that's not perfect.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

One of those five labels, Function, merely includes a couple of timers that you'll not use, while the TV Programmes icon has a rather pointless Genre Search tab. The Library and Programme Timers also lend an extensive feel to the Toshiba 32RL958's USB recording functionality.

Playable over either a home network or from a USB flash drive, the Toshiba 32RL958 supports AVC HD, AVI, MKV, MP4, MPEG, WMV and WMV HD files, MP3, WMA and M4A music, and both JPEG and BMP photos. Stream from a networked PC or Mac and for video it's AVI files only.

Toshiba 32RL958 review


There's little difference between the TV's two main audio modes - Dual 1 and Dual 2 - but either way the Toshiba 32RL958 puts in a decent, if underwhelming performance with sound.

Voice Enhancement tends to add a slightly harsh hiss to vocals while adding some volume to background music, too.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Bass is relatively impressive for a small TV, and the soundstage is surprisingly wide; it's not going to beat a home cinema, but it's fine for everyday TV watching.


Priced at £399 (around AU$615/US$648), we'd judge the Toshiba 32RL958 terrific value.

A Freeview HD tuner at this low level of the market was unheard of less than 12 months ago, while smart TV was for high-end TVs only.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

The trickle-down effect of technology is a constant trend, but the Toshiba 32RL958 has received more than most - and the provision of Wi-Fi is the icing on the connected cake.

Add some excellent media streaming and USB support, USB recording and a trio of HDMI inputs - wrapped in a reasonably standard, inoffensive design - and we're struggling to find many reasons to spend more money.

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),