Toshiba 32XV505D review

A Full HD set that won't empty your wallet, but won't surprise you either

Three HDMI ports mean the Toshiba 32XV505DB is pretty much ready for anything

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Elegant design

  • +

    decent stereo sound

  • +

    Excellent value for money

  • +

    Full HD resolution


  • -

    Weak black levels

  • -

    no memory card slots

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The Toshiba 32XV505DB's slim and elegant bezel is befitting of its lofty status in the Regza flatscreen hierarchy.

This new XV panel comes in at just a little more than its equivalent model in the AV range, but ups the resolution from 720p to 1080p status and ramps up the dynamic contrast ratio to a remarkable 30,000:1.

Nice price

At £600, it's a reasonably affordable Full HD panel. It comes with a neat table stand and a user-friendly remote control that looks very similar to the Sony zapper. The onscreen graphics are pin-sharp and easy to navigate, so starting the auto setup to tune the digital and analogue tuners is straightforward.

It doesn't carry as many additional features as some rivals – there's no USB or memory card slots for instance – but it does carry some useful picture-enhancing processing, like Toshiba's Active Vision suite that optimizes the picture in a similar way to Sony's Bravia 2 Engine.

The dynamic contrast function automatically raises and lowers the panel's backlight to suite the material and maintain the best contrast, while Luma Sens takes this a step further to measure the light in the room and adjust the backlight accordingly.

The preset picture modes like Game, Movie, PC and Dynamic-user optimize the picture settings for you if you don't want to bother adjusting the brightness, backlight and other parameters each time. It also has three HDMI inputs, all of which can take a 1080p24 signal.

Better Blu-ray

Using its internal tuner, the Freeview image is clear enough, making the best of the standard-def broadcast to fill the screen, but switching to DVD and then Blu-ray gives a better idea of what this 1080p display can achieve.

The contrast level is high, bringing clarity and depth to the underwater scenes on the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End BD. You can switch the active backlight control off at this point if you find the change jarring at all.

Black levels are adequate, but the pixel-packed 1080p resolution helps it resolve detail to an impressive degree to give a great picture overall. The speakers sound surprisingly bassy, almost too much at low volume levels, but you can tweak the tone controls in the menu.

Unfussy LCD

On the plus side, there's no distortion even at full volume, and in the sound menu, you can specify if you are using an amplifier and prefer to switch the internal speakers off.

If you're looking for a basic panel with a picture specification to it in with a home cinema, the Toshiba 32XV505D will prove a good it. It's the proverbial jack of all trades but master of none.

Yet the Blu-ray-friendly Full HD resolution is a definite strong point, while the unfussy design and crisp GUI make it an appealing set overall.

Jim Hill

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.