Although the 32ZP46 feels a little bit like Toshiba on autopilot, even a Toshiba TV set to cruise control is better than the best many rivals have to offer. Too pricey though
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The 32ZP46 is a proud bearer of the latest incarnation of Toshiba's acclaimed and popular Picture Frame design. Which means that the frame round the screen is slimmer than Brad Pitt's waist in Troy. This enables the 32in TV to occupy the same sort of physical space that a 28in TV would occupy (although it's seriously chunky around the back).
Aside from its space-saving potential, the 32ZP46 is hardly Helen of Troy. The silver colouring and straightforward rectangular shaping of the screen frame looks pretty dull, for all its slenderness. Connections are pleasingly plentiful. The star of the show is a set of component video inputs - especially as the 32ZP46 can use these to enjoy prog scan from a suitably-equipped DVD player.
The Tosh boasts decent features, led by a host of picture processing options. Aside from the progressive scan talents we mentioned to previously, there's 100Hz processing and Toshiba's proprietary Active Vision system. This adds more detail, and kicks in a three-dimensional noise reduction system to make moving objects look more clear. Beyond these processing goodies, there's really only a 'black stretch' contrast booster and a 'Superwoofer' bass system worth mentioning.
Pressed into action on Troy, the 32ZP46 proves a typically good Toshiba effort - without quite achieving 'classic' status. The most notable strength is contrast - the black level response is exceptionally profound, helping to generate enormous depth of field during dark scenes. At the other end of the brightness scale bright whites are well contained, ensuring that, even with extreme dark/light contrasts - such as the moonlight glinting off the soldiers' shields in Troy - edges suffer no haloing or glinting.
The rich colours of the royal onlookers' outfits during the scrap between Achilles and Hector also look little short of spectacular, with rock-solid saturations and a general dearth of picture noise. And that's not to say that the 32ZP46 can't handle more subtle tones; skin during night scenes never looks less than natural.
Our only niggle with the Tosh is that its pictures aren't always as sharp as we might expect, thanks to boundaries between rich hues sometimes looking slightly soft.
The rather unassuming-looking speakers that sit under the screen massively out-performed our expectations, largely thanks to the impressive 'Superwoofer'. This injects plenty of bass into big Troy action moments - like the final taking of the city - giving them a cinematic dimension. The Superwoofer also counterbalances the occasional shrill treble, leaving an overall impression of a large, acutely detailed soundstage that only sounds a bit 'boxy' under really extreme duress.
Whichever way you cut it, the Toshiba 32ZP46 is a very likeable TV. In an ideal world however, we'd have liked a bit more of a progression from the brand's previous Active Vision/Picture Frame TVs. It's certainly no longer state of the art, and should really weigh in at £900 or so. At £1,200 it's simply too expensive, despite the strong performance.
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