• Decent price for a 42-inch edge LED TV
  • Bright pictures are surprisingly good
  • Minimal motion blur
  • Easy to use


  • Black levels lack depth
  • Backlight inconsistency
  • No 3D or online connectivity

There's something refreshingly straightforward about the Toshiba 42HL833. The £700 set might be devoid of online features or streaming services and its Freeview tuner is strictly standard-def, but you won't find a cheaper full HD, edge LED set of its size in Toshiba's current lineup.

Affordable TVs that eschew fancy features in favour of decent pictures should find an audience in these economically straitened times and the 42HL833 sits just above the HD ready EL833 series in the manufacturer's expansive, budged-conscious new range.

If the 42HL833's 42-inch screen size doesn't suit you, the 32-inch 32HL833 is also available, while anyone after a Freeview HD tuner will have to step up to the RL833 series, which also add a few online features to the mix.

Toshiba 42hl833

The 42HL833 is all about value: there's no 3D, no online connectivity or DLNA PC compatibility and the build quality is rather plasticky. You won't find much in the way of video processing, either and the panel is only 50Hz with a conventional (non-scanning) backlight.

The 42HL833 is not entirely devoid of useful features, however: its USB port can handle music, photo and video files and the container formats the set can parse include MPEG, MPEG2-TS, H.264, MPEG2-PS, AVI (XviD), MP4 and MKV (H.264, MPEG1, 2, 4).

A D-Sub PC port enhances multimedia options further, while other connections include an acceptable two HDMIs, a digital audio output and a single Scart.

If you are thinking of hanging a 42HL833 on a wall, be aware that many of its connections – including one of the HDMIs, the component video input and the tuner jack – face straight out of the TV's rear, rather than being positioned for side access.

Trawling the 42HL833's menus for features uncovers more adjustments than you might expect to find on such an affordable TV. There's a separate backlight control alongside the usual contrast and brightness adjustments, a trio of settings for black/white level balance and an adjustable static gamma level, as well as separate DNR and MPEG NR processing options.

Most startlingly, a 3D Colour Management system enables you to adjust – via a superbly simple interface – the hue, saturation and brightness of the red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan colour components.

The only other things of interest are a bass boost function and a pseudo-surround audio processing option, both of which need to be treated with extreme care, as they can make the set sound worse, rather than better.