Coming from the company that introduced the space-saving Picture Frame design concept to the world, the sheer bulk of Toshiba's 32YT56B is a bit of a shock. Ample inches of cabinet extend from all sides of the screen, and are, if anything, exaggerated by the use of a colour-differentiated inner screen frame and the gentle curves that distinguish the set's top and bottom edges. Small and unassuming this TV is not.
It does at least wear its bulk reasonably well, though, thanks to a robust build and tasteful, two-tone finish.
Rather lost amid the acreage of space on the TV's rear are two Scarts, the RF input, a CAM slot for adding extra digital TV options - such as Top Up TV - and a digital audio output. This latter jack is the only pleasant surprise, and it's there in case Freeview decides to start broadcasting Dolby Digital soundtracks in the future.
Beyond the digital tuner, the 32YT56B is seriously light on features.There's support for Freeview's seven-day electronic programme guide, and you can set recordings directly from it too. But otherwise, aside from a noise reduction system, things are totally run of the mill.
The 32YT56B is a solid performer. Its greatest attribute is its fine detail response; it ekes out far more texture and sharpness from all sources - even the notoriously soft Freeview ones - than we're accustomed to seeing at this sort of price. Admittedly, some of this detail is accompanied by traces of colour moiring interference, but really this is not a serious criticism of a £500 TV.
When it comes to other sorts of picture noise, such as grain, dot crawl and digital tuner MPEG blocking, the 32YT56B fares very well. As it does with colours, mostly; hues across the whole spectrum look vivid, smoothly saturated and clearly edged, with little seepage. Occasionally their tone can become a touch too full-on, but these moments are rare.
There are a few signs of the 32YT56B's budget nature, though. The most aggravating is the way the picture bulges across its top quarter - especially when viewing anything in 4:3 mode.
The 50Hz flicker is also noticeable enough at times to leave the picture looking a touch fragile; sharp edges can seem a touch ghosty; and sometimes the balance between the bright and dark parts of a picture becomes unbalanced, leaving the dark areas looking too dull for comfort. Disappointing though they may be, these niggles don't stop the picture from being anything less than very enjoyable.
The 32YT56B is also very solid sonically. There's plenty of width to the soundstage and a pleasingly wide range between the deepest bass point and highest treble. Loud scenes don't cause the mid-range to sound cramped or harsh either, leaving only a slightly 'boxy' overall tone to complain about.
Although not quite outstanding enough in any department to be one of Toshiba's classic CRT TVs, the 32YT56 is a likeable all-rounder and as such warrants a place on your 32in CRT IDTV audition list.