Toshiba 32CV711B review

The 32CV711B's solid feature set, and aggressive pricing make it a decent option as a second-room TV

Toshiba 32CV711B
Toshiba's solid feature set and aggressive price make it an ideal 2nd room set

The 32CV711B isn't quite as humble as you might expect for its money; the main surprise is the ability to play JPEG photos or MP3 music files from USB storage devices.

Multimedia options like this are usually among the first things to be axed whenever manufacturers contemplate creating price-conscious sets, but retaining them on one most likely to find a home in a second room rather than a living room makes a lot of sense. Teenagers, in particular, may appreciate the USB support if they're lucky enough to land a 32CV711B in their bedroom.

Another unexpected plus is the presence of Active Vision LCD picture processing. Admittedly, it's a fairly basic version of this proprietary image engine, but its ability to improve colours, contrast and sharpness makes it a welcome inclusion.

The 32CV711B's rather dated looking onscreen menus reveals that, remarkably, Toshiba has also managed to include a decent colour management system. This enables you to adjust the gain level of each of the red, green and blue colour components, or the hue, saturation and brightness of the red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colour elements. There are TVs costing twice as much that don't offer nearly this much control.

Some might argue that this degree of fine tuning isn't really necessary on such an affordable set, but it adds no discernible premium and will be much appreciated by anyone particular about their pictures.

Other impressive discoveries within an 'Advanced Video' submenu include noise reduction and colour transient improvement options, a game mode that really does reduce the TV's input lag time and the ability to turn the active backlight system on or off.

Toshiba 32cv711b

There are even a few fairly advanced audio options onboard, including a pseudo surround sound system, a bass booster, and a lip sync system that uses HDMI v1.3 technology to keep audio in line with the video signal. Though, as we'll discover later, these audio tricks prove rather less useful than the video ones.

Looking elsewhere on the 32CV711B's spec sheet, however, finds a number of fairly key limitations. The native resolution is only 1,366 x 768, not full HD, for instance. The claimed contrast ratio of 12,000:1 looks pretty feeble, too, compared with the hundreds of thousands, even millions to one quoted by many LCD TVs these days – at least the ones that use some form of LED technology.

Perhaps the single greatest disappointment, though, is the lack of a hi-def TV tuner, restricting out-of-the-box viewing to plain old Freeview.

A paltry pair of HDMIs and absence of any 100Hz processing or DLNA/online capabilities, however, are par for the course at this price.

All in all the 32CV711B's feature spec seems just a touch confused. While many potential buyers will appreciate the USB stuff, it seems likely that the same buyers would probably also gladly sacrifice much of the fancy picture tweaking in favour of a full HD resolution and a Freeview HD tuner.

The set's glossy black bezel offset by a grey strip has a certain charm, but the build quality is very plasticky and lightweight and the chassis is also quite bulky by modern LCD TV standards.