The new Regza C-series from Toshiba, available in 32-inch and 37-inch and 42-inch sizes, aims to bring more weight to LCD's case as the current flatscreen technology of choice.
The 32-inch screen we have on test is a nice enough looking unit, with a swivel stand, twin HDMI and a range of typical inputs.
You'll also find a built-in digital TV tuner with Freeview, which is particularly impressive in its clarity and sharpness, outperforming a digital satellite signal which in itself is still pretty good.
Although blacks weren’t quite as deep as we were expecting, colours are vibrant and clear, in particular with an HD signal. This is in no small part down to the Active Vision LCD picture processing technology that is utilised throughout the range, which claims to bring three times more pixels and four times more colour tones than conventional LCDs.
We're not sure the effect is quite as dramatic as these statistics suggest, but we certainly noticed a distinct improvement in colour and clarity over many of the recent screens we've tested. The 1080i resolution isn't cutting edge, but should be adequate for most, particularly considering the ongoing Blu-ray/HD DVD saga which is encouraging many consumers to hold off until a format is clearly established.
With 20W RMS output the internal speakers are pretty impressive, with a wide encompassing stereo image providing a good audio environment for the listener. Bass isn't particularly pronounced despite a range of bass boost options and the screen would benefit from a dedicated sub-woofer if you have one, a composite out for a sub is provided.
Despite a pretty impressive picture from the default settings, we did find ourselves wanting to make minor adjustments every now and then and while you have plenty of options for doing this, you're a little limited in terms of environment presets. Instead a range of fine tuning options for colour, hue, brightness and saturation certainly give you plenty of control, but don't make it particularly easy to make quick adjustments.
The picture processing technology on the C-series is certainly impressive; this is an decent mid-sized solution that offers a good degree of control with a range of connectivity, built in features and good sound. The options for fine-tuning both the picture and the audio may be a little daunting, but this is a minor issue and considering the overall high quality of the image shouldn't be a problem for most.
At around £700 for the 32-inch screen, up to around £1100 for the 42-inch, the new C-series is reasonably priced in today’s market.
We've seen more impressive overall picture quality from some recent high-end LCDs but for a combination of features and performance this is a well-rounded offering from Toshiba and we'd certainly recommend it.