Toshiba’s CV series of LCD TVs aim to offer a high specs without blowing the bank and are available in 32-, 37- and 42-inch. But have they succeeded? We grabbed some time on the sofa with the 32-incher to find out.
The gloss black surround certainly sets the right tone with a slink modern look. With the controls hidden around the side, the front is fairly clear from clutter as is usual with the Regza range. One of the features of the CV series is the SRS WOW audio system that hides behind a black grill running along the bottom of the front. This unfortunately spoils the look slightly, and means the bottom of the TV is deeper than you might expect.
The stand is a basic affair, and on the 32in is fixed, so no swivel. You also get the standard VESA holes for wall mounting the TV if you’re really flash.
Out of the box is it pretty much a case of plug-in, auto-tune and off you go – about 5 minutes before you can be enjoying your new TV. The integrated Freeview tuner means it is ready to go when digital switchover happens, which is pretty standard these days. Unfortunately the TV did seem to suffer with fluctuations in the signal strength in a way that our regular LCD unit does not.
The screen itself has a matt finish which presents you with something of a dilemma: it does fair better at reducing glare from windows and so on, but doesn’t look quite as glorious when watching good quality films.
In terms of picture quality the standard settings were pretty good: there are a range of presets you can choose from and the "dynamic" default seems a little extreme for watching regular TV. If you want to get more involved you can customise all the settings, as well as alter the level of the image processing going on under the skin.
When it comes to taking advantage of the 1080 HD offering, the range of connections is impressive, especially at this price point, giving you three HDMI inputs and Component video (although these don’t appear to be gold), alongside the more regular twin Scart, PC connection and outputs audio, including subwoofer and optical.
We tested the unit with regular television, high-definition content on Component from the Xbox 360 and upscaled DVD via HMDI. The DVD content was crisp and clear, with upscaling on a 32in screen giving you a very good result. The Xbox games were also nice and crisp, using the Game mode for 1:1 pixel mapping so you don’t miss any of the action. It is also simple to select the input you want, which can be a pain on some TVs.
Regular Freeview channels unfortunately just didn’t look as good as our larger LCD which feeds from the same source. Perhaps this is something to do with the signal strength problems mentioned earlier, but it is difficult to tell. In direct comparison, we felt a little disappointed, although in isolation, you probably wouldn’t notice (consider also that the comparison unit costs almost 40% more).
One useful feature is the Regza-Link option on the remote control, which will allow you basic control of your other connected devices – we found it gave us control of our Samsung DVD player - saving the need to use a separate remote which is a nice touch. For those concerned about their carbon footprint, or just their electricity bill, there a "Full Power Down" option so you can turn the TV off.
Considering the number of connections, the CV range gives you a big bang for your buck, especially at the small end. The design might not compete with some rivals, for example from Philips or Sony, but you do get a lot for your money.
Operation is simple and there is certainly enough options to customise things to your own viewing preferences. The complaints about the signal strength was something of a concern and it is always worth ensuring you have the best roof aerial available.
With the 32in model retailing for £649.99 (37in £749.99, 42in £899.99) you are looking at a lot of TV for your money.