Toshiba 19DV714B

Built-in DVD players may have never caught on in the bigger screen sizes - where maximum slimness is imperative - but they do make a lot of sense in the bedroom. And that’s exactly where this chunky Toshiba telly is headed.

Measuring 19 inches in diameter, this LCD TV (note the lack of LED backlighting) is an effort at an entire home ents solution in a second room. Okay, so there’s no Blu-ray drive, but that would be somewhat wasted on the 19DV714B’s 1366 x 766 pixels (a resolution that confirms this TV as HD-ready).

In its place is further all-in-one goodness in the shape of a USB input that can accept and playback DivX video files. That’s excellent news - and relatively rare at this small screen size.

The last unusual characteristic of Toshiba’s combi is its colour; although it’s also available in gloss black, our review sample arrived in white.

But while it may have a passing resemblance to an Apple product, its 7cm+ depth is at odds with that feeling, though the build quality is impressive. The desktop stand is a nifty solution; it snaps into place from a vertical position. It may make wall mounting tricky, but that’s of little concern.

The 19DV714B’s bulky nature has its advantages besides its solid build. Included on its generous rear are two HDMI inputs where most 19-inch TVs have just one. Alongside are Component video inputs, a Scart, a connection for a PC and some analogue stereo audio inputs. Also back there is a Common Interface slot, which means Top-Up TV subscription channels can be watched on the 19DV714B.

Sadly the 19DV714B’s chunk doesn’t mean deeper speaker casing; audio is weak and thin, with little in the way of low frequency or rounded mid-range; the set’s digital optical audio output might come in handy if you’re anywhere near a separate sound system. Failing that, a headphones jack is also present.

Toshiba hasn’t often paid much attention to its products’ user interfaces, and that neglect continues on the 19DV714B. Onscreen menus are clad in yellow and grey and look tired, simultaneously lacking functionality and speed. It proves tricky to switch between a USB stick, Freeview channels and that built-in DVD player, though each has its own merits. USB stick playback is adequate, with MP3, JPG photos and DivX video files all playable - and in excellent quality. The 8-day electronic programme guide is no looker, but does the job - and better still, floats over the current TV channel. Insert a DVD disc and it will play immediately, though there’s a full suite of the usual controls on the TV remote.

That matching white remote is a high point of this package despite some of the buttons having two functions; the layout and size of the controls are spot-on.

Pictures are the 19DV714B’s low-point, with a narrow viewing angle the most irritating aspect. Elsewhere there’s a lack of contrast and some motion blur, though Freeview and DVD always remain watchable.

Verdict

Good value 19-inch LCD TV-DVD combi with a nicely joined-up interface, though both picture and sound quality are basic.



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