Toshiba Regza 32RL858 review
A budget TV with plenty of features and great image quality for the price, but you should wait for the verdict on the competition before buying
Review Date: 4 May 2012
Price when reviewed: £370
Reviewed By: Tom Morgan
Toshiba’s 32RL858 isn't the most attractive TV we've seen – at 32in it won’t dwarf your living room furniture, but the outdated silver plastic bezel isn’t exactly cutting edge. Appearances are deceptive, though, as this small, TV has Smart TV features and a Freeview HD tuner.
The RL858 has an array of ports on the back. Three HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and USB are all present, so you should have no trouble hooking up a Blu-ray player, PC or games console. It’s a shame that they mostly face outwards, rather than down, as they could get in the way of a flush wall mount - the TV is just 30mm thick, so would look great mounted on a wall.
There’s no in-built Wi-Fi, but you’ll still want to connect the TV to your network – Toshiba has added its Places online system, which is one of the best-looking Smart TV systems we’ve seen. It’s not as comprehensive a system as that of its rivals - you have to jump through different menus to find different services, whereas on Sony and Samsung Smart TVs they are all in one place. YouTube, BBC iPlayer and film rentals from AceTrax are all present and correct, as is USB and network playback for your video files. File format support is excellent – we had no trouble playing MKV, DivX or XviD video. There’s only one USB port, so you won’t be able to play files directly if you use the optional Wi-Fi dongle (part code WLM-10U2, £32 from www.amazon.co.uk).
We weren’t expecting much from the menu system, based on the rather cluttered on-screen programming guide. It takes up the entire screen and doesn’t have a picture-in-picture mode, so you won’t be able to watch one program while searching for another. However, digging a little deeper reveals a comprehensive amount of image options for a budget set. With a colour management system that gives you control over red, green, blue, magenta and cyan colours individually, the option to disable active backlight control and several noise reduction settings, as well as the usual brightness, contrast and sharpness controls, there’s a huge amount of scope for tweaking the picture.
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