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Toshiba Regza 42XV635DB review

Barry de la Rosa
15 Feb 2010
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Toshiba Regza 42XV635DB
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
620
inc VAT

A plain-looking case and low price belie the 42XV635DB's great image and sound quality. Plus, the EPG is one of the best we've seen.

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Specifications

42in, Freeview, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: , 4x HDMI

Toshiba's 42XV635DB isn't the prettiest of TVs, with a chunky bezel and a four-legged black plastic stand instead of the more common plinth. It's surprisingly inexpensive for a 42in HD TV, costing roughly the same as many 37in models. An even bigger surprise is that image quality is superb, and it's also one of the loudest TVs we've tested.

There are enough inputs to satisfy most people, including four HDMI ports, a digital audio output and both an SD card slot and a USB port. The built-in media player can handle most file types: JPEG, MP3 and DivX. Movies can be played only from a USB device, though. The only absentee is a network port, meaning there's no internet portal or media streaming.

The EPG is one of the best we've seen. You can view 14 channels at a time and up to eight days ahead. We like the ability to change the view between one hour and two hours in advance. A "Now" shortcut lets you go back to the current time, which is handy if you've been browsing ahead and want to jump back. Text and icons are clear and the high-contrast colour scheme makes it easy to read. You can also view programmes by genre, set up reminders and, if you have a compatible recording device attached, you can set the timer to record.

While the EPG is great, the remote is slightly less impressive. The main menu button is separate from the main navigation wheel, and it took us a while to find the button that lets you switch to a different input.

Image quality was better than we expected. We had to turn off the Eco mode as it made the picture much too dark, but we were impressed by the 42XV635DB's dynamic mode, which was more subtle and effective than the similar modes of other models. There are a host of image adjustments including fine-tuning each of six colours, an ambient light sensor that can be tweaked to suit your tastes. Active Vision M100 and Film Stabilization claim to reduce judder and smooth motion, but both had little effect in our tests.

Most importantly, however, the out-of-the-box settings produced great image quality. Even in Standard mode we found colours to be vibrant and contrast good. DVD movie playback was fine, with little ghosting and minimal compression artefacts. Freeview quality was also good, without the blocky look that you often see from the signal's compression. With a PC plugged in, the image quality became a bit darker and we found colours to be overblown on both Game and PC image presets.

The speakers built into the front of the case pump out a serious volume. At just 50 per cent, the sound filled our spacious labs and sound quality was decent, with enough bass and clear vocals. You even get Dolby Volume, which helps to reduce the volume differential between programmes and commercials. Two surround sound presets and bass boost to also help you optimise the sound to your environment.

With great image quality, a superb EPG and decent speakers, the 42XV635DB is amazing value at under £600. Its plain looks and unintuitive remote are the only minor drawbacks and they're more than made up for by low power consumption which will save you money on your electricity bill. Plus, the onsite warranty is better than the usual return-to-base cover included by rival manufacturers.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****

Physical

Viewable size42in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
Contrast ratio1,300:1 (50,000:1 dynamic)
Brightness450cd/m²
Speakers2x 10W
Bezel (top/side/bottom)34mm/34mm/82mm
Screen depth90mm
Screen elevation133mm
Stand size (WxD)630x320mm

Connections

DVI inputs0
D-sub inputs1
HDMI inputs4
Component inputs1
SCART1
S-Video input1
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/PDIF out, 1x stereo phono
Otherheadphone output, 3.5mm minijack audio input, CI slot, SD card slot, USB port

Tuner

Tuner typeFreeview, analogue
EPG8 day

Environmental

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on128W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year onsite
Price£620
Supplierhttp://www.dixons.co.uk
Detailswww.home-entertainment.toshiba.co.uk

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