Review: Toshiba Regza 32AV565DG

 
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Published: November 20, 2008 11:00 PM
By Vincent Lheur
We didn't get a chance to test Toshiba's last line of TVs, the AV515, but we've just had a look at the manufacturer's next generation of screens with this AV565 which is much the same as its predecessor--but comes with a built-in digital tuner that's compatible with HD signals.

To sum up everything else, these are matte LCD screens on fixed stands that support HD Ready resolutions.

As soon as you unpack it, it's evident that this is an entry-level model.

The external finishing is not very easy on the eye, and looks a little behind the times.

By the same token, corners have been cut on the remote control which only gives access to a handful of key functions.

Finally, the ugly on-screen interface is another sign of Toshiba's determination to push out an old-fashioned TV and claim it's new.


We have to admit that at a price of 650 euros for the 32'' version and 850 euros for 37'' version, we weren't expecting miracles.

Nevertheless, we're born optimists, so the AV565DG went into our lab for the same batch of tests as every other screen we look at.

Tests


In fact, our first measurements weren't all that bad.

Once we had tweaked the settings a little, we got black levels down to 0.08 cd/m², giving a contrast ratio of 1700:1.

The colors are a little less strong, with an average DeltaE score of around 7, when we'd usually expect it to be closer to 3.

As soon as we put on our first test movie we noticed the weird discoloration, and also what was causing it.

Skin tones were bright red, pale shades tended to be washed-out and colors bled all over the place--in short, everything was far too saturated under the default configuration.

We were testing Toshiba TVs with exactly the same problem over a year ago, and nothing has improved; the manufacturer still hasn't seen fit to offer less nauseating set of defaults.

Turning saturation down from its initial reading of 50 to around 37 smoothes out these problems and gives a much more accurate image.

Along the way, the DeltaE score falls from 7 down to 4--a lot closer to a perfect score than it was before.

Colors  Good, Grays Bad


With these good performances for contrast and color is the AV565DG a good deal?

Unfortunately not: no matter how much we adjusted the settings, we couldn't get a reasonable gamma curve out of it.

The majority of viewers can tolerate a fairly large adjustment in the shape of the gamma curve before the image begins to look unnatural, but the more we tried to solve the problem, the more we noticed that this TV has a bigger problem with displaying dark grays.

In general, they appear far too light, and any attempt to darken them to a reasonable level involves making the whole screen too dark.

Elsewhere, ghosting was visible when small details moved around the screen, but there is no 100 Hz mode to increase the frame rate to correct for this problem as there is on some other recent TVs.

Upscaling Standard Definition sources is mediocre at best. 

Images lose a lot of sharpness on the way onto the 'big' 32'' screen; we can only imagine this is worse on the 37'' model.

Even HD sources lose a little detail, but given the small size of the screen, you need to be closer than two meters before you can notice the differences between this and a Full HD screen.


Finally, it almost goes without saying that on a screen like this the sound on a TV like this is very poor, and seems to bounce around the inside of the screen rather than projecting into the room.
3/5 Toshiba Regza 32AV565DG DigitalVersus 2008-11-21 00:00:00

Pros

  • Good contrast and color--once set up correctly
  • HD Digital Tuner

Cons

  • Default settings are awful
  • Mediocre upscaling of SD sources
  • Could do better with a PC
  • Dreadful sound

Conclusion

Given the amount of problems you have to fix yourself, and then all the other smaller defects (poor sound, problems connecting to a PC, shoddy upscaling of SD sources ...), the AV565DG really is a very poor TV.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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