Untroubled by faddish 3D or network smarts, the Toshiba 32HL933B is a TV that changes hands for an entirely reasonable £350, or less. If you need a bigger display, it's also available as the 40in 40HL933B for £500. See also: group test: what's the best 3D TV?

The Toshiba 32HL933B's design is smart but anonymous, with the non-reflective panel set off against a slim glossy black bezel. There are just two HDMI inputs (one of which side mounted), along with SCART, PC VGA, component video with stereo audio and USB 2.0 connectivity.

Digital audio is ouput via coaxial rather than the more common Toslink optical connection. Stereo speakers parp from the base of the Toshiba 32HL933B, which bulges slightly (from 47mm to 63.5mm) to accommodate the drivers. On the rear edge of the screen you'll find some on-body controls.Toshiba 32HL933B rear panel

There are some significant caveats, not least the fact that the tuner is standard-def Freeview. We would recommend using the Toshiba 32HL933B with an HD source, be it Sky+HD, Virgin Media TiVo or similar. The slabby remote zapper is also unarguably hideous.  

The Toshiba 32HL933B may employ a basic 50Hz panel, but there's a surprisingly large selection of picture parameters to tweak. Presets comprise Standard, Mild, Movie, Game, User and Dynamic, and there's variable backlight and noise reduction adjustment, in addition to contrast, brightness, colour and sharpness controls.

The set may lack the ability to receive streams from across your network, but its USB media reader is up to snuff, thanks to a DivX HD license. AVI, MKV, VOB, DivX and MP4 content all play. Audio tracks are illustrated by a blocky peak meter reading (which appears a bit random to be honest), rather than a display of album art. Format support covers MP3, AAC/M4A and WAV.

Toshiba 32HL933B: main user interface

The Toshiba 32HL933B TV's main user interface follows the KISS design principle, with icons for Picture, Sound, Setup etc. The TV listing is a basic, single channel timeline.

Toshiba 32HL933B

HD images from external sources appear sharp and vibrant. Motion resolution is surprisingly good for such a budget screen, delivering around 850 lines (at 6.5ppf). There's no subjective loss of detail and motion artifacts are non-existent. The opening full-frame sequence to The Dark Knight sparkles with incidental detail and clown-mask textures; it's a very cinematic picture.

Just make sure you dial back the sharpness gauge to around 20 to avoid artificial-looking edge enhancement. Colour fidelity is generally good, with plenty of deep reds in evidence (never easy for an LCD).

The set's black level performance is solid, but not plungingly deep. Relatively smooth edge back-lighting helps, as it doesn't impose overtly glowing puddles over dark scenes. There's a fine sense of gradation, with shadow detail retained.

Left on its default audio setting the TV does a perfectly adequate job for casual viewing.

The Sound menu rather optimistically offers a Surround option. However, when engaged, it effectively funnels dialogue into a virtual hole behind the screen; in effect, doing exactly the opposite as advertised.

Toshiba 32HL933B

Toshiba 32HL933B: Specs

  • 32in LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • ?stereo speakers with 2 x 5W amp
  • Freeview tuner
  • 8-day EPG
  • 2 x HDMI, 1 x SCART, 1 x Component/stereo audio, 1 x D-Sub VGA
  • coaxial digital audio output, headphone jack
  • 1 x USB 2.0, CI slot
  • 76W average power consumption
  • 457 x 736 x 47mm (whd without stand)
  • 8.5kg
  • 32in LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • ?stereo speakers with 2 x 5W amp
  • Freeview tuner
  • 8-day EPG
  • 2 x HDMI, 1 x SCART, 1 x Component/stereo audio, 1 x D-Sub VGA
  • coaxial digital audio output, headphone jack
  • 1 x USB 2.0, CI slot
  • 76W average power consumption
  • 457 x 736 x 47mm (whd without stand)
  • 8.5kg

OUR VERDICT

The Toshiba 32HL933B is an affordable flatscreen that doesn't disappoint. Although it's a shame that it doesn't come with a DVB-T2 tuner as standard, its hi-def performance is terrific and images don't dissolve into a sludgy mess when the action picks up. The lack of net connectability is easy enough to correct by adding the right Blu-ray player. All things considered, this is a high value 1080p screen. Just remember to hide the hideous remote if the neighbours come calling, lest you die of embarrassment.

Find the best price