A little experimentation with the remote control allowed us to locate the relevant on-screen menu and it didn’t take long to tune into the various Freeview channels. However, we never did locate the Initial Setup menu and less experienced users who prefer to follow the instructions in the manual might struggle a little here.
Things soon picked up once we started to watch a bit of television. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of standard-definition Freeview channels on the 37AV615DB. This entry-level model doesn’t include the Resolution+ upscaling technology that Toshiba has been advertising recently, but it does a very respectable job when displaying standard-definition images.
Nondescript styling – not always a bad thing
Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson are obviously having a few sleepless nights at the moment, because the 37AV615DB really shows up the bags under their eyes. There’s also an adjustable sharpness setting, although we were happy enough with the image quality that we didn’t feel the need to use this at all.
Freeview channels displayed correctly, but the signal from our Sky+ box was initially displayed at its standard 576p resolution, which left it with big black borders on either side of the image. We were able to correct this easily enough by using the ‘4:3 Stretch’ option within the on-screen menu. However, the manual brushes over the various menu options and, again, we felt that there could be more help for the less-experienced users who are most likely to buy an entry-level set like this.
High-definition content also looks very good. Our HD tests revealed fine detail on the fur of fox cubs in a nature documentary and Spiderman swooped smoothly across the rooftops. The default colour settings could have been a little more vibrant, but the on-screen menu provides additional presets for colour temperature, such as ‘warm’ or ‘fleshtones’, as well as the ability to adjust the individual red, green and blue settings, if required.
Shock as TheRegister gets hands on gear that's fell off the back of a wagon
"However, it did survive being dropped off the back of the van when it was delivered to us"
- Ello ello ello, what do we 'ave 'ere them? Dodgy gear? fell off the back of a wagon did it sir?
1080P LG 37" bought for £489 ...
before xmas08 from Dixons online (gasp!) ... got £10 random discount voucher and free delivery.
Cracking TV, excellent DVI monitor @ 1080P, nuff said
Isnt most broadcast HDTV 720p/1080i?
If so on a 37" I think I'd rather watch the usual crap at 720p than 1080i.
Either that or have a TV that will work at its best with the most all round resolution for its screen size.
I have had 2 of them with in a month both had same problem, sound would go off when watching a channel and you would get a high pitch noise would come from tv, then all tv etc would lock up, only way to fix it was to unplug it from mains.
apart from that its a good starter tv, has almost all you want.
I am now looking for a different make of tv, as the toshiba have all been sent back and a full refund given.
Resolution and Aspect Ratio - not the same thing
"Freeview channels displayed correctly, but the signal from our Sky+ box was initially displayed at its standard 576p resolution, which left it with big black borders on either side of the image."
For a start, if it's a standard Sky+ (not HD) box, it'll be 576i not 576p.
Secondly, 576 is the number of vertical, not horizontal pixels, so that wouldn't affect black bars on the sides of the image anyway.
Thirdly, the SD resolution doesn't tell you the aspect ratio in itself. An SD PAL signal is usually encoded as 720 x 576 but the signal contains an Active Format Descriptor (AFD) which tells the TV how to present the video on screen. So basically a 16:9 widescreen programme in SD PAL may have the same 720 pixel horizontal resolution as a 4:3 programme - it's just that the pixels are effectively wider in the widescreen version.
So marksi is right. If the TV puts black bars either side of the image, it's doing it so that you can enjoy your favourite TV characters without fat heads.