Toshiba Regza 26in combi TV
DVD player plus
Review The Toshiba 26DV615DB is rather big and chunky for a 26in telly, but that's because it has a DVD player built into the casing. The result is that it measures 100mm in depth, so it's by no means thin.
In addition, the bezel is a substantial 50mm all round, so this relatively small HDTV measures 681mm wide by 514mm tall.
Toshiba's Regza 26DV615DB: big bezelled
Despite that, the all-up weight is only 8.8kg so it’s quite feasible to move the Tosh around the house when you have guests staying, or fancy watching the cricket in peace and quiet in the kitchen.
The Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) looks good. It offers handy frills such as a progress bar that indicates how far you are into the current show, but it falls short of the perfection offered by Sky. For one thing, the ‘i’ button gives you very little information about the show you’re watching, but does tell you both the signal strength and the signal quality of the station in question.
We weren’t especially impressed with the remote control. It’s a full-sized unit that feels comfortable in the hand but it isn’t illuminated. And there is a system of colour coding that is presumably meant to help the customer.
Bulky, but light enough to lug around the house
DVD buttons are marked in lilac, digital TV in orange, green is used for Teletext, and other functions are in grey. However, the markings are tricky to read and we spent far too much time staring at the remote looking for the appropriate buttons when we should have been watching TV.
You need to use the remote to switch from TV to DVD playback - slotting in a disc won't do - and the slot-loading drive is rather noisy.
The screen has a close-to-720p resolution of 1366 x 768. Output from the analogue tuner was a throwback to the 1980s, but Freeview looked fine and DVD playback was somewhat sharper and clearer still.
Fiddling with the picture presets revealed that the Toshiba has four modes: Standard, Movie, Memory and Preference. Movie looks a tad darker than Standard, while Sports is brighter and Memory would be better if it was named Mystery as its function failed to become clear.
We were happy with Standard but there’s not much to choose between the four, and the same was true of adjusting brightness, contrast and sharpness. All the settings started in the mid-point of the adjustment range and that’s also where they ended up.
The only change that we found worth making was to enable surround sound as it made the audio sound fuller and more convincing than the thin default setting. It came as something of a surprise to learn that the speakers are only rated at 3W. They sound louder but they’re never going to deliver a convincing cinema experience so you may wish to use the headphone mini jack which is tucked away behind the control buttons on the left side of the TV.
Our eyes were drawn to the claim that the Toshiba supports MP3, JPEG and DivX playback. Unfortunately, the 26DV615DB doesn’t have any USB ports and neither does it have a card reader, so you're obliged to burn the files to CD or DVD. We happened to have a couple of picture CDs that have worked perfectly well in a number of PCs. One disc was fine in the Tosh, but the other was reported as an "incorrect disc".
The slot-load DVD player was on the noisy side
In addition to the RF input for the aerial, Toshiba has included two HDMI inputs, two Scarts, and component- and composite-video, so you could certainly consider installing the telly in a teenager’s bedroom where it would become an integral part of their universe.
Those connections could be used to connect a Sky receiver, an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3, so there's plenty of scope for playing HD content that will make use of the Tosh's resolution. We plugged in a PS3 using HDMI and watched a couple of Blu-ray movies with lovely sharp, clear pictures. However, the screen isn’t coated and the colours looked unspectacular. There was nothing offensive about the experience, but it failed to deliver the Wow factor.
Let’s finish with a spot of good news. While the Toshiba was engaged in TV and movie duties we measured the power consumption at 85W which fell to less than 1W on stand by which is admirably green.
It's a bit on the bulky side, but the 26DV615DB isn't a bad telly. If space is tight, the integration of the DVD player is handy, and it makes a good secondary set for same reason. Even better, the picture and sound quality are good for a set this size. ®
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