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Toshiba Regza 26AV615DB 26in LCD TV - Toshiba Regza 26AV615DB

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Experience tells us, though, that on a TV as small and cheap as the 26AV615DB, subtle features like some of those we've just noted make little or no difference to the final picture quality. And I have to say that personally I didn't see much benefit at all from the Cinema mode or CTI features. But the Active Backlight options and Adaptive Luma Control systems are worth tinkering with, for the way they boost black level response and contrast range respectively.

In some crucial ways, the 26AV615DB's pictures are considerably better than I would have expected given its size and price. Particularly startling are its black levels, which are profound enough to show nearly pitch black scenes with little of LCD's customary grey misting interference. As a simple example of what I mean, the black bars above and below a 2.35:1-ratio film transfer look almost as black on the 26AV615DB's screen as the rich black of its bezel. Impressive!

Even better, the deep black levels don't come at the expense of as much brightness as I would have anticipated, allowing the deep blacks to sit alongside surprisingly eye-catching bright whites and peak colours. This proves particularly helpful when watching films, which generally contain markedly more extreme contrasts than normal TV fare.

Watching films on Blu-ray also made me appreciate how respectably sharp the 26AV615DB's HD pictures are. Clearly a 26in TV is hardly the ideal way of watching HD in action, but the 26AV615DB's HD images are at least sharp enough to easily tell that you're not watching standard definition.

I was also very pleased to note that the sharpness of HD fair isn't spoiled badly by LCD's motion blur problem. As well as suggesting that the screen's native response time is better than that of most budget 26in TVs, the decent motion handling likely owes at least a little to the fact that Toshiba has managed to sneak its Active Vision II video processing - complete with its motion-improving component - onto the 26AV615DB.

Active Vision may well be contributing too - along with the good black level response - to another strength of the 26AV615DB's pictures: surprisingly rich colours. The rich colourscapes of Viva Pinata on the Xbox 360 or a stylishly lit film like Blade Runner radiate forth with startling intensity, helping to give the picture solidity, as well as helping the TV hold your attention more than most 26in TVs that pass our way.

Rob 12

July 22, 2009, 3:11 am

I have owned this TV for a couple of months now and find it to be a bit of a mixed bag. Firstly the good. I use this as a bedroom TV to replace a 4 year old 23 inch Philips LCD TV. The picture is a great improvement. Contrast is better, colours richer. In particular white is whiter (With the Philips whites often had a red/pink tinge). HD pictures are nice, but you really need to see them on a larger TV to get the full benefit. There are also plenty of connection options with 3 HDMI sockets, VGA, component etc. However I have found the sound to be appalling, almost no bass or treble (The Philips which it replaced which I still use elsewhere is considerably better for sound). Even the bass boost and treble controls don't help much. I have to use external speakers. Also, the EPG is very poor. You can only view one channel at a time, and as soon as you scroll to another channel, the TV immediately switches to that channel when you often only want to read the guide for it. I have used several EPGs and this is one of the poorest. The EPG is less of a problem for me as I use the TV with a 'Humax Freesat HDR' which has a good EPG and with a good pair of external speakers the TV is acceptable but I would have expected more from a TV from a respected manufacturer like Toshiba.

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