The current price-cutting war in the LCD TV world really is crazy right now. For instance, despite barely a week passing since we reviewed Toshiba’s low-end 37CV505DB at £546.81, the brand’s step-up model, the 37XV505DB, is now available for only £16 or so more - even though the 37XV505DB swaps the 37CV505DB’s HD Ready resolution for a much more fashionable and HD-loving Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. Wowza. Sounds like an opportunity too good to miss, doesn’t it?
The 37XV505DB is pretty missable aesthetically, though. For while we had a little soft spot for the XV range’s simple black rectangle design when it first appeared, the design extravagances of a healthy number of recent rival TVs and a slightly plasticky finish now combine to make the Tosh effort seem a little bland, truth be told. But then this is, after all, a 37in Full HD TV costing under £600, so we can easily live with an uninspiring design if the set scores in enough other areas.
And score it certainly does with its connections, which manage to include three v1.3 HDMI inputs despite the lowly price, as well as a D-Sub PC port, a subwoofer line-out, and the increasingly de rigueur optical audio output for piping Dolby Digital audio out to an AV receiver. Admittedly there are no SD card slots, USB ports and such like, but then I refer you again to my earlier ‘sub-£600’ point.
Feature-wise, aside from its higher native resolution, the 37XV505DB’s main specification difference to the 37CV505DB is a slightly more impressive dynamic contrast ratio of 18,000:1 vs the CV models’ 15,000:1.
Otherwise everything looks pretty darned similar, with the chief feature being Toshiba’s Active Vision LCD picture processing. This contains the usual elements devoted to improving such picture components as motion handling, colours, black levels and detailing.
There’s also a Game mode for optimising the TV’s performance with PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii consoles; a 3D colour management system via which you can fine tune the set’s colour settings; an auto backlight mode that continually adjusts the TV’s backlight output based on an assessment of the image content; SRS Wow audio processing; and last and most certainly least, something Toshiba proudly calls the ‘Full Power Down Option’. Coo.
As we saw in our review of the 37CV505DB, though, impressive though this feature sounds on paper, in reality it’s no more fancy than the inclusion of a button which switches the TV right off rather than merely shutting it into standby. Hmm. Not exactly a prime contender for the great TV innovations hall of fame, methinks.