Also found on the 32DB833’s rear is a solid set of connections, including a couple of HDMIs (you arguably don’t need any more given that there’s already a Blu-ray player inside the TV), a USB port, a LAN port and a D-Sub PC jack. The fact that you can use the 32DB833 as a computer monitor as well as a TV and Blu-ray player merely makes it look even better value.
The USB port functions as storage support for the combi’s BD Live capabilities, as well as being able to play JPEG, MP3 and video files from USB storage devices. The LAN, however, only serves a single function: as access to BD Live. It can’t take you to any other online functions, and rather more disappointingly, it also isn’t there to support a Freeview HD tuner. For the simple reason that the 32DB833 doesn’t have a Freeview HD tuner.
You might argue that this is not all that surprising given how much else the 32DB833 is offering for its puny price. But for us, when you’ve gone so far down the HD road as to provide a full HD screen and a Blu-ray player, it somehow seems inconsistent to only have a standard definition tuner.
The Blu-ray player doesn’t just play Blu-ray discs, of course. Also on the menu are CDs and DVDs, as well as DVD-R/RW and DVD discs containing multimedia files that can include DivX DVD and AVCHD.
Heading into the 32DB833’s drab but extremely functional onscreen menus uncovers a trio of pleasant surprises: a gamma adjustment, a white/black balance adjustment, and best of all, a very decent colour management system that allows you to manipulate extensively all six of the main colours that go into a TV picture.
The last thing to say before exploring the 32DB833’s performance is that it’s exceptionally easy to use for a combi TV, thanks chiefly to a remote that does a superb job of placing the separate buttons for each part of the combi functionality in logical and well-separated areas.
The first Blu-ray we slid into the 32DB833’s slot happened to be an animated movie – Up, if you must know – and happily the 32DB833 made a very positive first impression with it. Colours looked punchy, detail levels looked high and clean, and motion was surprisingly low on blur and smearing considering the 32DB833 doesn’t carry any serious blur-reduction processing.
There was a slightly brittle look to colours compared with some of the very best TVs out there – probably the best way we can put it is ithat there was a slightly ‘analogue’ look to the digitally rendered colours. But overall, for most of the time Up looked much better than it really should on such an affodable combi TV.
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The only time this changed was during the film’s few relatively dark scenes. For it became pretty obvious by the end that while the 32DB833‘s screen section might be more than happy with bright source material, it struggles to show dark scenes nearly as convincingly.