Toshiba Regza 32CV505DB 32in LCD TV - Toshiba Regza 32CV505DB

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A new development for Toshiba’s entry-level sets, meanwhile, is a Game Mode. This provides a dedicated channel between a game console and the screen that delivers an improved response time, so that your gaming skills aren’t messed up by any time delay between what the console is putting out and what the screen is showing.


The Game Mode also automatically defaults to a 1:1 pixel mapping mode, for more precise picture rendition. Though obviously, given that the 32CV505DB only has a 1,366 x 768 resolution, you’ll only get the benefit of the 1:1 system if you set your Xbox 360 or PS3 to output 720p HD, not 1080i or 1080p.


Another new feature is Luma Sens, a system that measures ambient light levels in your room at the same time that it studies the content of the picture being shown, in order to automatically deduce the best settings for contrast, detail and colour. This system can also potentially reduce energy consumption.


The 32CV505DB’s onscreen menus, meanwhile, play host to one or two more handy features. For instance, there’s black/white level balance adjustment; 3D colour management via which you can adjust the hue, saturation and brightness elements of the image’s red, green, blue, cyan, yellow and magenta colours; MPEG and standard noise reduction; and finally Active Backlight Control.


This latter feature adjusts the output level of the screen’s backlight depending on how bright or dark an incoming image is. Such features are, of course, extremely common on LCD TVs, but it’s worth saying that the one boasted by the 32CV505DB does claim a notably higher contrast ratio result than most: 30,000:1. In fact, this figure is so far ahead of the figures quoted by the majority of its LCD rivals that we’re inclined to treat it with scepticism.


However, while the 30,000:1 claim certainly does prove ‘optimistic’, I must admit that the 32CV505DB’s black level response is nonetheless very good indeed – especially by the standards of the affordable 32in LCD market.


Feeling particularly mean, I tested the TV for the most part with the recent Blu-ray of ”Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World”, a film packed with notably dark, gloomy scenes – particularly those which take place at night on the high seas. But the 32CV505DB rose to the considerable black level challenges posed by the film much, much better than I’d expected it to.


For instance, as the ship’s ‘Jonah’ throws himself overboard with a heavy cannonball for company, the night sky behind him looks very dark indeed, with precious little of the grey cloudiness we expect to see on relatively cheap LCDs. What makes this especially surprising is the fact that probably our biggest single gripe about Toshiba’s small LCD TVs in recent times has been their inability to render a really deep, convincing black. So hats off to the Toshiba boys for bringing this key picture element so far forward in a single generation.