Having checked out what might be called a ‘premium’ 22in TV recently in the shape of the feature-packed Sony 22EX320, today we’re turning our attentions to the budget end of the small TV market, with Toshiba’s 22BV501.
At just £140 if you look around online, this 22in Toshiba model costs only slightly over half as much as Sony’s 22EX320. Not surprisingly the 22BV501’s price comes with strings attached when it comes to build quality and features. But this will be easily forgivable provided the set delivers the goods with its picture quality.
Let’s start at the beginning, though, with the 22BV501’s design. Which is actually quite cute thanks to a combination of a reasonably trim bezel for a budget TV, a very glossy black finish, and a sharp little strip of silver running along the TV’s bottom edge. The only obvious sign of cheapness is its rather plasticky build quality.
We’re a little concerned by the narrowness of the attached foot-stand, though; we could certainly imagine a young child being able to wobble the set over without having to try too hard, unless it’s positioned out of their reach.
The 22BV501’s connections are sufficient. There’s only a single HDMI when ideally we might have liked two, but elsewhere there’s a Scart socket, a component video input, a composite video input, an RF input and, best of all, a degree of multimedia support from a D-Sub PC port and a USB socket.
The USB port is particularly unexpected in that it doesn’t just show JPEG photograph files; you can also use it for playback of music and MPEG-1/MPEG2/XviD (.avi, .mpg, .mpeg, .mpe) video files. This doesn't quite cover all the usual video file types but it's a start and still a potentially very handy feature to have on a second-room TV.
The RF input, meanwhile, feeds a Freeview tuner, but not an HD one. Which is a pretty fair compromise to make on a TV as small as 22in so far as we’re concerned.
Turning to the 22BV501’s internal specification, its resolution is an HD Ready 1366x768, while its contrast is rated - rather promisingly for this level of the market - at 8,000:1. Its brightness is rated rather less promisingly at 300cd/m2.
Not surprisingly the picture is a standard 50Hz one, though the screen’s claimed 5ms response time is satisfactorily quite low for a small TV, and so hopefully motion reproduction will be decent even without the aid of a 100Hz system.