The good old combi TV is making a comeback, it would seem. Sony has recently started building Blu-ray players into some of its big-screen TVs, while numerous brands have ramped up production of small-screen sets with built-in DVD and/or multimedia players.
It’s another example of this growing utilitarian trend we’ve got before us today, in the shape of Toshiba’s 22DV713B: a 22in LCD TV with an integrated DVD player tucked down its left rear side.
As with the similarly specified Sharp 22DV200E we reviewed recently, Toshiba’s set integrates its DVD player rather elegantly in that it’s really not much deeper around the back than your average standalone 22in TV. It doesn’t offer quite as many overt style flourishes with its bezel design as the rival Sharp model, but it’s by no means an ugly TV - not least because of the exceptionally high gloss finish that’s been applied to its black bezel.
It’s worth adding, too, that if black doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can also get the TV in high-gloss white under the model name 22DV714.
The 22DV713 jumps ahead of its Sharp rival with its connections. For instance, while the 22DV200 only manages one HDMI input, Toshiba’s TV gives you two. What’s more, while one is on the rear, as you’d expect, the other HDMI is down the TV’s side, providing an accessible connection for the current generation of HD consoles, or HD camcorders.
The other big advantage of the 22DV713B in connectivity terms is its USB input. For while the USBs on Sharp 22DV200Es are only for service use, the USB on the 22DV713B can play back photo and MP3 audio files. Excellent.
It’s pleasing given how cheap the 22DV713B is to find it also sporting a D-Sub PC input, with other key connections including a single RGB Scart, a headphone jack, an optical digital audio output, a component video input and, of course, a tuner input. This feeds analogue and Freeview (standard def) tuners.
The USB port mentioned earlier isn’t the 22DV713B’s only multimedia outlet, either. For the DV deck is also capable of playing JPEGs, MP3s and DivX video files from discs.
Given that the 22DV713B is really startlingly cheap for what’s on offer at £223, we were pleasantly surprised as we started using the TV by its remote control. For while it’s build is predictably plasticky, it’s also pleasingly large, helping it cope well with the extensive button count demanded by the TV’s combi status.
Buttons are well laid out too for the most part, with the DVD controls sensibly separated out from the TV controls. In an ideal world the disc navigation controls might have been set on a slightly raised section of the remote, and the AV input button would have been given more prominence. But overall the remote experience is better than expected.