There are essentially two types of people who might be interested in Toshiba’s 32DB833: those who are finally ready to succumb to their HD urges in full after holding out for far longer than most, and those looking for a convenient and affordable way to bring HD into a second room.
Why is the 32DB833 so peculiarly well set up to cater for two such specific types of buyer? Because it’s only the second 32in TV ever launched in the UK to carry a built-in Blu-ray player.
So far as we’re concerned, combining a full HD TV screen with a Blu-ray player is a much more logical, coherent idea than just shoving a DVD player into a TV like most combi TVs do. After all, your screen is HD, so why should you only be able to feed it standard definition films? The old adage that a combi product is only as good as the weakest of its parts definitely applies, so far as we’re concerned.
While it’s clearly better to wed two HD sources together in a combi product, though, there’s a catch: cost. For although Blu-ray players are getting cheaper almost by the day, there’s still clearly a cost implication of re-engineering a Blu-ray deck to fit into a TV rather than a DVD deck. So it is that the first ever 32in TV/Blu-ray combi, Son 32EX43B, still costs north of £650 now, despite being out since 2010.
This is precisely why Toshiba’s 32DB833 has the potential to cause a splash, though. For despite it being a brand, spanking new product, we’ve managed to find one selling for under £450. That’s less than you’d expect to spend on just a decent 32in TV alone, never mind one packing some serious Blu-ray heat.
Making the price look all the more surprising is the 32DB833’s design, which is far removed from the fat-bottomed, plasticky, style-free ensembles most combi products allow themselves to be dressed in. Its fascia doesn’t look any wider or cheaper than that of any of Toshiba’s other TVs, and its rear sticks out only a little further than a typical 32in LCD TV. But the Blu-ray player really is there we assure you, tucked behind the left side of the bezel.
The 32DB833’s ability to retain a slim profile despite containing a Blu-ray player is doubtless down predominantly to the fact that it benefits from Toshiba’s new-found obsession with edge LED lighting - something that could enhance its already bulging value appeal even further provided the LED implementation proves a successful one.