Toshiba has really come out fighting with its 2011 TVs. For as well as announcing a potent assault on the high end with its upcoming CEVO-powered TVs, the brand has also decided to go for edge LED lighting even on its most basic LCD models.
So it is that the 42HL833, which is just one step up from the bottom of Toshiba’s new large-screen LCD range, sports edge LED lighting, despite us finding it on sale for less than £600.
The set doesn’t look like an edge LED model, though. Its chunky bezel looks like something we’d expect to find wrapped around an old CCFL light engine, and its rather plasticky finish also seems more fitting of an entry level CCFL set. But then the 42HL833 is a budget set - it just so happens to be one that uses edge LED lighting. And at least the 42HL833 manages to deliver a sense of the slenderness that edge LED lighting was initially created for, as its rear sticks out only 45mm.
The 42HL833‘s connections have to rate as disappointing. Especially the discovery of only two HDMIs where we’re now growing accustomed to finding even very cheap TVs managing at least three. Also disappointing - if more predictable - is the set’s lack of an Ethernet port. This immediately alerts us to the fact that the 42HL833 can’t access Toshiba’s new Places online service, or files stored on a DLNA PC. Worse, it also reveals that - as with Samsung’s 32D5000 - the set doesn’t have a Freeview HD tuner built in.
We’d kind of hoped that Freeview HD tuners would have become standard on even cheap TVs this year, especially those with screens as large as the 42HL833‘s 42in one. But we were obviously being optimistic. That doesn’t make us feel the lack of an HD tuner on the 42HL833 any less keenly, though.
We headed into the 42HL833’s menus with little expectation of finding anything very interesting. But it turns out that it does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve. Particularly unexpected is its colour management toolset, which lets you tweak the brightness, saturation and hue of the RGB and CMY colours.