After the back, brain and eye strain induced by Sony’s huge, feature-heavy, 3D-capable KDL-60LX903 last week, we're actually happy to see Toshiba’s 32AV713B today. For the ambitions of this relatively small 32in set really don’t run much higher than simply delivering a satisfactory but resolutely 2D AV performance for as little money as possible. Simples.
In the 32AV713B’s case, 'as little money as possible' translates to just £279.99. Amazingly, that’s more than £100 cheaper than last year’s equivalent Toshiba 32in model, and really does stick the knife into traditional budget brands like Bush and Goodmans. Whether it’s a knife to the heart, though, or a just a painful gash depends on whether the 32AV713B actually has some quality to accompany its cheapness.
First impressions are reasonably promising. For while the 32AV713B’s shiny finish looks and feels a bit plasticky when you get up really close, from a sensible distance the TV actually appears far more expensive than it is. Especially as the glinting bezel features some subtle but funky curves and a little strip of tasteful chrome within the bottom edge.
There’s a slight reality check on the TV’s rear, though, as we find just two HDMIs where we generally expect at least three these days. But in reality, two HDMIs will probably be enough for a typical buyer of the 32AV713B, on the grounds that either they don’t have the AV ambition or spare cash to have piles of different HD sources to attach to the set, or else they are getting the set for a second room.
What’s more, the 32AV713B redeems itself for its HDMI shortcomings by including a D-Sub PC input and a USB port that can play both JPEG photos and MP3 music files.
Not surprisingly for its price point, the 32AV713B doesn’t run to an Ethernet port, so there’s no access to DLNA PC files or any online features. Perhaps more disturbingly for some people, the lack of Ethernet port also alerts us to the fact that the 32AV713B doesn’t carry a Freeview HD tuner. The set sticks at standard def Freeview and analogue tuners. This is no great shock on a £280 TV, but we still thought you should know!
The 32AV713B also lives down to its price with its resolution. For in place of the now commonplace 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count, the 32AV713B offers 1,366 x 768. This is enough to earn its HD Ready wings, but it also means that the TV will have to downscale - from 1,920 x 1,080 - pretty much all the HD content available in the UK right now.
Again, this will immediately put off some of our HD-lovin’ readers. But at the 32in level of the market there will also doubtless be a good chunk of potential buyers - especially if they’re in the market for a 32in second TV - who either don’t have any HD sources, or have minimal interest in HD full stop. And for these people, the 32AV713B’s lower resolution actually might produce a better standard definition picture than affordable Full HD sets, since the level of upscaling required is that much less.