Aside from Samsung’s uber-extravagant UE46C9000, we’ve consciously been trying to get into the post-Xmas, short-of-cash spirit by looking at high value TVs. And nothing appears to fit this bargain bucket bill any better than Toshiba’s 32CV711B: an LCD TV that delivers 32in of HD Ready pictures while costing under £290. And no, we haven’t made a typo there: we really have found the 32CV711B for sale at that price point.
How much the 32CV711B looks its money depends on how close you are to it. There’s no doubt that if you’ve shoved your face near to it for some reason, its overtly plasticky finish is pretty obvious. The uninspiring build quality is apparent, too, if you lift the set, as it feels almost frighteningly lightweight and flimsy.
From a normal viewing distance, though, the 32CV711B doesn’t look too shabby. The black bezel finish is surprisingly glossy, the sculpting has a pleasant combination of sharp angles and subtle curves, and the little arc of grey within the bottom edge further lifts the design beyond the normal budget aesthetic.
Far less appealing, however, is the 32CV711B’s lack of a Freeview HD tuner and carriage of just a couple of HDMIs. Nearly every TV we see these days, by comparison, has at least three.
Clearly, though, the sort of person likely to buy a 32CV711B won’t be the sort of AV junky who’s got piles of HD/digital video sources all over the place. Indeed, they might well be looking at the 32CV711B as a second-room TV, where accommodating reams of sources is even less likely to be a big issue. However, while we take all this on board, we’ve been sufficiently spoiled now to still feel a little disgruntled that the 32CV711B doesn’t run to a third HDMI. So there.
Doing their best to take the edge off our ire, though, are the 32CV711B’s surprisingly ample multimedia capabilities. Unexpectedly for its money, the 32CV711B sports both a D-Sub PC port so you can double the TV up as a PC monitor, and a USB input, able to handle JPEG photo and MP3 audio files. Multimedia functionality like this really is ideal for people thinking of using the 32CV711B in a second room situation, where convenience features generally rate as more important than screen size and AV quality.