A key contributor to the TV’s apparent sharpness is its freedom from excessive motion blur. There is some loss of resolution over moving objects, but it’s nothing like as heavy duty as it is on most other similarly affordable small TVs.
During normal ‘daytime TV’ viewing, the 22BV501 appears to have a pretty good black level response too. Certainly there’s markedly less greyness over dark areas than you might expect from such an affordable TV.
Many of Toshiba’s 2011 TVs, though, have suffered with backlight consistency flaws, where some parts of dark scenes suffer with a clouding effect while other parts don’t. And this trend continues on the 22BV501. With knobs on.
In fact, its backlight problems are possibly the worst we’ve ever seen. Trying to watch a very dark scene like the opening black and white sequence from Casino Royale reveals not only a narrow ‘frame’ of backlight bleed right around the TV’s edges and clear ‘jets’ of extra light coming in from each corner, but also a big (three to four inches across), roundish patch of yellow-tinged light right over the image’s centre. Yikes.
Needless to say, this causes a level of disengagement when watching dark scenes that renders them borderline unwatchable. So it’s fair to say, then, that the screen isn’t going to be any good at all for film or game fans – despite the screen delivering a reasonably low input lag figure of 40ms.
One other negative about the 22BV501’s pictures is that they lose contrast and colour saturation if watched from much of an angle. But in this regard, at least, Toshiba’s set is only repeating a problem found to some extent on all other LCD TVs, especially the cheaper and smaller ones.
The 22BV501‘s audio, meanwhile, is slightly better than average than it is with most budget flat TVs. It still sounds tinny and compressed when pushed by anything more rumbunctious than a basic ‘chatshow’ level of sound mix, but with normal ‘daytime TV’ fodder it’s perfectly fine.
First impressions of the 22BV501 suggest that it’s a bargain of huge proportions, delivering bright, colourful, crisp pictures that fit perfectly within a kitchen or conservatory environment when just being used for casual TV broadcast viewing. Or maybe for watching an endless stream of animated kid’s movies. If the latter circumstances describe your needs, then the 22BV501 is definitely worth considering given how cheap it is.
However, if you’re looking for something at all ‘serious’, which might be usable for watching the occasional non-animated movie or for playing PC and console games, then the 22BV501’s egregious backlight problems make it a non-starter.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6
Sound Quality 7