A further contribution to the intensity of the image we referred to earlier is the picture’s sharpness. I know the 32AV555DB isn’t a full HD LCD TV, but its scaling engine – driven by the Active Vision LCD processing – really does rescale the UK’s full HD sources to the screen’s 1,366 x 768 pixels exceptionally well, with precious little video noise or softness being introduced along the way. HD thus looks like HD – and that’s really all you can ask for from such a cheap and relatively small LCD TV.
The 32AV555DB also surprised us with its standard definition performance. We’ve found some of Toshiba’s larger LCD TVs to struggle a little when trying to upscale standard definition to their HD Ready resolutions, but the 32AV555DB’s pictures look reasonably natural and noiseless – so long, at least, as the source is of a decent quality in the first place.
And so we come to the inevitable problems. Kicking off with some, at times pretty noticeable motion blur. Particularly – though not exclusively – evident while watching standard definition, this finds any really rapidly moving objects leaving a short-lived trail behind them, while also losing a little resolution on their journey.
This is a common LCD problem, of course, and in fact the 32AV555DB arguably suffers less with it than most really cheap TVs. It’s certainly less pervasive than it is on, say, LG’s 32LG5000. But it’s definitely a reason to think about spending a bit more if you can.
Also, while the 32AV555DB’s standard def pictures are often pretty good, as we hinted a few paragraphs ago they can become quite excessively soft and smeary with poor quality sources such as the rough and ready standard-def National Geographic or Crime & Investigation channels of this world. The 32AV555DB’s picture isn’t the brightest around either – but I personally find this an easy pill to swallow given that it probably helps the TV deliver its superior colours and contrast.
Finally, HD sources can suffer with a little judder. But this really isn’t surprising at all on such a cheap TV, and it actually crops up sufficiently rarely to be barely worth mentioning in the context of such a cheap TV.
As with its pictures, the 32AV555DB’s sound is way better than I’d expected considering its price. The speakers have an uncanny knack of bringing out subtle background/ambient effects in a good sound mix, while voices also appear generally well-rounded and the soundstage is pushed far and wide without losing cohesion. Action scenes can sound a bit ‘lo-fi’, for want of a better description. But they still sound more open and clear than is customary on cheapo LCD TVs.
The 32AV555DB is not a perfect LCD TV by any means. But then at under £340, it was never going to be. What it most definitely is, however, is way, way better than you’ve any right to expect for so little money. In fact, it’s better than any other stupidly cheap 32in TV we’ve seen to date, and if that’s not enough to make it a potential Christmas saviour this year, we don’t know what is.