Fortunately the set does enough things right in other areas to stop it from being a total dead loss. Bright scenes, for instance, look vibrant, dynamic and engaging, immediately making the TV a safe bet for a diet of predominantly daytime TV. The colour palette is reasonably extensive too, looking rich and fully saturated during vibrant Pirates of the Caribbean scenes such as the one where Jack and Will are captured by an ‘army’ of red-coated soldiers. It also manages to display some unusually (for this price point) credible subtle flesh tones, even during darker scenes.
Bright HD scenes also reveal the 32C3030D to have a decent taste for fine detail, as it’s possible to make out every ripple on the ocean surface as Captain Jack and Elizabeth are forced to walk the plank.
Jack’s numerous swashbuckling antics, meanwhile, are portrayed with less resolution loss and smearing than we might have expected from such an affordable LCD TV. That’s not to say we didn’t feel the loss of the ‘M100′ 100Hz component found on some of Toshiba’s previous generation of LCD TVs (and which is set to reappear on upcoming models further up the new range). But we certainly only seldom felt truly distracted by any motion-handling problems.
The strengths we’ve described just about raise the 32C3030D’s pictures back up to average levels – and that’s pretty much where we’re at with its audio, too. The sound is reasonably punchy and clear, with some decent treble handling, but a fairly marked lack of bass response means that provided subwoofer output soon starts to look tempting.
Toshiba’s first truly budget LCD TV is a fair stab at balancing performance with price. But we can’t help but feel that one or two other brands – most notably Samsung – do the cut-price thing rather better.