Toshiba 32SL738 Review - Feature absentees and first performance findings Review


The absence of a LAN port has further repercussions, too. For it means the 32SL738 supports neither DLNA PC compatibility nor any online functionality. We guess this is just about fair enough on such a cheap TV, though – especially as it isn’t wholly without multimedia merit on account of a USB port capable of playing JPEG photos and MP3 audio files. Video file playback, though, is not on the menu.

The various factors we’ve just been talking about are certainly not the sum total of the 32SL738’s limitations, either. For it also only manages a 1,366 x 768 native resolution as opposed to the usual full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count, and sports a pretty limited video processing setup comprising just a basic version of Toshiba’s utilitarian Active Vision LCD system. There’s no 100Hz and no Resolution+, the latter being Toshiba’s excellent proprietary upscaling routine for standard def footage.

So far as Resolution+ goes, though, we didn’t miss it as much as expected. For while the 32SL738’s standard def pictures certainly aren’t the sharpest we’ve seen, they’re quite natural in their appearance and don’t suffer with aggressive amounts of noise.

We did miss 100Hz, though. For with standard definition sources there’s clear evidence of motion blur. And this turns into noticeable judder when you switch to Blu-ray playback. Neither of these issues is really bad by any means, allowing you to sort of get attuned to them over time. But at the same time there’s no denying the set is clearly a few paces behind its (more expensive) 100Hz-sporting rivals in this key respect.

While discussing the 32SL738’s features, we neglected to mention the fact that Toshiba has equipped the set with an impressive array of picture fine tuning options, including 10-point gamma control and a decent colour management system. But we need to mention these tools here, for the simple reason that until we’d used them to tweak the 32SL738’s picture presets, we felt that its colours looked a bit imbalanced, with some tones dominating while others looked either washed out or muted.

Even our best calibration efforts couldn’t entirely eradicate the problems, but it’s certainly possible to make things look more balanced and natural.

In fact, post calibration the 32SL738’s colours look vibrant, pictures generally look bright and aggressive, and HD images look decently sharp and detailed when there’s not too much motion blur to contend with. At first glance black levels look OK too, meaning that predominantly bright footage frequently looks bold without being brash, and rich without being forced.

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