The best thing that can be said about the 22DL833’s handling of dark scenes is that its favouring of brightness over black levels, even with the dynamic backlight in play, allows it to reproduce shadow detailing in dark areas that tends to get crushed into oblivion on TVs with dynamic backlights that focus more on delivering deep blacks.
When it comes to colours, the 22DL833 fares quite a bit better, delivering a reasonably dynamic and acceptably natural colour palette, especially when watching HD sources or good quality DVDs. There’s good subtlety in portraying colour blends too, with little sign of ‘patching’ or striping.
There’s, perhaps, a slightly muted look to tones at times, especially with standard definition sources. And dark colours can look a touch off key thanks to the set’s uninspiring black level response. But overall, colours bear up well when considered against the efforts of many similarly priced rivals.
The 22DL833 is also able to deliver a genuine sense of ‘HDness’ when watching HD despite both the relative smallness of its screen and ‘only’ carrying a 1366×768 pixel count (rather than a full HD 1920×1080).
That said, the picture’s sharpness does reduce very markedly when you switch to standard definition, suggesting that there’s nothing particularly special about the 22DL833’s picture processing and rescaling engine. It’s a pity too – if hardly surprising – that there’s a loss of sharpness when the image contains a lot of motion – a result, no doubt, of the screen’s relatively high claimed response time of 9ms. We wouldn’t describe the blur as severe enough to render pictures unwatchable at any point, though.
Looking for more good news to wrap up with, the 22DL833 suffers with remarkably little input lag when in Game mode – just less than 10ms, in fact, making it a potentially good TV for console gaming. Its pictures are very bright too – almost to the point where parts of the image can bleach out if you don’t rein in the contrast a little – making it a better option than many small TVs for use in a very bright environment such as a kitchen or conservatory. Its pictures retain colour and contrast a bit better than most small TVs when viewed from an angle, too, which is another handy benefit for a TV being bought for a social and/or transitional space.
It’s a pity after these latter points, though, to find that the 22DL833’s audio quality is par for the small, thin TV course. Which is another way of saying Not Very Good. There’s practically no bass, distortions set in at high volumes, and even the lower register of the mid-range is consistently overwhelmed by an undue emphasis on treble information, which routinely leaves anything more sophisticated sonically than mere ‘chatshow’ or news programming sounding thin, harsh and unrealistic. But as noted before, the 22DL833 is hardly alone in this respect.
To be honest, the 22DL833 doesn’t manage to deliver the performance thrills we’d hoped for given its edge LED lighting – aside from an unusual amount of brightness. But then it does cost less than £250, so with that and its multimedia tools in mind it’s still a solid enough second room option if money is tight.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7
Sound Quality 6