Turning to the Active Vision processing, this is one of those multi-purpose affairs, aimed at boosting colours, contrast, sharpness – most key picture elements, in fact.
Decent though Active Vision has proved in the past, I’m duty bound to point out that the 32AV615 doesn’t also carry the Resolution+ system sported by the sets higher up Toshiba’s range. This is undoubtedly a pity, given how supremely clever Resolution+ is at upscaling standard definition sources to HD panels.
But again, unless the 32AV615’s standard definition pictures turn out to be particularly nasty, the loss of Resolution+ is really no more than should be expected for £296.
The 32AV615 continues to surpass expectations, meanwhile, with its onscreen menus. For tucked away in an Advanced Video sub-menu can be found such startling fine tuning tools as a Cinema Mode, variable noise reduction routines, variable colour transient improvement, flesh tone adjustment, and adaptive luma control.
It’s unlikely, to be honest, that most people buying a TV as cheap as the 32AV615 will be inclined to bother with any of these fine-tuning measures. But that doesn’t make their presence any less welcome in this reviewer’s book. So long as you use some of them – particularly the noise reduction system – sparingly.
I don’t mind admitting as I start assessing the 32AV615’s picture performance that I’d really expected to find myself advising you to save up an extra £50-£100 to secure yourself the 32AV635 instead. Actually, though, while the 32AV635 is undoubtedly better, the 32AV615 is also far from unappealing – and miles ahead of any similarly sized TV around for the same sort of money.
The best way to approach the 32AV615 is probably to get its weaknesses out of the way first, to put it in perspective. These weaknesses begin with the way standard definition pictures look noticeably less sharp, detailed and noiseless than they do on the 32AV635.
Its colours look fractionally less believable than those of the costlier model too, at least where skin tones are concerned. Next, it seemed to me that the 32AV615’s black levels aren’t quite as deep and grey-free as those of the 32AV635 (despite both sets claiming the same contrast ratio and being relatively low on brightness). Dark scenes can thus look a little hollow and unbalanced – and black level matters aren’t helped by the TV’s rather limited viewing angle.
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