It is indeed the case that black levels look less successful when watching dark scenes in contrast-rich films. Not so much because there’s an overt level of grey clouding over black areas, as we find with many budget LCD TVs, but rather because dark picture areas look hollow. This is presumably because the TV has to sacrifice quite a bit of brightness to keep the grey mist problem at bay, thus making it hard for the set to bring out the subtle shadow details that give really dark picture parts a sense of depth.
This problem is particularly striking using the TV’s Movie preset, so I’d suggest tweaking the TV’s ‘Standard’ settings a bit yourself instead to get a satisfying picture for films.
The TV’s lack of brightness if you want to get a good black level for movie viewing can also make the 32AV635D’s pictures look a touch flat if your room is full of ambient light. And it can leave one or two dark colours looking less natural than the general colour scheme, too.
Another problem finds HD pictures not looking quite as blisteringly sharp and textured as I’d like. The lack of brightness in a well-calibrated picture possibly again plays a hand in this. And my final moan is a familiar one with Toshiba TVs; that contrast and colour drop off markedly if you’re forced to watch the 32AV635D from any significant viewing angle.
Turning to the 32AV635D’s audio, it’s passable, but seldom much more. For while the speakers don’t actually distort under duress, there’s a decent mid-range, and treble information is clear, bass tends to sound depressingly thin and action scenes thus tend to sound pretty harsh.
The 32AV635D doesn’t have enough prowess with the higher definition things in life to make it a must-have screen for movie buffs. But then to be fair, given its £395 price tag and relatively small 32in size, the home cinema cognoscenti is hardly this TV’s intended market.
Considered more sensibly as a screen aimed at the budget buyer looking for either a good living room TV to partner predominantly standard definition sources, or a cheap TV for a second room, the 32AV635D has way more to offer than most, maybe all, of its similarly priced peers.