Convenience features are one thing, but the 32CV711B hasn’t abandoned all hope of delivering some decent AV quality. For starters, despite its cheapness, Toshiba hasn’t discarded its Active Vision ‘general purpose’ video processing system. The version of this processing carried by the 32CV711B inevitably isn’t as powerful as the incarnations used by sets further up Toshiba’s range. And the 32CV711B doesn’t manage to run to including Toshiba’s impressive Resolution+ system for boosting standard def resolution. But really it’s good to find any kind of serious video engine on such a cheap set.
The other picture surprise is the discovery of an extensive suite of picture adjustments, including a colour management system. And this doesn’t mean you just get basic tint or temperature adjustments; in fact you can fiddle around with the brightness, hue and saturation levels of the red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colour elements, as well as the gain balances of the RGB colour elements.
In conjunction, ideally, with a calibration disc aid, these colour management tools really can improve pictures noticeably from their out-of-the-box conditions.
This is not to say, though, that the 32CV711B’s post-calibration pictures are amazingly good or anything. The set is, after all, less than £300! But they are decent-to-likeable by the standards of other really cheap 32in TVs.
Colours are quite dynamic and vibrant, for instance, avoiding that instantly muted and off-key look still quite common with really cheap TVs. Part of this decent colour performance is down to another, more surprising strength: a respectable reproduction of black colours and dark scenes. There’s not as much grey ‘mist’ hanging over black colours as we would have expected for the set’s money, and there’s even a bit of shadow detail in evidence in all but the very darkest corners, allowing dark scenes to contain at least a little depth.
This reveals that the 32CV711 has a passable native contrast performance – despite Toshiba claiming a mere 12,000:1 contrast ratio for it. We guess this provides more proof of just how unreliable these sorts of contrast figures are, especially if you start trying to compare them across different types of flat TV and backlighting technologies.