Now that we’ve switched to Blu-ray, I should also say that the screen’s 1080p/24 handling is not – inevitably, really – the best. There’s some definite judder as the actors pass across the screen, to the extent that you may prefer to set your Blu-ray player to output 1080i instead.
Even with these glitches, though, the 37CV505DB’s HD performance still rates as good for its ridiculously low price point.
However, switching to standard definition you notice right away how much more noise there is in the picture. You would, of course, expect this to some extent. But the sheer aggression of the 37CV505DB’s approach to images means the MPEG and dotting noise in digital tuner feeds definitely looks more pronounced than we’ve seen it on the best standard def LCD performers out there.
Calling in the 37CV505DB’s noise reduction systems can certainly smooth out the worst of these problems, but only at the cost of more softness in the image. Using the Movie picture preset can help too if you can live with the much-reduced brightness it results in. But ultimately, no matter what we tried we still couldn’t quite escape the feeling that with the 37CV505DB, as with other Toshiba TVs in recent times, the Active Vision LCD processing just isn’t quite as adept at upscaling standard definition as some rival systems.
The 37CV505DB is predictably hardly ‘hi-fi’ in the audio department. Its speakers can go surprisingly loud, I guess, and actually have quite a good knack of maintaining clarity with voices. But the rest of the soundstage during a loud action scene can get rather muddy, and the TV cabinet is prone to vibrating quite distractingly if the mid-range gets too overloaded.
By the standards of LCD TVs in general, Toshiba’s 37CV505DB is nothing particularly special. Put in the context of its extraordinarily low price point, though, it’s actually remarkably good value – so much so that it ought to appeal not just to the 37in market but to people who thought they only had enough money to afford a 32in!