The Toshiba 22DV714B is a 22-inch, HD Ready, portable LCD TV with a built-in DVD player. Designed to be used in the kitchen or bedroom, you can pick it up for around £260.
Fat but stylish
The TV looks very stylish. It's finished in glossy white rather than the shiny black that we're accustomed to seeing. While the set is quite porky, at 66mm thick, Toshiba has managed to hide much of this girth -- the TV is thinner at the edges and gets progressively deeper towards the middle.
The integrated stand lets you tilt the screen forwards and backwards, but you can't swivel it. That's hardly a big issue on a set like this, though -- it's light enough to be picked up and repositioned with one hand.
The 22DV714B only has a standard-definition Freeview tuner, so you don't get access to the high-definition services from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Tuning in the channels is a relatively swift process.
Once the tuning is completed, you'll find that the electronic programme guide uses a traditional bricks-in-the-wall layout, rather than the vertical layout found on some of Toshiba's other recent sets. Unfortunately, the EPG is rather sluggish and, when you switch channels in the EPG, the TV automatically retunes to that channel, which means you can't quickly skip around the guide to see what's coming up on different channels.
Another problem with the EPG is that there's no 'now and next' feature. Instead, pressing the 'info' button on the remote only shows information about the current programme you're watching. Changing channels is also a very, very slow process. It takes between 4 and 6 seconds just for the TV to switch to an adjacent channel, which is very annoying.
Nevertheless, for a portable TV, the set has a decent line-up of ports. There are two HDMI sockets (one on the rear and one on the side), as well as a Scart socket, composite input and set of component connectors. There's also a VGA connector so you can use the TV as a monitor with a PC, and an optical digital audio output so you can feed audio from the internal Freeview tuner to an external amp. The side of the set is home to a USB port. This can be used for playing MP3 music files or viewing photos, but, sadly, doesn't support video playback.
The left-hand side of the TV hosts the DVD player. This uses a slot loading drive and produces pretty decent picture quality. Having a DVD drive built-in is a great space saver, especially if you're planning on using the TV in a kitchen or bedroom. The DVD player also supports DivX and Xvid movie files, as well as MP3 music tracks and digital photos in a range of formats.
Toshiba has built the set around a panel with a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, so it's HD Ready rather than 'Full HD', but that's not really an issue on a screen this small. In fact, HD pictures from a Blu-ray player or Sky+HD box still look very sharp.
The small size of the screen also helps Freeview channels to look much crisper than they do on larger TVs. The telly manages to do a decent job of keeping a lid on nasty artefacts thrown up by the MPEG compression used on Freeview too.
For a portable TV, its colours are surprisingly rich and vibrant, and it's certainly not found wanting when it comes to brightness. As with many smaller sets, however, its black levels aren't exceptionally deep, and there's a noticeable lack of finer shadow detail in darker scenes. If you look closely in these darker scenes, you can also see that the backlighting is on the blotchy side. Overall, though, the 22DV714B isn't a bad performer in the picture-quality department.
Perhaps predictably, given its small size, the TV's speakers struggle to produce much in the way of bass, so set pieces in action movies can sound flat. Nevertheless, the TV's quite loud and dialogue has good presence, so this set has no problems with delivering clear audio when it comes to watching news or dramas.
The Toshiba 22DV714B is a stylish set. Its picture quality is reasonably good, but the TV's appeal is reduced somewhat by its sluggish EPG and the annoyingly long time it takes to change channels.
Edited by Charles Kloet