We're used to seeing built-in DVD players on smaller sized screens, but it's not often that a 32-incher comes along with this feature. Introducing -- the 1366x768-pixel Toshiba 32DV713B. This LCD set fits into the budget end of Toshiba's current TV range and is available for around £380.
Measuring a chunky 96mm deep, this TV is certainly no Slim Jim. Its hefty frame, combined with the wide bezel around the edge of the screen, gives it a slightly dated look. The glossy black finish does lift the design slightly, however.
Perhaps because of the built-in DVD player, Toshiba hasn't kitted the set out with many ports. There's certainly a scarcity of them around the back -- the TV has only two HDMI ports, a set of component inputs, a VGA input and a single Scart socket. As such, we wouldn't really recommend it for use in the living room as your main TV.
The 32DV713B only has a standard Freeview tuner, so you can't use it to pick up high-definition services from the BBC, Channel 4 or ITV. It takes its time when tuning channels, too, but since you're only likely to do this once, it's not a big deal. What is more of a problem is that it's slow at changing channels. In fact, it's noticeably slower than the majority of sets we've had in lately. This was a problem that also affected Toshiba's Regza 40RV753, so perhaps it's an issue with the tuner Toshiba is using in its current line-up of TVs. The set's electronic programme guide is also disappointing. It's quite slow to respond to the remote and doesn't use the full width of the screen, so it can't display very much programming info in one go.
While the TV doesn't have any networking features, Toshiba has, at least, included a USB port. Hook a memory key or hard drive up to this port and you can use it to view MP3s and JPEG pictures. The set is DivX certified, but it turns out you can't play DivX files via the USB port. Instead, you have to burn them to disc and play them via the DVD player, which is a little inconvenient. Nevertheless, the DivX playback works well and the controls are responsive when playing movies, which can't be said for other budget sets with this feature.
The DVD drive is tucked away on the left-hand side of the TV and uses a slot-loading mechanism. The playback quality falls somewhere between that of a budget and mid-range player -- the pictures aren't as clean as you'd get from a good mid-range model. When playing certain discs, the set produced a noisy, high-pitch whirring sound, which was very distracting. This didn't happen with all discs, but it happened often enough to be of concern, especially as the volume had to be above halfway to drown it out.
On the picture front, the set's budget nature unfortunately shines through. For starters, the panel's native resolution is just 1366x768 pixels, so it can't display Full HD pictures. The lack of resolution is noticeable by the absence of fine detail when you feed it HD movies via an external Blu-ray player. The TV uses traditional CCFL backlighting, but this is a tad blotchy and, in darker scenes, you can quite clearly make out the differences in illumination across the screen. Black levels aren't very deep, either, so blacks tend to look a bit greyish. On the plus side, colours do look reasonably accurate and tend to appear quite punchy, and the set does a decent job of upscaling standard-definition channels on Freeview.
Given the rather chunky nature of the chassis, there's obviously a decent amount of space inside for Toshiba to fit larger sized speakers. We initially found the sound a tad disappointing as it seemed overly tinny. Nevertheless, by cranking the bass up in the audio menu, we found we could add a bit more meat to its bones and the end result was pretty solid, if unspectacular.
At £380, the Toshiba 32DV713 seems a little overpriced given the quality of the pictures it produces. The built-in DVD player may be a space-saver, but you'll get much better picture quality for a lower price if you buy something like Toshiba's 32AV615DB and twin it with a budget DVD player, instead.
Edited by Emma Bayly