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Toshiba 32RL958 review

The ultimate trickle-down TV?

Although the Freeview HD tuner inside the Toshiba 32RL958 provides crisp, stable TV channels, the default electronic programme guide is poor. Providing two and a half hours of TV schedules for 13 channels at once, this busy and ultra-comprehensive EPG uses fonts that are too small, and works too slowly.

Nor does it include a thumbnail of the live TV channel you're watching, though it does keep the audio playing, and if not used for around a minute the EPG sensibly disappears from the screen.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Still, it's best to opt for the alternative, a web-connected MediaGuide that gets its schedules - as well as thumbnails and programme information - from the web instead of from the broadcasters.

Quicker and easier to use and more helpful, it's available as a separate app in Toshiba Places, though it's possible to select it as the default way of accessing TV schedules when you first install the Toshiba 32RL958. If you've got Wi-Fi, it seems silly not to.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Toshiba Places works quickly enough, though we must say that its logo - the folded corner of a page - is a little esoteric and doesn't come across well on the remote control's shortcut button.

Otherwise, the responsive remote itself is excellent; well weighted, sleek and shiny, the buttons are mostly large, and soft to the touch. It operates the five-pronged carousel of the user interface well, though it's a GUI that's not perfect.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

One of those five labels, Function, merely includes a couple of timers that you'll not use, while the TV Programmes icon has a rather pointless Genre Search tab. The Library and Programme Timers also lend an extensive feel to the Toshiba 32RL958's USB recording functionality.

Playable over either a home network or from a USB flash drive, the Toshiba 32RL958 supports AVC HD, AVI, MKV, MP4, MPEG, WMV and WMV HD files, MP3, WMA and M4A music, and both JPEG and BMP photos. Stream from a networked PC or Mac and for video it's AVI files only.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Sound

There's little difference between the TV's two main audio modes - Dual 1 and Dual 2 - but either way the Toshiba 32RL958 puts in a decent, if underwhelming performance with sound.

Voice Enhancement tends to add a slightly harsh hiss to vocals while adding some volume to background music, too.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

Bass is relatively impressive for a small TV, and the soundstage is surprisingly wide; it's not going to beat a home cinema, but it's fine for everyday TV watching.

Value

Priced at £399 (around AU$615/US$648), we'd judge the Toshiba 32RL958 terrific value.

A Freeview HD tuner at this low level of the market was unheard of less than 12 months ago, while smart TV was for high-end TVs only.

Toshiba 32RL958 review

The trickle-down effect of technology is a constant trend, but the Toshiba 32RL958 has received more than most - and the provision of Wi-Fi is the icing on the connected cake.

Add some excellent media streaming and USB support, USB recording and a trio of HDMI inputs - wrapped in a reasonably standard, inoffensive design - and we're struggling to find many reasons to spend more money.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Product FamilyRL958
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size81.3 cm (32")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityCEC
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)9.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
VESA Mount Standard200 x 200
Operating Power Consumption78 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio1,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand506 mm
Width with Stand735 mm
Depth with Stand206 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Motion Interpolation Technology100 Active Motion Rate
Brightness400 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesRL958
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Auto Program, PVR (Personal Video Recorder), Web Browser, Auto-off, Hotel Mode, Ambient Lighting, Digital Noise Reduction
ManufacturerToshiba
Product Model32RL958
Product Name32" Smart LED TV
Manufacturer Part Number32RL958B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

The 32" RL958 Smart TV series brings more quality content and connectivity to your home. Delivering stunning Full HD 1080p image quality the RL series features built-in Freeview HD, internet content and catch-up TV services including YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Facebook that are easily accessed thanks to built-in WIFI.

You can also get access to a range of other online content from Acetrax movies, Twitter, Livesport.TV and more through the Toshiba Places internet portal accessed via your TV at the touch of a button. The added convenience of smartphone & tablet remote control operation, USB Recording and Intel WiDi compatibility is also included.

Package Contents
  • 32" Smart LED TV
  • Remote Control
Response Time16 ms
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year