Toshiba 32C3030

Clad in standard issue silver and black and weighing in a little on the chunky side, we’d be lying if we said Toshiba’s entry-level LCD was a real looker. It’s not that it’s particularly ugly, mind you: there are just way better looking 32-inch screens out there, including some that cost less money.

Reservations concerning the chubby waistline are speedily banished when you flip the on switch, because the picture quality is as good as anything else in this price range — or at least it is when you feed it a high quality HD source. Use the built-in Freeview tuner and the results are a bit noisy and dirty, but Hi-Def movies and games benefit from the adjustable backlight and blazing colour reproduction. The former means you can tone down the light behind the screen when viewing in a dark room, which helps keep blacks looking black, rather than grey. 24p from Blu-ray and HD DVD is also supported, so hi-def movie discs deliver their eye candy with nary a judder in sight.

Likewise, the inclusion of SRS WOW and a bass boosting mode means that sound quality resides a healthy notch above average. It’s nothing on a decent external audio setup, mind you, but it does a better job than most smallish screens, meaning that if you hook up a DVD player, games console or piece of HD kit you won’t be left disappointed.