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Last Christmas we really struggled to find a suitable present for fourteen year old Charlotte, by her own admission she is the girl who has everything so I'd resigned myself to cash in a card (which I hate doing) as I simply couldn't think of a suitable pressie for her. Then we moved house five days before Christmas and somehow her bedroom television was broken by the time it arrived at our new place, problem solved - she needed a new tele.
She'd had a tough time of it in 2010, having being bullied both in school and out - plus my latest pregnancy annoying her no end (she doesn't like babies!) so I decided to treat her to a large flat television that would look fab in her new bedroom. After some deliberation I eventually chose the Toshiba 32SL738B, at nearly £300 it was more than I'd originally been looking to spend but what swayed me was the fact that it has built-in Freeview as I'd also been considering buying her a Freeview box.
It arrived in the hugest cardboard box, so big that once ripped up it filled no less than three black bags! After removing the television (and getting Mark to lug it upstairs) we found the set-up was so easy that we didn't even need to refer to the large instruction manual that comes with it, after plugging it in set-up starts by itself and you don't really need to interact with the television until you come to ensuring all the Freeview channels are there and in the correct place. To be completely honest with you, I'm a techno-dunce so didn't have much to do with it until it was ready to be used - my contribution was sitting on the bed watching Mark, occasionally nipping downstairs to grab him a beer. But it looked easy enough. She says.
The television is 32" and can be used on the stand or attached to the wall. I have a fear of wall mounted televisions after one crashed down on my friend's daughter once, only the fact that she was sitting on a squishy beanbag saving her from death according to the hospital - since then I have shunned the growing trend as everyone around me mounts their televisions on the wall. Incidentally, Mark works with builders and architects as part of his job and he has had frightening discussions with men who really know what they're talking about when it comes to this type of thing - basically a lot of interior walls (particularly in modern houses) are simply not strong enough to hold such large and heavy items. That's all I need to hear, all televisions in this house will remain where they're supposed to be.
The picture quality on this Toshiba television is excellent; sharp with clear and accurate colours at all times. It's HD ready although Charlotte doesn't use this feature, but even without the HD subscription I think the picture is brilliant and there is absolutely no interference from anything inside or outside the house. Last night I watched a re-run of the Lady Gaga concert on this television and could see how sharp and colourful all aspects of the show were, sound quality is also top notch so I was able to listen to Gaga's warbling without it being tinny or muffled in any part. Well, no less tinny than Gaga's actual voice that is! Mark tells me it's important I let you know that sound through this television is delivered via NICAM Stereo, Dolby Digital Sound and Bass Boost. Which sounds impressive, but all that guff really means is that you can expect clear and sharp sound.
This is an LED Backlit television, which means it guarantees a clear picture all the way to the edges of the screen but will also help you save on electricity. Umm, we are not planet-savers in this house and tend to have lights and all manner of non-essentials running all the time so I can't say I've noticed a reduction in my electric bills since buying this tele - I'll have to take Toshiba's word for it.
On the back of the television there are three HDMI connectors, one of which Charlotte uses to connect the tele to her computer so she can use it as a monitor. She tells me this was very easy to do and has also utilised the single USB port to transform her television into a digital photo frame, something that was used to great effect on Alice's birthday back in March when Charlotte set lots of her baby photographs up to run across the screen of the television. There's also a SCART socket, now I have absolutely no idea what a SCART socket is for but it must be something pretty important as Mark won't buy a television without one!
The television itself is very easy to use; switching between the terrestrial and Freeview channels was a bit awkward to begin with as it's not particularly obvious which buttons you need to press, it didn't help that this function is not mentioned at all in the manual either! Since we sussed this out however it's all been plain sailing and even *I* can find my way round the tele, which is saying something as I have absolutely no idea how to work our swanky living room one!
One thing I have noticed is that the reception while watching Channel 5 can be a bit hit and miss, this is only while it's on the terrestrial setting and the issue is rectified when switching to Freeview mode - good job there's nowt worth watching on that particular channel! And that's it, the one and only problem with this excellent television.
The television is 50.4cm high (not including the stand), 77cm wide and just under 3cm from front to back. The slim black frame around the screen is glossy (although a dust magnet) and makes the tele look much more expensive than it actually is.
Below is some techie info which I have just found in the manual, it may or may not be important but I thought I should relay it anyway - despite the fact that it's all gibberish to me!
Picture Processing: 50 Hz Resolution: 1366 x 768 Contrast Ratio: 1000000:1 RMS Power Output: 10W x 10W