Toshiba 22BV500B Review

A 22 inch LCD wide screen TV with freeview and HD ready

I am writing about this TV for two reasons. First, we have just bought one and second, it is on offer at Argos and I thought a number of people may be considering buying it, especially with Christmas approaching, and may find an unbiased review useful.

Toshiba 22BV500B

We bought this television for our kitchen to replace an old CRT TV which sat on top of the fridge.  For this reason we decided to wall mount it as the fridge door is occasionally wrenched open by the kids and we were worried about it falling off. The first thing to mention here is that the size of bracket specified on the Argos site is incorrect it is not 200 x 100 but 100 x 100 (VESA compliant).  We bought the bracket on the same day and ended up buying a more expensive one because of this (one with 200 & 100 holes).  Having said that fixing it to the wall was a very good idea as the base is only slim and in fact the Toshiba manual suggests using a fixing strap. Not that I have ever seen that done with any telly. You should be OK if you have it on a solid, steady surface but if you are thinking about having it on a cabinet in a kids bedroom you may want to consider the strap or wall mount options.

The 22BV500B comes with basic standard conectivity:

  • 1 HDMI socket.
  • 1 SCART socket.
  • PC input socket.
  • Component video socket.
  • Composite.
  • Headphone socket.
  • AV socket (side and rear).
  • 1 USB port.

The on screen menus, functions, picture options are what you would expect from most modern freeview televisions, albeit basic.  Swapping between channels isn’t immediate and when first switched on it takes a good few seconds (sorry I haven’t timed it) for the picture and sound to come on.  The first time I switched it on I switched it off again thinking that I hadn’t switched it on properly. The sound is OK but not brilliant and when listening to radio stations comes across a little tiny reminding me of an old transistor radio and it’s a shame that there is no way of switching of the screen, thus saving a little energy.

Finally, the picture quality, probably the most important consideration. The picture is clear and bright with a reasonable viewing angle.  However there is a slight bleed from the back lighting around the edges which is noticeable when the edge of the picture is dark.  This would irritate me if this was our main TV but doesn’t really bother me in the kitchen.

So to conclude, a good kitchen telly or possibly for the bedroom and adequate for a games station.  You get what you pay for and I haven’t been able to find anything better for the price.  If you do have an extra £40 though you may want to consider one of the higher quality manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony or Panasonic.

I hope you have found this useful, you can download the full manual here.  If you have any questions leave a comment and I will endeavour to answer them.

HTC Magic – Review

The Android Smart Phone with Google

HTC MagicI became the owner of a HTC Magic at the beginning of the summer.  Although an ‘I.T. Professional’ I have never owned a smart phone before. Bearing this in mind I can’t make any comparisons with other smart phones. However this device has become one of my favorite pieces of techno-kit, surpassing my beloved Zen Xtra, which has served me well for many years and equaling my Squeezebox Boom, which I may write about some other time.

The HTC Magic appealed to me for a couple of reasons.  It wasn’t an iGadget which tied me into irritating iSoftware and I was already a user of GMail, associated calendar and other apps.  I should say at this point that this is the ‘with google’ version of the phone I am using.

The HTC Magic comes with the obligatory charger and mediocre in-ear phones, plus an uninspiring white pouch to keep it safe from scratches.  I bought InvisibleSHIELD to further protect the finish although I would not recommend it as it is in 9 extremely fiddly to fit pieces and could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called invisible.  In retrospect I would go for a good quality screen protector instead.

Switching on the HTC Magic for the first time you are asked for your Google account credentials and within minutes, Internet connection permitting, your mail, calendar and contacts are all synchronised with your on-line account. I also installed Google Calendar Sync at work which means that my Outlook calendar syncs with my on-line Google calendar and thus with my phone, perfect :).

The touchscreen is clear and responsive, even with a protector glued to it, and I have never felt the need for a stylus as the keyboard can be used precisely even with your thumbs.

The HTC Magic interface is clean looking and easy to use.  It has three ‘desktops’ which can be accessed by swiping the screen left or right.  Shortcuts and widgets can be placed here, wallpaper and themes changed etc. and by turning the phone you can either work in portrait or landscape.  An application tab resides at the bottom of the screen and opening this reveals all your installed software.  One criticism here is that although you can have folders containing icons on your desktop there is no way to further organise your apps within this tab.

Making a call is easy and the dial pad is always within reach should you be put through to an automated system. Another easily accessible tab allows you to hold, switch from or to a bluetooth device or turn on the speaker phone.  Sending texts and emails  is also a doddle with suggested words appearing at the bottom of the input screen for you to select should you wish.  The keyboard is qwerty, simple to use and quick to access numbers and special characters.

All in all I think this is a great phone, it comes with a number of good quality applications and by using Google’s Market Place you can search for, by name or via category, for thousands more.  Most of the applications are free but even those are not are of minimal cost  and if you uninstall within 24 hours you get a complete refund. There is also an option to allow the installation of non verified software should you be happy to do so.

The device also comes equipped with a compass, GPS, WiFi and decent camera all of which are made good use of by the huge variety of available software.

Finally, should you wish, you can develop your own apps using the free SDK and Eclipse Software suite.