Smaller LCD TVs are always going to find it tough to stand out. They're smaller, and thus less visually arresting by the pure fact of their size. Just to look at it, Toshiba's 22DV615Y doesn't present much beyond a plain black frame and a 22-inch LCD panel within.
At the back you'll find connections for HDMI, Component, S-Video, Composite and D-Sub video, coaxial audio, headphone socket and antenna cable. All standard so far. It's only when you glance at the sides that the 22DV615Y stands out. It's a combination LCD TV and DVD player, with a slot-loading DVD drive. This does make it mildly thicker than some LCD TVs at this size, although not by much.
The provided remote control is a busy affair, but at least Toshiba's designers have been wise enough to at least make the play/stop buttons a different size to make them stand out.
Toshiba sells three models in the current DVD/Combo range. There's an AU$849 19-inch model, the AU$949 22-inch model we've reviewed and an AU$1049 26-inch model. Our 22-inch review model had a top resolution of 1366x768, meaning it's not 1080p capable, although you wouldn't notice all that much with a screen this size. Toshiba states contrast at 800:1, which isn't spectacular, and brightness at 400cd/m².
On the playback front, it's digital TV compatible, and can play back content from DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD, CD-R, CD-RW and VCD. You'll need to hook up an external Blu-ray player for BR compliance, but then being a Toshiba product that's not too much of a surprise.
Out of the box the 22DV615Y is technically region locked, but it's surprisingly easy to turn it into a region free player with only a minimum of fuss.
One interesting feature that Toshiba offers via redemption on the 19- and 22-inch models is an inverter for car-based use. The idea is that you might want to watch TV when out camping or similar. Our first — and most dangerous — thought was that somebody, somewhere, will try to use this to turn the 22DV615Y into an in-car DVD player. It's a bad idea, and we've kept it this way so you don't have to make it a reality.
Digital TV playback was pretty crisp, but wasn't immune to a bit of screen judder, especially on Ten's ONE HD. An NCAA Football game showed a fair bit of shimmer and judder up close, although predictably moving away from the TV made this a lot less evident.
The same visual characteristics displayed themselves in DVD playback. If you're planning on having this unit on a kitchen bench or in a playroom where you're going to be close to it, it's quite noticeable, but if you're likely to be further away — say, a bedroom TV where you're not sitting quite so close — it's much less of a problem.
The Toshiba's in-built speakers have decent but not great dynamic range, with a lot of gradation between distinct volume levels.
We did hit some problems using the 22DV615Y as a PC monitor via VGA, as getting a decent resolution supported both by the screen and our graphics card proved something of a chore. PC screen duty is arguably a bit of a marginal case for what's intended to be an entertainment product, but it's still worth keeping in mind that you can't push the screen resolution past 60Hz or 1366x768.
There's an obvious appeal in having a secondary TV with its own in-built DVD playback facility, whether you're thinking for personal use or to entertain the kids. Clearly you could buy a cheaper 22-inch panel and plug in a cheap DVD player to the same effect, but if the combo idea appeals to you, the 22DV615Y is a good quality product to consider.