Thursday, June 27, 2013

Electronics Review: Toshiba CF27H50 CRT TV

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good picture and sound; easy to control
Cons: Weight balance makes moving it difficult
The Bottom Line:
A faithful TV
Enjoyed picture, sound for years
And still going strong

Still Proving to be a Great Choice for a TV

When I first moved out, I took an old family TV as my first TV.  How old, you ask?  It had a turn dial to select the channel and you had to adjust the sound at the set.  Yeah, the price was right, and I was very grateful for it.  But after a couple of years, I was ready to upgrade, and I settled on the Toshiba CF27H50 TV.  That was in the late 90's, and this TV has now gone from my main TV to the secondary TV in my bedroom.  But it still works great, and I love it.

The 27 in the model number means this is a 27 inch screen.  Okay, in the world of giant screen TV's we see now, that's small, but for my apartments and now my condo, that's always been a great size.  The picture has always been sharp whether I was watching cable, my VCR, or my DVD player.

You can easily hook up several options to the TV.  For years, I had a VCR and a DVD player hooked up simultaneously.  Now, I have a DVR, my old Atari 2600, Super Nintendo, and a DVD player all hooked up to it.  All the hook ups are in the back, so you don't want to be switching around what you have hooked up very often, but the component video inputs are well labled and fairly easy to get to.  There's also sound and video out options, and I used to use the sound out to hook this up to my sound system.  I only ever got stereo out of it, but that was better than the mono TV it replaced.

Speaking of sound, there are two speakers on the front of the TV.  An option for sound is "surround sound."  Um, right.  Every time I've switched that on, I haven't noticed a difference.  But the sound was also clear, so I can follow what I am watching no problem.

The TV comes with picture in picture.  The catch with this is you have to have a different input available for it to work.  For example, when I had my cable and VCR going into this TV, I could turn on the VCR and use that feed for the second picture.  However, now that I just have one TV source coming in, I can't use the picture in picture feature.  Considering how little I surf the TV any more, that's no great loss.

Another feature is the mute button, which automatically turns on closed captioning.  I'd find this distracting if I muted the TV to answer the phone, but it was nice if my roommate was the one on the phone.

Most of the options for picture adjustment are accessed through the remote and pop up on the screen.  It's a bit clumsy, but once you get the picture set, there's no real reason to go messing around with it.

Speaking of the remote, let's talk about it.  It's gotten a lot of use in the last 10+ years, and most of the numbers and symbols have rubbed off the buttons.  That's not really an issue since the buttons are fairly logical or are still labeled on the remote itself, which hasn't warn off.  While not a universal remote, you could set it up to work with a cable box and a VCR, which was convenient.  The switch on the side dictated what the remote was actually controlling.  It got plenty of use in both TV and VCR mode.  The VCR controls were fairly basic: play, stop, record, etc.  When I wanted to program the VCR, I needed that remote, but for watching it was great.

The only thing I have never liked about this TV is how front heavy it is.  It's big and bulky, so it's a pain to move (and I've moved it plenty), but the weight in the front will throw you off balance if you aren't expecting it.  I've almost dropped it a time or two.

I realize in the word of HD TV's, most people aren't looking for a standard definition TV like this one.  I know I wouldn't be looking for it if I didn't already have one.  But this Toshiba 27 inch TV has been a faithful unit, and I don't think I'll be replacing it any time soon.

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