If anyone is considering a decent performing flat panel TV for casual viewing in a brighter room environment, I've had the opportunity to spend time with the Toshiba 46WX800U 3-D edge-lit LED LCD. It's a slick looking TV that has nice cosmetics and is easy to fall for it's looks, but what surprises does this TV have with image quality? Let's take a look...
Many Canada HiFi readers probably remember Toshiba as the rising king of CRT. Delivering cutting edge widescreen HDTVs equipped to receive high resolution component video connections from DVD players, they were solidly built and looked fantastic after performing the necessary CRT adjustment and calibration. But after the demise of the CRT, Toshiba worked in the shadows deciding on their newest offering as consumers began to have available an array of new technologies to choose from - and new technologies that needed to be proven worthy to the general public who was used to the great looks of CRT. Even though Toshiba stumbled with a slow start, it’s great to see Toshiba on track right where they used to be with a strikingly handsome line of LED TVs. It ain’t just good looks; these TVs also have a bit of 3-D muscle under the shirt. The TV in review is the REGZA 46WX800U 1080p 3-D TV mated with Toshiba’s BDX30000 Blu-ray player and FPT-AG01U glasses. Together these three pieces create the latest 3-D entertainment experience.
Appearance & Technology
I stared dreamily at my review sample for some time before I turned it on. In fact, I was content not turning it on at all! I found the design to be very attractive when considering the competition. The screen is virtually flat with the black frame as all of it is covered by a thin protector. At the very outside edge runs a subtle silver pinstripe around the perimeter adding a touch of modernism and class. The bottom right hosts touch sensitive buttons for power, channel, and volume.
The back panel is tight like virtually all other flat panels these days. Gone are most analogue RCA connections except a composite input on the side and the component inputs are input via a mini connector. Considering the TV’s depth of only 29mm, there isn’t room for such large connectors. Since North America is converting to HD, most people buying this set will have a means of getting any signal easily to this TV. Among the most important connectors are four HDMI 1.4 inputs, a bunch of mini-plugs for component video and audio, a VGA for computer, 2 USB slots, a connection for Ethernet and a digital audio output. There is an RF input that is tight for big fingers and I found it a bit of a struggle twisting on the connector from my outdoor antenna. The built-in speakers sound worse than a tin can. If you buy slim, expect thin. It may be enough sound to fill a 10x12 room but anything larger is pushing the limits.
Toshiba’s remote control hasn’t changed too much over the past 10 years. While the aesthetics have changed slightly, the button layout is very similar. This remote feels bulky making it hard to easily access certain buttons without having to slide my hand up and down the remote for a better reach.
Among the most notable technological features beyond 3-D capability is ClearFrame 240 which increases the 24/30/60 frames per second in our video sources to a common multiple of 240, thus eliminating most judder and blurred images with minimal added side effects. A CrystalCoat screen protector is said to reduce room reflections but my measurements proved otherwise. InstaPort proves fast HDMI switching while the PixelPure 5G engine uses a 14-bit video processor to ensure that the 8-bit signals we feed to the TV are reproduced without any increased banding. An Expert image adjustment mode allows for very precise calibration and includes both 2 and 10-point greyscale/gamma controls. An 18-point Colour Management System labelled Colormaster in theory should have allowed me to make colours more accurate, but it failed by creating a blocky picture with the feature turned on. There are many other image controls that may be helpful in very specific applications but most are best left turned off if a pleasing picture is desired.
Continued in next post...