Toshiba 40VL758 review
Great picture quality and design, let down by multimedia performance
It’s immediately apparent when you lift this Toshiba from its box that it’s a step above the competition in terms of finish and build. From the hefty stand and edge-to-edge glass faceplate this screen oozes class.
Styled by the Jacob Jensen Design studio (whose Danish lines adorn everything from alarm clocks to doorbells), the 40VL758 a beautiful looking TV that isn’t served well by product photography alone Given its extreme thinness, just 30mm, a bunch of adaptors are supplied to connect SCART, phono and component sources.
Although the TV is DLNA compliant, media playback across a network is disappointing. The set failed to recognise most of our test video footage, including AVIs, MOVs and MKV parcels, although it did begrudgingly play an MPG. The set had more success from local USB playback. AVI, MKV and XviD test files all worked, although our MPEG-4 stalwart (‘Chocolate Rain’!) inexplicably failed, and there is no support for SRT subtitles.
Toshiba has yet to launch its online content portal, Toshiba Places (that’s due early next year), so instead you simply get BBC iPlayer (albeit with HD streaming option) and YouTube.
The VL758 uses Edge LED backlighting to achieve its elfin profile. However, its implementation is disappointingly uneven. The result is pooling light in each corner, and spears from the wave guide. The only solution is to turn down the backlight intensity.
Although sporting an integrated Freeview HD tuner, the screen looks its best with Blu-ray. Details ping and (backlighting issues aside) black levels are deep. It takes a little effort to coax the best picture from this panel. Helpfully, there’s a raft of controls available in its Advanced and Expert menus. Although there is proprietary anti-blur tech provided, dubbed Active Vision M100, we did notice some fast movement image smudging. Although a moderate annoyance this didn’t detract from a favourable overall impression.
The set’s motion resolution performance is arguably the best amongst the LCD screens here. Clarity improves markedly when Film Stabilization is engaged (the Standard setting is best), measuring in at a crispy 900 lines.
One of Toshiba’s star technology turns is Resolution +, a picture improvement technique which first saw the light of day as a DVD enhancement. Here it’s touted for both SD and HD sources. The processing definitely does what’s intended. We found it clearly extracts more nuance and texture from an image without creating obvious ringing effects.
Audio quality is somewhat strident. There is provision for improvement though. An equaliser allows you to goose up the mid-range for a less telephonic timbre, and the faux surround post processing Spatial gives a decent stereo spread.
A beautifully built flatscreen with generally fine picture quality, let down by poor audio and multimedia functionality
Toshiba 40VL758 release date: Out now, link Toshiba
Toshiba 40VL758 price: £850
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