Sculpted by Danish industrial designer Jacob Jensen and featuring the brand's multi-processor CEVO engine processor, the Toshiba 55WL863 packs a real punch
The Toshiba 55WL863 is proof that the manufacturer can do sophisticated chic with the best of them; a dramatic, sandblast metal finish makes it a dark and dramatic sibling to the silver-suited 46YL863. It may only be 29cm thin, but beneath the glass there's plenty of advanced picture-making technology. Its principal high-street rivals are the Sony KDL-55HX753 and LG 55LM670T.
It may not be as highly specced as the Samsung UE55ES8000 or the LG 55LM960V, but does the 55WL863 have what it takes to make it into our list of the best TVs around?
Toshiba 55WL863: Features
Internet enabled and 3D ready, the WL863 appears to have all the toys. Unfortunately, the execution isn't entirely compelling. The brand has attempted to create an online social hub, but there's little here of interest. Outside of BBC iPlayer and YouTube, most of the IPTV offering are subscription based: Box Office 365, Acetrax, Woomi and Cartoon Network.
And while the set brandishes DLNA credentials, media file playback support only extends to USB sticks. Network file-jockeys will be disappointed. However, on the plus side the TV offers both a Freeview HD tuner and a generic satellite option, which will give a Freesat-like channel spread when connected to any Sky dish.
Toshiba 55WL863: Design
Beautiful build quality and elegant aesthetics go a long way to making up for the screen's miss-firing feature spread. Even the remote has been subjected to a designer makeover. A sliding sheath is used to hide spare buttons. Not hugely practical, admittedly, but it certainly looks cool.
Toshiba 55WL863: Specs
With four HDMIs, plus PC, component and SCART (the last two via supplied adaptors), there's plenty of room on the rear panel for set top boxes, games consoles and Blu-ray. Wi-Fi is built in, should you feel like snubbing the Ethernet jack. Two USB ports are provided, one for media playback and the other for timeshifting to an external USB hard drive.
Toshiba 55WL863: Performance
With high levels of detail, deep blacks and zingy colours, image quality can be considered a real strength. The screen uses a Pro-LED backlight that supports 32 zones of controllable local dimming, while proprietary Resolution+ image processor does a bang-up job of scaling SD sources.
Unsurprisingly for a TV this thin, audio suffers. Shrill and painful at volume, the WL863's onboard sound system is little more than functional. Plan on using the digital audio output to drive a 2.1 system sooner rather than latter.
Toshiba 55WL863: Verdict
The Toshiba 55WL863 is certainly a mixed bag, although not without appeal. Its design is delightful; there's flair to its finish which sets it apart from other cookie-cutter flatscreens. However Toshiba's online portal Places is distinctly second division.
The TV's Active Shutter 3D also fails to impressive. There's obvious crosstalk double imaging, which can be occasionally distracting. Still, the screen gets two thumbs up for image quality and motion clarity, making this a solid choice sport fans.
Toshiba 55WL863 availability: Available now
Toshiba 55WL863 price: £1,500
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