Toshiba 46TL968 review
Toshiba’s previous TL-model TVs have often had many high-end features and a slim chassis that looks great. The 46TL968 is no different. It’s a 46in, active 3D set with smart TV, integrated Wi-Fi and plenty of advanced calibration settings to help you get the best picture.
The brushed metal effect bezel might be made of plastic, but it’s reasonably thin and looks good from a distance, giving no indication that the TL968 is a budget model. The glass stand is a simpler affair, but it’s very sturdy and looks quite stylish. You can pivot the screen, although it does wobble slightly when you do so.
The TL968 has a reasonable array of inputs on its back panel, including four HDMI ports, component, SCART and VGA video, digital optical audio and a 3.5mm headphone jack, Ethernet, two USB ports and a Common Interface slot. It also has integrated Wi-Fi and Intel’s WiDi technology, which lets you connect a compatible laptop to the TV and use that instead of the laptop’s display.
Once connected to your local network, you can stream music, photos and video to the TV using DLNA. We played all our video test files successfully, including MKV, MP4, MOV, WMV HD, H.264, XviD and DivX HD clips, so you won’t have a problem playing videos stored on your PC or NAS.
You can use either of the USB ports to attach a flash drive or external hard disk for one-touch recording and time-shift playback. We connected a 2.5in disk that takes power solely from the USB port and could instantly pause live TV and schedule recordings.
Toshiba has also added its Toshiba Places online portal, which has many good online services such as BBC iPlayer and YouTube. You can also create separate family accounts for Facebook, Skype and Twitter, and a web browser.
Video-on-demand apps include AceTrax, Blinkbox, YouTube and Dailymotion, as well as catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer. Sadly, there’s no app market for adding new content, so what you see is all you get. It’s a shame the system is so slow and often leaves you waiting while it loads an app or service, as we’ve seen more responsive smart TV systems from other manufacturers at a similar price.
The rest of the TV’s interface is incredibly basic. Apart from a few colourful icons in the main menu, all the settings pages are text-only, with low-resolution icons representing files in the media player. Thankfully, all the settings menus minimise to the bottom of the screen when you’re adjusting the picture, so it’s easy to judge whether you’re making things better or worse.
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