Toshiba Regza 46WL863B review
46in, Analogue, Freeview HD, Freesat HD, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI
We’ve not seen many Toshiba TVs this year, especially not high-end ones, so we were interested to see what the 46WL863B could offer. With an extensive feature list and a stunning thin bezel, it certainly looks like a range-topping TV. Three different screen sizes are available – if you don’t want the 46in model reviewed here, you can choose between a 42in (42WL863B, £820) and a 55in (55WL863B, £1,300) version.
As well as an integrated Freeview HD tuner, there’s a comprehensive internet TV service that lets you watch online videos from YouTube, catch up TV from BBC iPlayer and a whole host of social networking portals. The menu system is easily one of the slickest we’ve used all year – high resolution images and text, rapid response times and a straightforward layout make it a joy to use. With an Ethernet port and integrated Wi-Fi, you have the choice of how to connect the set to your home network. Once you do, you’ll also be able to access any multimedia content stored on your PCs, laptops and other DLNA-enabled devices.
There are plenty of other ports on the back of the set – four HDMI, aerial inputs for Freeview HD and Freesat HD, component, VGA, composite and SCART connections via included adaptors and a Common Interface slot should be enough for almost every setup. Finally, two USB ports are on hand for either local multimedia playback or recording TV programmes.
The 46WL863B handled our test video files exceptionally well, including videos encoded with DivX or XviD. It even displays a video preview before playing each file, loading exceptionally quickly. It works well as a rudimentary PVR when you plug in a flash drive – with only one tuner you can record one program at a time and can't record one while watching another, but we had no problem with timer recording and pausing live TV. This function won’t replace a dedicated PVR, but if you don’t have one you’ll appreciate the extra feature.
Once we’d finished playing with the 46WL863B’s gadgets and started looking closely at picture quality, it was quickly obvious that high definition footage is where it excels. Standard definition playback was reasonable, but there were still noticeable noise artefacts and a lack of detail on the lower-bandwidth channels. However, Freeview HD looked great and Blu-ray movies were incredibly crisp – the LED backlight created a satisfyingly even picture, with no sign of light bleed.