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Toshiba Regza 40WL753 review

There’s a lot to like about Toshiba’s 40WL753, but it’s more expensive than better alternatives.

The Toshiba Regza 40WL753 is not a cheap TV. In fact only the Philips 40PFL7605H costs more. But whereas the Philips is the best looking TV on test, the 40WL753 is more aesthetically challenged. Toshiba’s Deep Lagoon bezel simply doesn’t do it for us.

Design aside, this TV is as feature packed as any set here, which goes some way to justifying its high price. For a start the 40WL753 uses an LED backlight, which should result in deeper black levels and lower power usage. However, we measured the 40WL753’s power consumption as 126W in use, which doesn’t seem particularly frugal. You also get Toshiba’s Active Vision 200Hz processing and the excellent Resolution+ engine for upscaling standard definition content.

There’s no shortage of connections either, with four HDMIs, component, composite, two SCARTs and a D-SUB PC input. Unfortunately the 40WL753 is limited to a 1,600×1,200 resolution over D-SUB, but it can at least manage 1,920×1,080 over HDMI.

Toshiba Regza 40WL753

You get both analogue and Freeview HD tuners built-in, but despite the high-end aspirations of the 40WL753, it uses a horribly dated EPG that we’ve seen included on Toshiba’s cheapest TVs. You get an eight day EPG, but no preview window all wrapped up in a rather ugly design. Considering how much time you spend using an EPG these days, we really feel that all TV manufacturers should make more of an effort.

At least Toshiba has equipped the 40WL753 with a far nicer remote control than its little brother. It may not be a work of art like the Philips remote, but it’s a good looking unit and very well laid out.

The 40WL753 lives up to its billing when it comes to black levels. Dark City on Blu-ray looked suitably moody and bleak, with deep blacks and good levels of shadow detail. The subtle colours were also rendered with just enough impact to make their presence felt, but not to distract from the otherwise dark scenes. Coraline looked equally impressive, with incredibly vibrant colours bursting out of the deep blacks of the scenery.

Standard definition content was also very well handled, with Resolution+ weaving its magic over Freeview channels. Good quality Freeview like BBC1 looks amazingly sharp, while even low bit-rate channels are sharper than we’ve seen on other TVs.

However, it’s not all good news when it comes to picture quality. That edge LED backlight system wasn’t completely even across the screen, and the bottom left corner of the screen was noticeably lighter. This undermined the otherwise excellent handling of dark scenes. Also, there was noticeable judder when frame smoothing was turned off, but to be fair, Toshiba’s frame smoothing is very subtle at its lowest level, so even movie buffs might use it.

Of course you can hook the 40WL753 up to your home network and the Internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream media from any DLNA compliant device. You can also steam direct from USB, and we had no problem playing back a variety of XviD content with Resolution+ ensuring that it looked great.

There’s a lot to like about the Toshiba 40WL753, but with a street price of around £880 it’s just too expensive. For £70 more you can get the stunning Philips 40PFL7605H and for £80 less you could have the superb Panasonic TX-P42G20B – you do the maths.

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