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Toshiba 46YL863 review

Tom Morgan
28 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,200
inc VAT

Its Cevo Engine processing does an excellent job, but it can't fully rectify the shortcomings of its panel

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Specifications

46in, Analogue, Freeview HD, Freesat HD, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI

For this review we tested the 46in model in the current YL range, but it's also available in 42in (42YL863) and 55in (55YL863) screen sizes. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.

Toshiba’s 46in YL863 has an LED-backlit panel that’s remarkably colourful and bright thanks to its VA (Vertical Alignment) panel. This TV uses Toshiba’s Cevo Engine technology (a multicore cell processor that can handle complicated image-enhancement techniques) so that you can tweak the picture until your heart’s content.

Toshiba 46YL863

We’re impressed by the YL863’s image quality. Its colours are rich and its contrast is strong. The YL863’s panel is edge-lit, which means its LEDs are arranged around the edge of the screen, but they can perform a kind of local dimming. The result isn’t as good as a full-array screen, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Its fast chip means that you don’t notice sudden changes in luminosity either.

In Casino Royale, the transition from the bright Bahamas to the dark Montenegrin countryside is smooth, with bright colours in one scene and dark shadows in the next, but we noticed that very dark blacks and very bright whites weren’t visible in our more technical tests. Despite its powerful chip, the YL863 can’t overcome its panel’s limitations.

The 46YL863 has motion-smoothing, but the technology isn’t as impressive as others we’ve seen. We noticed smoothness in some scenes, but in others, such as a scene in which Bond crosses a crowded room, the image was juddery.

Toshiba 46YL863

The YL863’s TV guide shows 14 channels at a time, but there’s no preview window, which means you can’t watch while you browse. SD content was handled well too. When noise reduction was set to its lowest setting, we didn’t notice either blockiness or smudging.

The YL863 has Freeview HD and Freesat HD in addition to regular SD channels It can access a number of internet services too, but the choice isn’t very wide and its interface is laggy and badly laid-out. The main menu lets you access YouTube, iPlayer and Toshiba’s Places hub, but we couldn’t find a way to customise these shortcuts. You can add apps to your favourites list, but they’re stored in a separate menu. In its media player, the interfaces for videos, music and photos were different from each other. Media on your network isn’t presented in the same interface as media on an attached USB drive either.

Toshiba 46YL863

It also has 3D, and the YL863 comes with a single pair of active shutter glasses, which isn’t much use for a family, and extra pairs currently cost £58 each from Amazon.co.uk (part code: FPT-AG02). The 3D effect was impressive, with less darkening than on other systems we’ve seen, but there was some crosstalk in fast-moving scenes. Overall, the 3D effect was convincing.

The YL863 is a well-equipped TV, but its execution isn’t quite as slick as the sets we’ve seen from other manufacturers. At £1,200, it’s also in the firing line of both the LG 42LM670T and the Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST50B plasma. Both are better sets overall, which makes it difficult to recommend the Toshiba.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Physical

Viewable size46in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
3D capableyes
Contrast ratio6,000:1 (7,000,000:1 dynamic)
Brightness450cd/m²
Speakers2x 10W

Connections

D-sub inputs0
HDMI inputs4
Component inputs1
SCART1
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/PDIF out
Otherheadphone out, CI slot, 2x USB, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio input

Tuner

Tuner typeAnalogue, Freeview HD, Freesat HD
EPG8 day

Environmental

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on152W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year
Price£1,200
Supplierhttp://www.bhsdirect.co.uk
Detailswww.toshiba-europe.com

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