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Toshiba 40L7355DB review

Katharine Byrne
3 Sep 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
515
inc VAT

This budget TV has active 3D and decent picture quality, but poor contrast lets it down

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Specifications

40in, Freeview HD, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI

For this review we tested the 40in model in the L7355 range, but it's also available in 50in (50L7355DB) and 58in (58L7365DB) 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.

The 40L7355DB may look like a budget TV thanks to its largely plastic bezel and fixed stand, but this 40in LCD set is packed with features, including active 3D, smart TV content and integrated Wi-Fi. It’s part of Toshiba’s new L7 range for 2013 and it’s one of the few models with active 3D built in outside of its flagship ZL2 models.

Toshiba 40L7355DB

This is great news for anyone looking for a cheap 3D TV, but the 40L7355DB has its fair share of problems. It took us a few minutes to set up, not least because of the 40L7355DB’s unresponsive remote, and its slow interface will more than try your patience on occasion. Look past its sluggishness, however, and there’s a lot to like.

Toshiba 40L7355DB

SMART TV

Once you’ve connected it to your home network, you’re greeted with Toshiba’s Cloud TV Home menu. This gives you a live feed from the set’s built-in Freeview HD tuner, as well as an events calendar, a recommendation box, Twitter and an inbox. Menus are quite slow to load and you can’t customise this home screen with your own apps, but with dedicated home pages for TV and video and a full app menu, it’s not difficult to find what you want. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BlinkBox, YouTube and Vimeo were all present here, as well as Facebook and Skype, but sadly there’s no app store to download more apps later on, so what you see is what you get.

PORTS AND NETWORKING

The 40L7355DB has a good range of inputs, including four HDMI ports. One supports an audio return channel and one supports MHL, so you can display content from a compatible phone while simultaneously charging it. There are also SCART, component and composite inputs, two USB ports, Ethernet, a Common Interface slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and digital optical audio. It also supports Intel’s WiDi technology, which lets you stream media content wirelessly to your TV from a compatible laptop.

If you want to take advantage of its USB ports, the 40L7355DB supports a wide variety of files. We played all of our video test files perfectly, including DIVX HD, H.264, MKV, MP4, WMVHD, XVID HD and MOV clips, but it was a little more selective when it came to audio files. It didn’t recognise OGG, FLAC or WAV files, but we were able to play M4a, MP3 and WMA files without any problem. It also supports BMP, JPG and PNG image files, but it didn’t register GIFs or TIF files. You can also connect a flash drive to the TV to use for recording for one-touch recording and time-shift playback. DLNA support means you can stream content over your home network from a media server.

Toshiba 40L7355DB

IMAGE QUALITY

The 40L7355DB struggled with standard definition footage on its default settings, but Toshiba’s noise reduction setting did an admirable job of smoothing out images on lower-quality Freeview HD channels such as BBC News. There’s still a lack of detail and a noticeable amount of artefacts, but this will vary from channel to channel and Toshiba’s Resolution+ feature also helped to accentuate hard edges and highlights. Altering the Black/White level helped to increase contrast as well, helping to create deeper blacks and heightening the finer detail.

Full HD content, on the other hand, looked fantastic. The 40L7355DB has several picture modes to choose from, including Standard, Dynamic, Auto, Game, PC and three movie settings known as Hollywood Pro, Hollywood Night and Hollywood Day. We found Standard produced the most accurate colours in our Blu-Ray test footage, as all the Hollywood settings dimmed the screen quite substantially and were ideally too dark even with the lights switched off. It’s possible to customise each picture mode using the regular backlight, contrast, brightness, colour, tint, and sharpness settings, though, and there’s even scope to tweak the white balance and individual colour values in the Expert Picture settings. There are also separate Advanced Picture settings which include colour temperature, an auto brightness sensor, active backlight control, noise reduction, a resolution enhancer, and ClearScan, Toshiba’s anti-blurring feature.

Toshiba 40L7355DB

In Standard mode, colours packed a surprising punch for a TV in this price range and they showed a much greater depth and vibrancy than those on our reference TV. Blacks were pleasingly deep, too, but we were a little disappointed by its comparatively weak contrast levels. Darker night scenes lost a lot of detail even with the contrast-enhancing Black/White Level setting on maximum, and we also noticed a very small amount of backlight bleeding in the bottom corners of the screen.

It struggled to keep up with jerky camera pans in fast action sequences as well, but this was easily smoothed out using Toshiba’s ClearScan feature. You won’t want to increase this too much, though, as we noticed quite a lot of tearing and pixilation when we set it to Medium.

3D QUALITY

The 40L7355DB is 3D ready, too, and comes with two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses, but its 3D capabilities left a lot to be desired. Colours remained rich throughout Avatar on Blu-Ray and crosstalk was kept to a minimum, but once again we struggled to rescue its poor contrast levels. Areas which were bursting with detail on our reference TV were simply black on the 40L7355DB and this left films looking quite gloomy despite the vibrancy of the surrounding colours. This wasn’t helped by the darkness of the glasses, but its limited 3D menu doesn’t give you much scope for trying to improve the picture.

With no dedicated 3D picture mode available, we had to make do with the regular picture modes for altering contrast and brightness, but these only made a very minimal difference. Some of the advanced options weren’t available in 3D either. All the Expert settings were unavailable and the ClearScan, the active backlight control, base colour adjustment and the auto brightness sensor were greyed out. Luckily, we didn’t notice too much juddering in fast action sequences, so we didn’t feel ClearScan wasn’t particularly necessary, but we were disappointed to see how few options were available.

CONCLUSION

The Toshiba 40L7355DB has a great range of features for a TV in this price range, but this doesn’t quite make up for its infuriating remote and average 3D quality. We would have forgiven the 3D if the TV was more responsive and quicker to load. At this price, the 42in Panasonic TX-L42E6B is much better, but if you can stretch a bit further, the LG 42LA690V is significantly better.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Physical

Viewable size40in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
3D capableyes
Contrast ratio5,000:1
Brightness300cd/m²

Connections

D-sub inputs1
HDMI inputs4
Component inputs1
SCART0
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/PDIF out
Otherheadphone output, CI slot, RJ45 LAN (DLNA), 2x USB, stereo phono in

Tuner

Tuner typeFreeview HD, analogue
EPG8 day

Environmental

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on48W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£515
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.co.uk
Detailswww.toshiba.co.uk

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