Now that LCD TVs with 120Hz refresh rates are becoming commonplace, manufacturers including Toshiba are implementing 240Hz to bolster claims of smoother images with improved blur reduction.
Toshiba's ZV650 series includes three screen sizes, the 42-inch 42ZV650, the 46-inch 46ZV650, and the 55-inch 55ZV650, and will be available in April (prices were not announced).
In describing its 240Hz models, the company called it a "240Hz effect" to be extra-careful. Compared to 120Hz models, the company claims that 240Hz delivers smoother images with less blurring--although if our review of the Sony KDL-52XBR7 is any indication, the difference will be difficult to discern.
Like LG and Vizio, Toshiba uses the scanning backlight version of 240Hz, which turns the backlight on and off very rapidly. Sony and Samsung use a different version, which interpolates three extra frames for every true frame. We doubt many viewers will be able to tell the difference, but we'll wait till we can compare the two 240Hz methods.
Toshiba also touts its proprietary video processing, citing 14 bit "gradation creation." The company has slightly rebranded and supposedly improved the SRT standard-def upconversion seen on the 46XV545U we reviewed last year, calling it "Resolution+" and saying it will "create increased detail so everything will feel like HD" (a claim, we don't need to point out, that's difficult to credit). The company's spokesman also mentioned that Toshiba's upconversion technology will also work well to convert 1080i and 1080p material to properly scale to higher-resolution 2K and 4K panels available in the future.
Toshiba will also be among the first to incorporate Dolby Volume, an automatic volume limiter designed to level out peaks and valleys in volume. New for 2009, the company is adding an "expert" mode, with user-menu gains and cuts, and a "special backlight control." It also has a video-capable USB port, and an IR pass-through that can send your remote signals through to components in hidden in cabinets.
Finally, the company joins the ranks of LCD makers that incorporate shiny screens, first seen on Samsung LCDs, which should improve bright-room black-level performance at the expense of creating more reflections. We prefer matte screens, but we understand people like shiny things.