A scanner lightly: Toshiba does 240Hz for less

The Toshiba ZV650U series incorporates a 240Hz refresh rate that utilizes a scanning backlight and costs less than other 240Hz models.

Toshiba's 240Hz ZV650U series uses a scanning backlight to fight blurring. Sarah Tew/CNET

As LCD and plasma vie for popularity and picture-quality bragging rights, one perceived weakness of the LCD camp has provided a reason for TV makers to charge more for step-up models: image blurring. Higher refresh rates like 120Hz and now 240Hz aim to clean up blurring with newfangled technology, and Toshiba's ZV650U series is one of the least expensive of such sets available.

Unlike such sets by Samsung and Sony, the Toshiba ZV650U uses a scanning backlight to reduce blurring--and, in fact, the company is careful to call its technology a "240Hz effect" to differentiate it from true 240Hz models. In most normal program material we find it nearly impossible to appreciate the antiblurring effect, but some people are really bummed by blurring, and for them the new LCDs--or perhaps the nearly blur-free images produced by plasmas--hold appeal.

Unfortunately for this particular Toshiba, high-tech-sounding processing can't overcome lighter black levels and a few other picture quality foibles. On the other hand, for those dead set on LCD who don't mind paying a bit extra for 240Hz, the relatively low price of the Toshiba ZV650U series makes it worth considering.

Read the full review of the Toshiba ZV650U series.

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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