Toshiba enters LED race with high-end LCDs
The SV670 series, the flagship Toshiba HDTVs announced at CES, is the company's first to include LED backlights with local dimming.
Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio offer or will offer HDTVs with, the most effective picture quality improvement available for LCD TVs, and now Toshiba will too.
The SV670 series includes two screen sizes, the 46-inch 46SV670U and the 55-inch 55SV670U, and will be available in June (prices were not announced).
The company was quick to stipulate that the sets' LEDs employ "local dimming" technology, which can dim and turn off sections of the backlight while leaving others bright as needed. Other LED models with local dimming we've reviewed in the past, from Samsung and Sony, delivered deeper black levels and better overall picture quality than standard LCD TVs.
As with many other higher-end models announced at CES this year, the SV670 series also boasts 240Hz refresh rates--although we appreciated that the company called it a "240Hz effect" to be extra careful. Compared with 120Hz models, the company claims that 240Hz delivers smoother images with less blurring--although if our review of the
Like LG and Vizio, Toshiba's 240Hz sets use the scanning backlight version of 240Hz, which turns the backlight on and off very rapidly. Sony and Samsung use a different version of 240Hz, 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," and has slightly rebranded and supposedly improved the SRT standard-def upconversion seen on the
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 as well as a "special backlight control." It also has a video-capable USB port, and an IR passthrough that can send your remote signals through to components in hidden in cabinets.
Finally, the company joins the ranks of LCD makers that incorporate a shiny screen, first seen on Samsung LCDs, which should improve bright room black level performance at the expense of creating more reflections. We prefer matte screen, but we understand people like shiny things.