Toshiba Regza VL (47VL863B) review: Toshiba Regza VL (47VL863B)

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Typical Price: £900.00
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars 4 user reviews

The Good Impressive passive 3D performance; stylish design; Freeview HD and satellite tuners.

The Bad Inconsistent backlight; unnatural skin tones; below-par audio performance.

The Bottom Line We like the Toshiba Regza 47VL863B's tasty design and passive 3D support, especially as the glasses are so cheap. But this 47-inch LED TV's picture and sound performance leave much to be desired.

6.5 Overall

Until recently, you'd have had to go for an LG TV if you wanted a passive 3D display. Now that the Toshiba Regza 47VL863B has arrived, that's no longer the case. It uses the same passive 3D technology as LG sets, and comes with four pairs of passive glasses included.

This 47-inch, 1080p LCD TV has a few other tricks up its sleeve too, as it uses LED backlighting and features Toshiba's new Places Internet platform, which gives you access to online services such as BBC iPlayer. At current prices, it'll set you back around £900.

Design

The 47VL863B's cabinet feels rather flimsy when you're taking it out of the box -- something we've noticed on other recent Toshiba models. Nevertheless, this TV still cuts a dash, thanks to its strong, minimalist lines and the brushed-metal effect used on the narrow bezel. That said, it doesn't look quite as upmarket as Sony's Monolith or LG's Infinia designs.

Toshiba has taken an interesting approach to the remote's design. There's a wide silver band around the remote that can be slid up and down to cover and uncover the number buttons, leaving just the main volume, channel and d-pad controls visible. Although it looks cool, it's actually a tad annoying, as the band tends to wobble about in your hand, rather than locking in one place.

At least all the usual connectivity bases are covered. There are four HDMI ports, as well as Scart, component and VGA inputs. There are also two USB ports, one of which can be used for media playback, and the set also has an Ethernet socket that allows you to access online services and stream digital media from a PC or network-attached storage drive.

Media streaming

Unfortunately, the media-streaming features aren't all that impressive, as has been the case with other recent Toshiba models. We couldn't get the TV to play DivX, Xvid, or MKV files across our network from either our NAS drive or our PC, which is poor, as most TVs now have no problem playing these file types.

Toshiba Regza 47VL863B
The Places online platform is a disappointing mess.

Bizarrely, the telly played these formats locally from a hard drive plugged into one of its two USB ports without any problems, so there's no real reason why it shouldn't also be able to stream them across a network.

Internet features

Previous Toshiba TVs have been pretty half-baked in terms of online features, usually only offering simple BBC iPlayer and YouTube apps. This model features Toshiba's new Places platform, but it's still rather disappointing.

The menu for accessing Places is sluggish and there are some odd inconsistencies. For example, YouTube and iPlayer are listed in Places, but, if you select them, you're told to access them from the main menu instead. Also, the range of services on offer is relatively poor, especially compared to the offerings from LG and Sony.

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