If you want to be taken seriously as a TV manufacturer these days, it seems 100Hz processing isn't enough. Instead, 200Hz, 400Hz or even 600Hz processing is required. One of the few key brands missing from the high-Hz party so far has been Toshiba. But that's a situation the company has rectified with the 42-inch, 1080p Regza 42ZV635DB LCD TV, which sports 200Hz processing. It's available for around £850.
The first thing that strikes you about the 42ZV635DB is that it doesn't follow Toshiba's usual design template. The finish is more glass-like, and the bezel's outer edges shift from black to a neat smoky grey finish. Although this doesn't make the TV an absolute design classic, especially as both its bezel and its butt are quite large by current LCD standards, it does at least make the set look reassuringly expensive.
The 42ZV635DB's connections are more than acceptable. Four HDMI ports should satisfy most users' high-definition needs, plus there's a PC jack, an SD card slot for JPEG playback, and a USB port via which you can play JPEG, MP3 and DivX video files.
The key 200Hz engine of the 42ZV635DB, designed to tackle LCD's usual motion-blurring and judder problems, uses a combination of a scanning backlight and 100Hz processing to achieve its effect. The 200Hz engine forms part of Toshiba's proprietary Active Vision M200HD processing system.
Other elements of this system work on boosting fine detail, contrast and colours, and there's further processing support from Toshiba's redoubtable Resolution+ engine, for enhanced upscaling of standard-definition material to 1080p screens like the 42ZV635DB's.
Happily, all the chief elements of the 42ZV635DB's processing can be adjusted considerably via the TV's simple and rather bland on-screen menus. There are plenty more tweaks to get your teeth into if you wish, such as a 3D colour-management system, two different noise-reduction modes, a 'static gamma' setting, and even an 'expert' option that allows you to switch on or off the red, green and blue colour elements in the picture, for more accurate colour calibration.
The 42ZV635DB even attempts to go the extra mile with its sound, thanks to both a Dolby Volume system for equalising volume levels between channels and programmes, and an Audyssey EQ mode designed to make sure the sound the TV produces is continually optimised to suit your listening environment.
When we set about trialling the 42ZV635DB's pictures, it quickly became clear that its 200Hz engine -- despite, arguably, not being a true 200Hz engine -- helps it deliver the best motion-handling we've seen on a Toshiba LCD TV yet. There really is scarcely the slightest trace of LCD technology's usual motion-blur problem, even during full-tilt action scenes or sporting footage.