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Toshiba TL515U: First Look

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First Look: Toshiba TL515U

2:59 /

Although its attractive features, design and passive 3D have merit, the picture quality issues of the Toshiba TL515U LED-based LCD TV lessen its appeal in the face of the stiff competition.

Hi, I'm David Katzmaier, senior editor at CNET, and I'm sitting next to Toshiba 47TL515U. It's a 47-inch LED based LCD. Toshiba also make a 55, 40, and 32-inch member of the series. This review will apply to all of them. This one of the few passive 3D TVs on the market along with LG and Vizio. Toshiba is the only maker of that type of 3D TV that includes 4 pairs of 3D glasses and of course these glasses are lot cheaper than the active 3D models including with a lot of the other 3 TVs out there. We got to the 3D a little bit, but first let's a look at the styling of this TV. LG chose a nice matte finish, look a little bit like brass metal around the edge here. There's also a slightly chrome looking accent to either side and glossy look along the bottom. So, I told it's one of the sleeker TVs on the market of course to LED TVs. It measures only about an inch and a half thick when seen from the side. Toshiba also throw in a swivel stand and the pedestal has this angular look here. There's also glass top base to the stand. It's a high end TV. The TL515U has plenty of bells and whistles. There's built in Wi-Fi. You don't have to run an Ethernet cable to the back to access the internet suite. That internet suite does include Netflix and Voodoo, but it doesn't have amazon or Hulu Plus, so it does have little bit less in terms of content compared to the other, a lot of the other competition out there. Toshiba also has Yahoo widgets, but it doesn't have the app store found on some other models. Picture settings on the 515U are extensive, although it doesn't have the 10-point white balance or the adjustment to each other we found on some other competition. It does have a color management system, but we found in our testing that it doesn't work all that well. Our testing of this TV wasn't as bad. We appreciate the relatively the black levels and dark scenes, but found that the black light fluctuate a little bit more than we like to see. So, for example when the scene turns really bright, the picture is brighter than it is on a lot of competition that tends to wash out picture in bright screens and also obscure shadow detail and dark scenes. We also found color a little bit less accurate on this TV. We would appreciate a color management system to tweak it, but alas that's not in the card. Toshiba does have pretty good uniformity across its screen, however, and it does reject ambient light with its matte finish relatively well. As I mentioned, this TV does have 3D capability provided by passive 3D glasses. The advantage of passive is the glasses are cheaper, but the disadvantage is the pressure quality is not as good as active in our experience. When you look closely at the image, you will see it's a little bit softer and worse, you do see some jagged artifacts along the edges. Passive 3D also does produce some visible line structure that's due to the nature of every other line and lower resolution image in passive, so I told, we prefer active. Passive is pretty good if you watch a lot of 3D in bright lights, however, because the glasses themselves don't darken the image to much. Input-wise includes 4 HDMI, 2 video inputs and a component video inputs, but the analog inputs do require the use of these breakout cables. That's a quick look at the Toshiba 47TL515U series and I'm David Katzmaier.

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