X

Toshiba SL417U (photos)

Albeit one of the least expensive Internet-capable LED TVs available, the Toshiba SL417U lags behind most of its competitors in performance.

David_Katzmaier.jpg
David_Katzmaier.jpg

David Katzmaier

See full bio
_OVR.png
1 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Overview

The ability to stream Netflix and other Internet sources, as well as the thin profile imparted by its edge-lit LED backlight, mark the Toshiba SL417U as a midrange HDTV these days. In its favor this set demands relatively little cash for those extras, and built-in Wi-Fi gives it a leg up on some of the competition. It does sacrifice picture quality in many categories, however, with variable black levels and less impressive color. That said, for less critical viewers who want the convenience of online extras built in, the SL417U is a solid bargain.

Read the full review of the Toshiba SL417U series.

_CRNR.JPG
2 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Corner detail

Severe, angular minimalism is the name of the SL417U's game. Its inch-thin panel is complemented by an inch-narrow bezel around the screen colored the standard glossy black. The only front-facing nods to flair are the subtle gray fade along the thicker bottom edge of the panel...
_STND.JPG
3 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Stand detail

...the three-sided stand stalk and the glass-topped base.
_SD.JPG
4 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Profile

Edge-on, the edge-lit Toshiba measures 1.17 inches deep.
34504642_RMT.JPG
5 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Remote control

Although we like it better than the clicker included with the Toshiba TL515U, this remote is still one of our least favorite of 2011. The buttons are too numerous and similar, and the lack of backlighting is a hindrance in dark rooms.
34504642_DT.JPG
6 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Remote detail

We do appreciate the dedicated different-colored buttons for Netflix and Yahoo widgets.
34504642_BK.JPG
7 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Inputs

The selection here is perfectly fine, with four HDMI and one component plus two composite video, in addition to the VGA-style PC input.
34504807_CRD_540x405_540x405.JPG
8 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Breakout cables

As with most thin TVs, you'll need to use the included breakout cables to connect analog video sources.
IMG_9184_540x405.JPG
9 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Net TV home page

The main streaming interface is called Net TV, and hitting the corresponding remote button shows all seven choices at once via an easy-to-grok semicircle with nice big icons--although we didn't appreciate the somewhat sluggish progression from one to the next.
IMG_9185_540x405.JPG
10 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Yahoo Widgets

Unlike some other TVs, the SL471U lacks a dedicated app store, but the presence of umpteen near-useless (and a few nearly useful) Yahoo Widgets should soften the blow. Among the latter are Yahoo Fantasy Football, Facebook, Twitter, and eBay along with the usual weather, sports, and news. Among the former are 12 games and 32 local TV station widgets--with no easy way to sort through them to find one that might represent your locality.
IMG_9178_540x405.JPG
11 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Main menu

Hitting the menu button brings up an attractive two-tiered arch of icons, but the many settings choices quickly become confusing. Submenus are plagued by too much nesting, confusing labels, and zero in-menu explanations.
IMG_9182_540x405.JPG
12 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Setup menus

The numerous nested setup menus can become confusing.
IMG_9183_540x405.JPG
13 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Applications menu

A shortcut labeled "Applications" leads to many of the TV's miscellaneous functions.
IMG_9180_540x405.JPG
14 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Advanced picture settings

Nothing major goes missing here. While there is a CMS, labeled ColorMaster, it caused more problems than it fixed, so we didn't use it.
IMG_9181_540x405.JPG
15 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Two-point grayscale adjustment

The Toshiba lacks the 10-point grayscale and fine dejudder adjustments available on LG and Samsung TVs.
_OVR_540x405.png
16 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Picture quality

Compared with most edge-lit LEDs we've tested, the SL417U's performance falls in the lower end of the field. While decent in dark areas, its black levels in bright scenes get washed out, thanks, we assume, to the variable DynaLight backlight. Colors also appeared less saturated because of improper decoding and a bluish grayscale, especially in the brightest and darkest areas. It also lacked the uniformity of its step-up cousin, although it did well enough for video processing and bright rooms.

Read the full review of the Toshiba SL417U series.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

84 Photos
The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

36 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

More Galleries

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos
Rugged 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Debuts

More Galleries

Rugged 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Debuts

12 Photos
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Is a Three-Row Electric Luxobarge

More Galleries

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV Is a Three-Row Electric Luxobarge

68 Photos