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Toshiba Regza 37X3030D review: Toshiba Regza 37X3030D

Toshiba's Regza 37X3030D is a 37-inch 1080p LCD that will cope with pretty much anything you throw at it -- high-definition performance is excellent and standard-def is not bad either, making it ideal for HD movies, gaming or catching up on your soaps

Ian Morris

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4 min read

Toshiba plays the ace card with its Regza 37X3030D: it features support for a 1080p picture at a reasonable price.

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8.3

Toshiba Regza 37X3030D

The Good

1080p screen; high-definition picture quality; excellent sound quality.

The Bad

Only two HDMI sockets; no HDMI 1.3 support.

The Bottom Line

We liked the 37X3030D a lot, especially when watching high-definition material -- the addition of 1080p to the middle of the Toshiba range is an excellent sign for the future. It is only let down slightly by its standard-definition performance

The X series sits between the lower-end C series and the top end Z series. It will appeal to people who are keen to get the best quality from their AV systems, but don't need the extra features offered by the Z series, such as an extra HDMI socket, HDMI 1.3 support and M100 picture processing.

Design
The styling of the 37X3030D isn't radically different from the other Toshiba screens that have been available in the past couple of years. The claw stand design reminds us of the WLT68 range. When you get it out of the box, you'll have to attach the stand using four screws. Once fitted the whole thing feels pretty stable.

The screen is surrounded by a gloss-black frame, which is all the rage, but the reflectiveness can be slightly distracting when you're watching TV. The front of the set is fairly minimalist -- there are only two LEDs to indicate the status of the set. Controls are located to the right-hand side, along with the secondary composite and S-Video inputs.

The main inputs for the set can be found at the rear. There are two HDMI inputs, component, composite and two Scart inputs -- one of which is RGB enabled to get the best picture quality out of Sky and Freeview receivers. There is also a VGA PC input, which can accept WXGA signals.

Features
The 37X3030D has built-in Freeview and analogue receivers. Setting it up is straightforward, although if you lose the remote it's impossible to tune in Freeview channels using the buttons on the telly. This is annoying -- you can control most other things without the remote.

All Toshiba's new televisions, including this model, support material that uses the 24p standard, which means you can watch movies from Blu-ray or HD DVD at the rate they were intended. While this isn't the sort of feature many people will have missed in the past, it is good to have. The addition of this mode means films played on one of the high-definition players will look more cinematic and won't be speeded up by 4 per cent, so the audio won't be distorted.

The digital audio out on the television is useful if you want to feed a high-quality audio signal to a home cinema amplifier. The audio from Freeview isn't Dolby Digital encoded, but you might just find some pro-logic material if you're lucky. Even without surround sound, you'll have much more control over the audio if you connect the TV to an external amp.


Performance
High-definition performance is very good indeed. Our old favourite Happy Gilmore on HD DVD makes a great test disc because of the bright, vibrant colours. The scene that simply features a camera tracking past a bird cage judders on some televisions; fortunately the 37X3030D doesn't have any problem with this. Indeed, motion generally looks very natural.

Upscaled DVD quality from our Denon DVD-1930 was superb. We looked at Spiderman 2 and were thrilled with the results. Sometimes upscaled DVDs can look a little washed out with poor colour. This wasn't the case with the 37X3030D -- the quality was excellent with only a small amount of grain visible in the picture.

Standard-definition material fed from Sky via the RGB Scart looked acceptable. Pictures weren't as sharp as we would have hoped and the colour struck us as looking slightly unnatural, especially with skin tones, which seemed overly bright. Despite these small faults, however, we found it was perfectly watchable.

Freeview performance is reasonable, too. Digital terrestrial suffers when blown up to 37 inches, but apart from the deficiencies of over-compressed video we quite liked the picture. Once again, we noticed that the colour settings need to be adjusted for Freeview -- the defaults that the television comes shipped with leave the picture looking over-saturated. A quick fiddle around with the multitude of settings soon improved the picture, though.

The sound on the 37X3030D was a pleasant surprise. Despite the small speakers, dialogue on both Happy Gilmore and Serenity was crisp and clear, something that we are always happy to hear.

If you want the impact of lots of bass you can add an optional subwoofer, which simply connects to the TV via an RCA socket at the rear. That said, the bass on the 37X3030D is far from awful, and there is certainly enough low end to provide a kick to explosions and make music sound rich and punchy.

Conclusion
If you are looking for an LCD that copes well with pretty much everything you can throw at it, the Toshiba 37X3030D is ideal. We'd like to have seen the M100 technology found on the Z series to reduce motion blur, but it isn't a big deal.

If you're looking for an alternative, we were very keen on the Sharp Aquos LC37XD1E, which also offers 1080p support and similar connectivity.

But for the 37X3030D, it's two thumbs up. With an increasing number of sources producing 1080p, from HD DVD to the PlayStation 3, this affordable TV is a good choice.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Macefield

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