If you were a serious TV devotee back in the day when TVs were anything but flat, you might remember a little something appearing on the poshest CRT TVs that went by the name of ‘100Hz processing’. We certainly remember it perfectly, nerds that we are, and so we’re feeling really quite nostalgic about the apparent return of 100Hz - or at least something very like it - for the flat TV world, in the shape of Toshiba’s ‘Active Vision M100’ image processing system.
If all this talk of ‘100 this’ and ‘100 that’ is causing you major brow furrowage, then allow us to explain. The idea behind the original 100Hz system was that if you use processing to double the UK’s normal 50Hz TV image refresh rate, you can remove the subtle flickering effect many people experienced with large CRT TVs - as well as, it seemed to us, making the picture look more solid and colour-rich.
With Toshiba’s M100 system the core principal is the same; scanning the picture 100 times a second rather than 50. But here, with LCD being a largely flicker-free technology, the reason for doubling the scanning rate is actually to counter the problems LCD traditionally has showing rapid motion. The thinking being that adding extra frames of picture – which is effectively what 100Hz processing does – will make motion across the screen look smoother and sharper.
The home for this M100 is the 37WLT68. And a very attractive home it is too, looking suitably high-tech in its shiny black and silver finish and slenderness-emphasising lines.
It’s a supremely well-connected TV too, giving you not one, not two, but three HDMI inputs – just the job for simultaneous connection of a PS3, Blu-ray/HD DVD deck (or both!), and Sky HD receiver. It’s great to discover, too, that these HDMIs can take premium 1080p content as well as the customary 720p and 1080i options. However, the HD support only goes so far; the screen isn’t a ‘full HD’ 1,920 x 1,080 model, instead ‘only’ carrying the normal 1,366 x 768 pixel count.