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Toshiba has a reputation for producing feature-packed LCD sets at relatively affordable prices, and it continues that tradition with the RV635 series. This range is among the first to incorporate Toshiba's Meta Brain, which isn't a character from a 1950s sci-fi movie as the name suggests but an all-powerful single-chip processing solution.
But before we get to that, let's take a second to drink in this 37in set's lovely looks. Clad in the gloss black finish currently fashionable among LCD TVs, the set oozes class without really pushing the boat out. Under-screen speakers keep things nice and compact, while the Toshiba logo below the screen lights up when the set is switched on, which will no doubt split opinion but we think it makes an eye-catching embellishment. It's perched on a fetching swivel stand too.
And if you want lots of connections, you've come to the right place. The back panel is equipped with three HDMI inputs for your HD kit, as well as component video, PC and two SCART inputs. More connections can be found on the side, including a fourth HDMI input (impressive at this price), a CAM slot for adding pay TV channels and a USB port, which lets you view JPEG photos from a flash memory drive using the Media Player feature.
But let's get back to Meta Brain, the umbrella term for a group of processing technologies that sets out to deliver the best possible image quality no matter the source. Among them is Resolution+, which upscales SD pictures to HD resolution and brings them closer to HD levels of sharpness by enhancing edge detail and textures. It's worked brilliantly on previous Toshiba sets and we're hoping for similar levels of success here - and as an added bonus, Resolution+ can now be applied to hi-def pictures as well as SD ones (previous sets disabled it when they detected a 1080p source) so we're eager to see the results.
Another string to Meta Brain's bow is Active Vision II processing, which works to improve the four key areas of the picture - contrast, colour, movement and detail. AutoView also falls under Meta Brain's jurisdiction, which analyses room lighting and content and adjusts the LCD backlighting accordingly to deliver the optimum viewing experience. On the latest XV series sets, Meta Brain also governs Dolby Volume but this feature isn't found here.