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Toshiba Regza 40ZF355D 40in LCD TV - Toshiba Regza 40ZF355D

By Riyad Emeran

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Toshiba Regza 40ZF355D 40in LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

As I hinted earlier, that case of schizophrenia that was haunting the upper echelons of Toshiba's range last year has been addressed with this TV. Not only does the 40ZF355D offer that super slim bezel that consumers crave, but Toshiba has also squeezed in all the features from last year's Z series - hence the ZF branding for this year. This means that you get Toshiba's ActiveVision M100HD 100Hz processing, along with the ability to accept a 1080p 24Hz source signal and display it using 5:5 pulldown, effectively delivering a 120Hz image using nothing but the original source frames. The last sentence gives away that this is a Full HD TV with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, but then pretty much any LCD TV worth its salt has a Full HD panel these days. Full HD isn't the be all and end all of picture quality mind, especially on a 40in screen size, as anyone who has an HD Ready Pioneer Kuro will tell you, but it's never going to hurt to have it.

In its effort to combat plasma's major advantage, LCD TVs are hitting the market sporting more and more outlandish contrast ratios. For example, Toshiba is quoting a 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for the 40ZF355D - the important thing to remember is that word ‘dynamic'. This basically means that the contrast ratio is achieved by raising and lowering the intensity of the backlight, depending on the type of scene you're watching. In the most part this system works well, but if you happen to be watching a scene with bright and low light, one or the other is going to suffer - until we start to see LCD screens with local dimming backlights of course. The problem with dynamic backlighting is that if it's implemented in an over aggressive way, the change in intensity is discernible by the viewer, which can be very distracting.

Despite the constant fear of manufacturers using over aggressive dynamic backlighting to ensure headline grabbing contrast ratio figures, Toshiba has done a good job with this TV. I'm still not convinced that the quoted 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio is a true indication of the black level response offered by the Regza 40ZF355D, but I will concede that the black levels on this set herald a massive improvement over the previous model's. It's still a given that a decent plasma is going to reward you with far deeper blacks, and consequently more vibrant colours, but in the LCD world, the 40ZF355D isn't bad.

Despite the slim design, Toshiba has squeezed a fair bit of connectivity into the 40ZF355D. There's a total of three CEC compliant HDMI 1.3 ports, allowing for playback of Deep Colour high bit-depth material - there aren't any commercial Deep Colour discs yet, but camcorders are appearing that shoot using the standard. There's a component video input for analogue HD or progressive SD sources and a D-Sub input for hooking your PC up. If you're still keen on using interlaced SD sources, you've got two SCART sockets, S-Video and even composite, along with analogue audio inputs.

mr. jones

June 26, 2008, 4:50 pm

Thanks for the review - it's a shame that Toshiba haven't fixed the inconsistency issues though, with the 46" model in this range only listed as having a 20000:1 contrast ratio as opposed to the 30000:1 listed for the 40"!



Bert Jamin

September 24, 2008, 9:24 pm

Thanks for the great review. As always I look at your review whenever I'm planning to buy something. Based on your review I bought the Toshiba 40ZF355D. It really is as great as you wrote in your review! I do have one question. In a lot of other reviews is mentioned that the standard factory picture settings are very bad. I'm planning to have my TV calibrated. That will be done in December. In the meantime I would like to know what the best picture settings are. Could you please tell me what the best picture settings are for the 40ZF355D? Thanks in advance and keep on the very good work!





Cheers,


Bert

Robin 635

February 8, 2009, 8:50 pm

Great review but now disappointed can't find one.were they so good they sold out?

shirley sayers

February 18, 2009, 5:39 pm

MY Toshiba 40XF355 in now just 1 year old (and therefore out of the guarantee)and developed a problem with the colour control panel, (we have a 100 cm vertcal line in a paler colour than the rest of the screen). We have now been told the TV has a fault and will have to be replaced (just as well we took out insurance_. Will this happen again if it is replaced with the same model!!

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