Less than a year ago I reviewed the Toshiba 42WLT66 and I was completely blown away at the idea of a 42in 1,920 x 1,080 TV for under £1,500. Of course despite having a Full HD resolution, that particular TV didn’t support a 1080p input, which wasn’t too much of a problem considering that there were no 1080p source devices at the time. But a great deal has happened since I reviewed the 42WLT66, we now have HD DVD and Blu-ray players outputting native 1080p signals, along with the PlayStation 3 doing the same. Thankfully Toshiba has kept up with technological advancements and given us the 42X3030D as a replacement to the 42WLT66, and if you thought you were getting a lot for your money with the old TV, just wait until you see the new one!
Like its predecessor, the 42X3030D is a 42in LCD TV with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, or Full HD as many manufacturers like to call it. However, this TV will happily accept a 1080p signal – in fact Toshiba has indicated that the 42X3030D can handle 1080p 50, 60 and 24 variants, making it very versatile indeed. Of course you can still happily pump 720p and 1080i signals into the 42X3030D, and it will still do a very good job of displaying them – more on image quality later though.
As well as being 1080p compliant, the 42X3030D sports two HDMI 1.3 ports, meaning that this TV will support the Deep Colour feature associated with the new standard. So, assuming that you couple this TV with Toshiba’s HD-XE1 HD DVD player, and find yourself some compatible software, you could be enjoying the increased colour depth that HDMI 1.3 can offer. Complementing the HDMI inputs is a set of component inputs for hooking up analogue HD sources like an Xbox 360. You also get two SCART sockets, composite video in, two sets of analogue stereo inputs, analogue stereo out, subwoofer out and an optical digital output – the latter being for outputting a Dolby Digital stream from Freeview if anyone starts to broadcast such a service, and for passing through digital audio from the HDMI ports.
Toshiba continues its tradition of using captive power cables on its TVs – of course a separate power cord has the advantage of being easily replaceable, but I can’t remember every having a TV where the power cable failed. Also at the rear is a CI slot for adding subscription channels to the integrated digital tuner, while rounding off the connections is the RF input for an external aerial.
The 42X3030D definitely looks the part. It separates itself from the entry level Regza 42C3030D by sporting a glossy black bezel instead of a matt finish. The result is a great looking TV, with the crescent shaped silver stand adding to the aesthetics as well as offering smooth panning. The speakers are barely noticeable – there’s a very slim grille just below the screen – so there’s really nothing to detract from the clean, minimalist lines.