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Turning to our resident Xbox 360 I loaded Virtua Tennis 3 – not only is this game graphically awesome, but it also supports 1080p output. The resulting images on the 42X3030D were nothing short of staggering! The colours were rich, vivid and vibrant, while the level of detail was as close to photorealistic as I’ve seen from a console game. Likewise, the cinematic grandeur of Oblivion was conveyed with awe inspiring clarity on the 42X3030D.
Of course one of the toughest challenges for a Full HD television is making standard definition content look good. With a PAL SD signal only sporting 576 lines, a Full HD TV is having to almost double the amount of data it’s receiving, which can cause some horrible results, but thankfully it would appear that Toshiba’s image processing is up to the job. In fact the integrated digital tuner produced very clean and clear images, even with very poor Freeview channels. Obviously there were instances where there was just too much compression for even a good picture processing system to cope with, but on the whole the 42X3030D does as good a job as possible with SD content.
Despite the very slim and unobtrusive speakers, the sound quality from the 42X3030D is surprisingly good. There’s SRS processing on hand too, and the 3D Surround setting creates a pretty convincing sound stage. There’s a decent amount of bass on hand for those big action scenes, but there’s also a dedicated subwoofer output at the rear if you want to add to your low frequency effects.
Considering that less than a year ago I was raving about Toshiba’s 42in 1080i 42WLT66 costing under £1,500, it’s quite amazing to think that the 42X3030D can be had for as little as £975 online. Considering the cutting edge components inside this TV, the price simply belies belief.
I don’t know how Toshiba keeps doing it, but once again it has created a cutting edge TV at a truly astounding price. Not only do you have a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 panel, but you’re also getting 1080p 24, 50 and 60 input support. Add to that the pair of HDMI 1.3 ports, the stylish design and the impressive image quality, and the 42X3030D makes a very compelling case for itself.
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