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I don't mind saying right away that I've really been looking forward to getting my hands on Toshiba's 46SV685D. Especially since I was given a startlingly in-depth run-through of its potential talents at this year's IFA show in Berlin.
Usually my interest in a current Toshiba telly would be inspired by price; the brand has been doing some pretty impressive stuff at the budget end of the TV market recently. But with the 46SV685D it's actually the TV's technology that's got me champing at the bit, for this 46in set happens to be Toshiba's first to use LED lighting.
Obviously there are different types of LED lighting around, so we should identify right away what LED flavour we're talking about with the 46SV685D.
The first and probably single most important point is that, as the TV's rather chunky rear would suggest, the 46SV685D uses a direct (rear mounted) LED array rather than the edge-mounted LEDs currently serving Samsung's B7000 and B8000 TVs so well.
Next, there's a respectable count of 128 LED arrays, all dimmable on an individual or 'local' basis. This leaves as the only disappointment (given the 46SV85D's rather high £2,381.65 price) the fact that the LEDs use white rather than RGB dimming, potentially reducing the 46SV685D's colour range compared with RGB models like Sony's X4500s or Sharp's ultra-expensive XS1Es.
Before we get too hung up on this white dimming, though, it's worth pointing out as I have in some previous LED reviews that the white dimming approach can arguably deliver a colour range that's actually more closely mapped to current video standards than you get with RGB dimming.
Design-wise, despite its chunky profile, the 46SV685D delivers at least a touch of opulence thanks to its single level fascia, high-gloss finish and the way its bezel introduces a tinge of grey that lightens as you move towards the bezel's outer edges. It's worth adding while we're talking about the 46SV685D's design that the 'crystal' sheet adorning the fascia isn't just an aesthetic device; Toshiba also claims that it enhances colour and contrast reproduction.
Turning to the 46SV685D's connections, my eye was immediately grabbed by an Ethernet port. This is the first such jack I've seen on a Toshiba TV, raising hopes that it will open up a brave new world of PC streaming and online functionality. The reality, though, is that it only does one of these two things - the PC networking one. Toshiba hasn't yet established any online service.
Even though such a service would have been nice to find on such a premium TV, though, it's worth reflecting that the online services of most rival brands are still rather malnourished, to say the least.
Less 'new' but still crucial among the 46SV685D's connections, meanwhile, are four HDMIs, a 15-pin D-Sub PC input, and not one but two multimedia slots, one for USB devices and one for SD cards. What's more, while the SD card slot can, as we'd expect, only take JPEG photos, the USB can also play music and even DivX video files