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We were impressed by the first TV in Toshiba's new flagship ‘Z Series' of LCDs back in November 2007. So we took delivery of the new 47in model expecting more of the good old same, only bigger. Yet for reasons we'll have a stab at explaining later, we didn't find ourselves quite so enamoured this time round.
Naturally the 47Z3030 still cuts as fine a design dash as its smaller sibling, thanks to its remarkably slender bezel and high gloss finish. Admittedly the bezel's skinniness isn't quite as striking as it once was since we've recently witnessed the arrival of Toshiba's ‘XF' Picture Frame models, with their 23mm bezels. But the 47Z3030's frame still makes those of most 47in rivals look like proper fatboys.
The 47Z3030 also sports the same connectivity as the 42Z3030. And so you find three HDMIs, all impressively compatible with the HDMI 1.3a standard for such potential tricks as automatic lip-synch correction and the Deep Colour system. We say potential because as of today commercially available sources that can exploit these HDMI 1.3 features are non-existent, so far as we're aware.
You also get a component video input, a D-Sub PC option, a subwoofer line-out (lest you find yourself dissatisfied with the bass levels from the TV's own speakers), and an optical digital audio output for pushing through to an AV receiver any digital audio tracks you might receive via the HDMIs.
Other key specifications making pleasing reading are a native full HD pixel count of 1,920 x 1,080, and a beltingly - some might say ridiculously - high claimed contrast ratio of 15,000:1.
Obviously this latter number is only achieved via a combination of a) a dynamic contrast arrangement that dims the LCD backlight to improve black levels when dark scenes are detected and b) what we suspect are some fairly dubious measuring techniques.
But while we might not approve of the measuring systems, there's nothing necessarily wrong with the dynamic contrast arrangement, provided it works quickly and subtly enough not to make its brightness-adjusting machinations distractingly obvious.
Another specification we're pleased to spot is playback of the 1080p/24 HD video format now output as the ‘pure' option from many HD disc players. In fact, the 47Z3030 goes the extra mile with 1080p/24 by including a 5:5 pulldown system that rapidly repeats each frame five times to cut down on the juddering artefacts commonly seen with 1080p/24 sources.
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