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Heading up the 52Z3030D's features is its Active Vision M100 image processing engine. The M100 part of this rather lengthy title is quite important, for it signifies that the 52Z3030D has 100Hz processing onboard.
In case you're not clear why this matters, 100Hz is there to tackle the common LCD problem of blurred motion caused by a combination of the technology's relatively slow response time and static backlight illumination. The idea is simply that by doubling the scanning rate of the image, there will be less ‘missing' image frames for your eye to have to fill in - the phenomenon that leads to the blurring effect we're talking about.
The rest of the Active Vision processing refers to Toshiba's proprietary technology for improving colour response, contrast, sharpness and noise reduction. This is a technology which has impressed in previous LCD generations, but which strangely hasn't saved some of Toshiba's more recent screens from feeling decidedly average.
There are a couple more key features of the 52Z3030D we should run by you before finding out if the 52Z3030D is a hit or a miss. First, it's got 10-bit colour processing which should, we'd hope, result in finer colour blends than you'd normally expect to find.
Second, it features a special ‘5:5 Pulldown' mode designed specifically with 1080p/24fps playback in mind. In layman's terms, this repeats each frame of a 1080p/24 source five times in a bid to make any movement in the image - especially camera pans - look smoother.
And so we finally settle down to see what the 52Z3030D can do. Starting out with the Blu-ray of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, the TV gets off to a great start by portraying the opening jungle shots with some of the most extreme colour vibrancy we've ever seen on a flat TV. Honestly, the various greens of the foliage look so intense you almost have to squint to look at them. Excellent.
A few moments with a Sky News feed is enough to confirm, too, that this extreme vibrancy is not just restricted to green; reds and blues are just as full-on, ensuring that no particular colour is allowed to dominate.
Furthermore, relatively static shots in Apocalypto's opening scenes show the 52Z3030D making full use of its full HD resolution, as the TV reproduces not just individual leaves among the foliage but also, in places, the actual textures on those leaves. God, I love high definition…