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Toshiba Regza 55SV685DB 55in LED Backlit LCD TV review

John Archer

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  • Recommended by TR
Toshiba Regza 55SV685DB 55in LED Backlit LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

As I mentioned a few days ago when I reviewed the smallest LED-backlit TV yet, Sharp’s 32LE600E, most brands right now are seeing LED as a large-screen technology. Cue Toshiba’s colossal 55in, direct LED 55SV685DB. But will this screen prove that bigger is always better with LED, or will it be a case of the bigger they come, the harder they fall?

Before we get into the review proper, there are a couple of interesting little contexts I think it’s worthwhile introducing. First, the 55SV685DB isn’t the first 55in LED-lit TV we’ve tested. The first, Sony’s ‘luxury’ 55X4500, used direct LED lighting with RGB dimming to good effect but at a hefty price. Samsung’s recent UE55B7020, meanwhile, used edge-LED lighting and managed to be reasonably affordable, yet it frankly struggled to make edge-based LED technology work at the 55in size, with marked light pooling in each corner.

So if the 55SV685DB can make its white dimming direct LED approach work at its Sony-drubbing £2,149 price (the cheapest we’ve found the now aging Sony 55X4500 is £2,800), then Toshiba could be ideally positioned to snap up a hefty chunk of the mammoth-screen marketplace.

The other point of context comes from the fact that I’ve already reviewed the 55SV685DB’s smaller sibling, the 46SV685D, and found myself having to mark it down heavily on account of its price. So it’s rather startling to find the 55SV685DB actually looking reasonably priced for such a huge LED-lit screen. In fact, we’ve found it going for the best part of £200 less than the 46in model did when we reviewed it back in November!

Clearly Toshiba has listened to my moans about how absurdly expensive the 46SV685D looked. Either that, or they realised that they weren’t selling any at the original SV685 price level! At any rate, the simple fact is that Toshiba has absolutely slashed the 55SV685DB’s price from its opening gambit, and in doing so has instantly overcome what was likely to be a huge bone of contention throughout this review.

Fitting a 55in screen into your living room is, of course, quite a commitment. And it has to be said that in the 55SV685DB’s case, this level of commitment is added to by the rather hefty chunk of bezel that sticks out for around three inches on each of the screen’s sides. Oh well - at least this bezel is reasonably attractive with its glass-like finish and cute ‘fade to grey’ effect at its extremities.

As usual with Toshiba’s current range, there’s a love-it-or-loathe-it luminous brand logo in the centre of the TV’s bottom edge. Though please note that if you fall into the ‘loathe it’ camp, you can turn the illumination off.

The 55SV685DB is pretty much as well connected as you would hope for a TV that is, after all, comfortably Toshiba’s flagship model. Highlights include four HDMIs (three to the rear, one down the side), a USB port able to play DivX video, JPEG photo and MP3 audio files, an SD slot able to play JPEGs, and an Ethernet port for streaming stuff off your PC. It’s a touch disappointing that such a highly specified TV doesn’t also let you go ‘online’ via the Ethernet port, but there you go. Maybe Toshiba will be making some moves in that direction with its upcoming new generation of LCD TVs.

Lon Bailey

February 16, 2010, 7:26 pm

You may have been given a duff price - since the Trusted Review page on 16/2/10 showed the latest price at £3212, whereas your as reviewed price is £2195. Maybe Tosh thought they priced it wrong?

Pbryanw

February 16, 2010, 11:43 pm

You can buy this TV from the supplier mentioned (Digital Direct) for £2149.01. I think it's the same model, and is in stock.:


http://www.digitaldirect.co.uk...





I think it's more a case of TR's shopping pages not being updated, or not having many sources, for this product.

Jay Werfalli

February 16, 2010, 11:44 pm

@Lon Bailey - We always carry out a manual search to find the best price online, which is why Digital Direct has been quoted as the supplier - it currently lists this TV at the price as reviewed (including delivery). Our "latest prices" engine is automatically compiled and relies on third party listings, which is why prices can sometimes vary a great deal.

FreQ

February 17, 2010, 6:35 pm

Looks really good, especialy the lack of lag/blur. A 5 minute warm up is unlikely to bother many people.


Once these have Freeview HD tuners included they'll be the finished article, I'll keep my eye on prices in any case.

David Bell

March 28, 2010, 3:10 pm

Thanks for this review, but I can't understand how this TV can get 9/10 here, but on PocketLint and AV Forums it gets 5-6/10? Any ideas?

Manny Maozinhas

March 29, 2010, 5:18 am

@David: I think the reason for that is that they think the machine costs £4500! Otherwise, they also praise the picture quality as they do here.

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