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The 55SV685DB hits all the right notes with its fine detail reproduction, too. In fact, let me make this quite clear - it shows HD with just about as much sharpness, clarity and detail as any screen I’ve ever seen. What’s more, the impact of this sharpness is made all the greater by the sheer enormity of the picture.
Much of this sharpness is down to the screen’s simple ability to map HD pictures to its full HD resolution without letting processing get in the way. But the screen is also impressively free from LCD’s motion blur problem - thanks, presumably, to the efforts of its 200Hz engine. The only rider to this is that rather oddly the screen appears to need to warm up before it’s at its best, with noticeably more blur - especially when playing games - visible for the first five minutes after power up in a cold room than you see at any other time.
It feels to me at this point that my breakdown of the 55SV685DB‘s key picture strengths hasn’t really done justice to just how good pictures are capable of looking. So let me make this totally clear: once you’ve put the screen’s sharpness, intense and expansive colour palette, massive contrast range and enormous screen size together, you’ve got a picture that’s quite simply a joy to behold.
Which isn’t to say that it’s perfect. As noted when reviewing the 46SV685D in November, for instance, there’s a marginal green undercurrent to colours during some sequences that no amount of calibration managed to completely remove. Also, while the 200Hz engine removes almost all motion blur without generating serious artefacts, there is a little more residual judder than I might have expected.
Also, occasional shots with extreme contrasts of light and dark suffer a touch with the sort of blooming issue around the bright bits that’s so hard to completely control with local dimming LED screens. But the effect really is subtle, and in any case it seemed to occur sufficiently rarely not to become irritating.
As I mentioned right at the start of this review, the 55SV685DB is hardly a small TV - it even sticks out quite a distance round the back by the standards of today’s skinny boys. But this size does at least seem to aid it in producing a decent sound performance. At any rate, there’s clearly much more power, range, clarity and detail around than you get with the rather weedy speakers tucked inside Samsung’s ultra-skinny edge-lit LED models. The soundstage even has a little breathing room, so that it can shift up a gear to accommodate an action scene.
By murdering the price of the 55SV685DB ahead of this review (though oddly some sites are still carrying it for well in excess of £3,000!), Toshiba has turned an excellent TV that nobody could afford into, well, just an excellent TV.