Toshiba 40L6353 - Picture Quality and Verdict

Score

Sections

Toshiba 40L6353Contrast
Issues with previous Toshiba TVs have tended to centre around contrast issues – most specifically backlight inconsistencies. So it’s probably sensible to start our tests by feeding the Toshiba 40L6353 some dark movie scenes and test signals.

At first the news looks rather mixed. On the upside, the set’s black delivery looks very able. Certainly there’s surprisingly little evidence of the low-contrast greyness associated with a surprising number of rival panels this year – even some models way more expensive than the Toshiba 40L6353.

On the downside, there are clear signs during dark scenes of a few smallish patches of ‘light bleed’ from the picture’s edges, as well as some quite distracting shifts in the image’s overall brightness level as the TV tries to automatically optimise its backlight output to suit the image content. The darkest parts of pictures also look somewhat hollow, thanks to the backlight machinations squeezing out a bit too much shadow detail.

Thankfully it doesn’t take much work to greatly improve on all of these early negatives. Turning off the Active Backlight Control instantly solves the fluctuations in overall brightness caused by the rather basic and hyperactive dynamic contrast engine.

Nudging down the backlight setting, meanwhile, to around its 60 level greatly reduces incidences of the backlight clouding/leakage, and if this backlight setting is used in conjunction with the active backlight control being switched off, you also see a respectable if hardly groundbreaking amount of subtle detail in dark scenes.

Colour
These settings also, after only a relatively small amount of fine-tuning with the set’s colour and white balance management tools (to take out a bit of excess yellow), help the Toshiba 40L6353 deliver an excellent colour performance for the a sub-£500 40-inch TV. Tones look credible at almost all times, even during dark scenes, while analysis of actors’ skin reveals enough subtlety in the way tonal shifts are delivered to stop people looking like mannequins.

Calibrated pictures on the 40L6353 are certainly not the brightest we’ve

seen from an LCD TV, yet thanks to the panel’s deep black level

response it still manages to makes its colours look bold and dynamic.

You never feel as if the palette is too basic or ‘PC-tuned’ either, as

can happen with some cheap LCD TVs.

Sharpness
The

40L6353’s HD pictures are pleasingly sharp for a sub-£500 40-inch TV, too. You can clearly see the deliberate grain in titles like Casino

Royale, while the sort of HD niceties – grass texture, clothing weaves,

facial pores, individual hairs – we’d expect a good TV to deliver are

all clearly present and correct. So long, at any rate, as you remember

to deactivate the set’s noise reduction systems when watching HD.

It

helps the impression of sharpness, too, that the Toshiba 40L6353 doesn’t suffer

badly with motion blur for such a cheap model. Certainly there’s more

resolution loss on show than you would expect to see with more expensive

rivals, but it’s seldom distracting and never results in actual

smearing – so long, again, as you don’t bother with the noise reduction

routines.

Toshiba 40L6353

The 40L6353’s

motion handling does suffer, though, with some noticeable judder, at

least when watching Blu-rays. And it has to be said that the

once-impressive Resolution upscaling/picture sharpening system is

showing its age a bit now, as it tends to leave images looking rather

noisy once it’s applied its detail-boosting processing.  Yet if you turn

the processing off, standard def pictures look slightly soft and rather

basic with their colour resolution.

Toshiba 40L6353 – Sound Quality

With no 3D images to detain

us, we can move swiftly on to the 40L6353’s input lag and audio talents.

Regarding the former, the Toshiba 40L6353 proves a capable gaming monitor by

turning in a respectably low input lag figure of around 32ms.

As

for its audio, it’s actually quite handy considering how thin and cheap

it is. The mid-range is open and wide, allowing voices to sound

believable and remain clear even under quite a bit of duress, while it

takes quite extreme volume levels to make the soundstage become harsh.

The

soundstage is ultimately a bit boxy in its tone, making you feel aware

of the plasticky and small speaker constructs that are producing it. But

there’s not really much you can complain about sonically on such a

cheap TV.

Toshiba 40L6353

Should I buy a Toshiba 40L6353?

If money’s

tight then yes, you’d be crazy not to at least give the Toshiba 40L6353 an

audition. Its pictures – or at least its HD pictures – are far better

than those of pretty much any other sub-£450 40-inch TV we can think of and

its sound is respectable too. While flawed and short of content,

Toshiba’s ‘Cloud TV’ smart TV engine is showing signs of life, too.

If

you can stretch your budget another £120 then you will benefit from

more even-handed backlighting, better motion handling and more video

streaming services on the Sony KDL-42W653A. But £120 is £120, right?!

Verdict

The

Toshiba 40L6353 is a great example of Toshiba doing what it does best:

delivering more or less mid-range levels of AV performance at a more or

less budget price. It’s not without its picture flaws and the

sluggishness of its operating system can be irritating, but for its

money it’s still a real temptation.

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Smart TV 8
  • Design 8
  • 2D Quality 8
  • Sound Quality 7

Features

Size (Inch) 40in
Display Type LED
Max. Resolution 1920 x 1080
Full HD 1080p Yes
Digital Tuner Yes
Freeview HD Yes
Freesat HD No
3D Ready No
Contrast Ratio 5000:1
Refresh Rate (Hertz) 100Hz

Connectivity

HDMI 4 (v1.4)
Component 1
Composite 1
Scart 1 (RGB)
Digital Audio Out 1 (optical)
Headphone 1
Ethernet Yes
WiFi Yes (built-in)

Physical Specifications

Height (Millimeter) 544mm
Width (Millimeter) 922mm
Depth (Millimeter) 69mm
Weight (Gram) 5850g
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