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Toshiba 40L6353 - Picture Quality and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Toshiba 40L6353

Summary

Our Score:

8

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.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

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

Eric Osman

July 31, 2013, 9:39 pm

I have the 32 inch version and I can honestly say that it has the potential to be a innovative set with it's Cloud based smart platform, but is let down by its sluggish operability. You can reset the T.V. but why should you do this all the time it decides to slow down. A recent automatic firmware update made the channel change procedure super quick, and when I approached Toshiba on Twitter to provide a similar update they responded with 'their test TV set operated at acceptable conditions'. If the above reviewer says it is sluggisgh, then change it with an firmware update for goodness sake!

Ger

November 22, 2013, 3:24 pm

Constant problems with internet settings not being retained and unable to use any of the "smart" features because TV is stuck in "store" mode.

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:34 pm

I have this model because picture is a bit better than well-known competition (we also have at home) and motion processing is perfect after it "catches" movement of the video. But for Cloud media watching or USB playing, this aparatus is something most terrible I experienced. I always watch my content through wel-known-brand BD player, where picture is better, SD upscaling is better, menus are snappy.

6 seconds to load a settings menu? This is really cumbersome and Toshiba should install more capable procesoor in. Just to change display settings a minute or two passes easily.

CloudTV platform has no was to arange favorite apps. Some apps are only on "autoplay" central screen and you must wait to cycle. Additional anger gives me that autoplayback of central screen. I already HATE viewster, because I turn TV on, and than I walk to refridgerator for a drink or snack, and Viewster starts on full volume. MENU is so sluggish, that even if I'm standing beside and trying to switch to Vimeo, Viewster overtakes me, because menus are so slow. Solution is to mute speakers first.

Additional anger gives the fact that headphone audio out is delayed compared to quite good internal speakers; I have KRK monitors connected there and I cant have "center" speaker because of delay; so only internal or only external.

Illumination of this panel is so streaky that I really do have feeling I looking at night sky with clouds in it.

Remote is stupid as it can be: No way to remember anything in the dark. Complicated as is, it must had illumination! I do not understand why you can not use quick picture settings and aspect ratio while playing from USB, but in all other modes. So some movies (encoded wrong) is not watchable. But after all BD player does way better and less detoriated picture.

Subtitles!!! It reads only unicode format, so all possible subs I have are in ANSI format; what means turning PC on, converting sub, reuploading on USB stick... again competition I have at home, plays whatever.

FINALY: I only purchased this set because good and credible colors, good motion rendering and cheap price (I'm a dealer for TOSHIBA and that model had even some extra introducing discount). Despite I'm a dealer... awoid it if you do not want to loose all nerves at it. Yet another anger was added, since Toshiba removed NMW guarantee after I had TV at home (not recognize offer already added in TV packaging).

About desing: I love it, LCD panel is great and non shiny (if only not watched in dark room, where illumination uneveness is very distractive). I hate space designs and shiny plastic on well-known competition. Sound from TV is better than average.

PS: after swithing to consume more power (some internal standby), TV starts faster for normal TV watching and even SmartPlatform is loaded now in some 5-10second, before it was a minute! But every time TV looses power (disconnected or lack of mains power), it will load slow again for the first time. But pisture is good...

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:35 pm

I have this model because picture is a bit better than well-known competition (we also have at home) and motion processing is perfect after it "catches" movement of the video. But for Cloud media watching or USB playing, this aparatus is something most terrible I experienced. I always watch my content through wel-known-brand BD player, where picture is better, SD upscaling is better, menus are snappy.

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:36 pm

6 seconds to load a settings menu? This is really cumbersome and Toshiba should install more capable procesoor in. Just to change display settings a minute or two passes easily.

CloudTV platform has no was to arange favorite apps. Some apps are only on "autoplay" central screen and you must wait to cycle. Additional anger gives me that autoplayback of central screen. I already HATE viewster, because I turn TV on, and than I walk to refridgerator for a drink or snack, and Viewster starts on full volume. MENU is so sluggish, that even if I'm standing beside and trying to switch to Vimeo, Viewster overtakes me, because menus are so slow. Solution is to mute speakers first.

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:36 pm

Additional anger gives the fact that headphone audio out is delayed compared to quite good internal speakers; I have KRK monitors connected there and I cant have "center" speaker because of delay; so only internal or only external.

Illumination of this panel is so streaky that I really do have feeling I looking at night sky with clouds in it.

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:36 pm

Remote is stupid as it can be: No way to remember anything in the dark. Complicated as is, it must had illumination! I do not understand why you can not use quick picture settings and aspect ratio while playing from USB, but in all other modes. So some movies (encoded wrong) is not watchable. But after all BD player does way better and less detoriated picture.

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:37 pm

Remote control is stup!d as it can be: No way to remember anything in the dark. Complicated as is, it must had illumination! I do not understand why you can not use quick picture settings and aspect ratio while playing from USB, but in all other modes. So some movies (encoded wrong) is not watchable. But after all BD player does way better and less detoriated picture.

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:37 pm

Subtitles! It reads only unicode format, so all possible subs I have are in ANSI format; what means turning PC on, converting sub, reuploading on USB stick... again competition I have at home, plays whatever.

FINALY: I only purchased this set because good and credible colors, good motion rendering and cheap price (I'm a dealer for TOSHIBA and that model had even some extra introducing discount). Despite I'm a dealer... awoid it if you do not want to loose all nerves at it. Yet another anger was added, since Toshiba removed NMW guarantee after I had TV at home (not recognize offer already added in TV packaging).

About desing: I love it, LCD panel is great and non shiny (if only not watched in dark room, where illumination uneveness is very distractive). I hate space designs and shiny plastic on well-known competition. Sound from TV is better than average.

PS: after swithing to consume more power (some internal standby), TV starts faster for normal TV watching and even SmartPlatform is loaded now in some 5-10second, before it was a minute! But every time TV looses power (disconnected or lack of mains power), it will load slow again for the first time. But pisture is good...

Nelev Nedesen

January 8, 2014, 7:39 pm

So I really wonder this reccomendation and a 8/10 grade. It's 6/10 rather. Where I was heawy weighting if I need a bit better picture and lower price, or a general better TV.

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