Review Price £430.00
The 40L7355DB is a 40-inch LCD TV from roughly the middle of Toshiba’s current range. It’s 3D-capable, it’s got a ‘200Hz’-like motion drive, and it also supports Toshiba’s new Cloud TV Smart interface. All of which looks pretty handy given that at the time of writing we’ve found the 40L7355DB selling for just £430.
From a distance the 40L7355DB looks decent for such an aggressively priced TV. Its frame is fashionably slim, and the way the matt black of the top edge and sides contrasts with a metallic silver bottom edge looks handsome enough.
Get up close and personal with the TV, though, you can’t help but notice that the set’s build quality is pretty flimsy. There’s plastic aplenty, and when we first took our review sample out of the box a section of the bottom edge had popped forward from the screen, requiring a little tap to clip it back into place. Hmm.
If the build quality lives down to the 40L7355DB’s price point, though, its connectivity is better than expected. Leading the way are four HDMIs when Toshiba could easily have got away with only providing three, while multimedia duties come courtesy of two USBs, MHL support from one of the HDMIs, and both LAN and integrated Wi-Fi network options.
The network options support both DLNA networking and access to Toshiba’s Cloud TV online platform. It’s a shame, though, that Cloud TV is extremely short of catch-up and on-demand TV platforms compared with many of its rivals, and its interface is also rather plain compared with the high-res interfaces now being offered up by Samsung and LG.
There are some signs of promise in Toshiba’s online platform; most notably a series of avatars based around different TV genres that recommend programmes from upcoming channel listings, and a MediaGuide app that lets you browse an electronic programme guide on your smartphone or tablet and select things to watch there rather than interrupting your on-TV viewing.
Overall, though, it’s unfortunately the lack of video streaming services that really defines Cloud TV. For more on Cloud TV, check out our Toshiba Cloud TV review.
The 40L7355DB’s key specs comprise a full HD resolution, an edge LED lighting system, a claimed native (as opposed to dynamic) contrast ratio of 5,000:1, and Toshiba’s AMR200 picture processing engine (the screen does not scan natively at 200Hz).
The 200Hz claims look pretty uninspiring compared with the 1000Hz and more claims of some rival TVs. But let’s not forget the 40L7355DB’s cheap price, or the fact that some of the higher figures out there are rather optimistic in the way they’re derived from some fairly fanciful mathematical calculations.
Other features worth a passing mention include being able to record from the TV to a USB hard drive, and the fact that the TV’s 3D playback is of the active, full-resolution variety, with two pairs of glasses included.
The 40L7355DB is stuffed to bursting point with picture set up tools, including full colour and gamma management systems, a wide selection of picture presets (including a couple of ‘Hollywood’ settings for films), noise reduction tools, Toshiba’s ResolutionPlus system for making pictures look sharper (even HD ones), and even a dedicated Rec709 video industry standard colour setting.
However, in truth the 40L7355DB’s ambitions rather exceed its abilities in some areas. The Active Backlight Control feature, for instance, is far too clumsy, making adjustments that are horribly over-obvious even if you stick with its Low power setting. A much better solution to getting good contrast from the 40L7355DB is to reduce the backlight to around its 40 level, set contrast to around 80, and then turn the Active Backlight Control feature off completely.
We also recommend that you avoid ResolutionPlus for HD viewing, as it almost always ends up making HD sources look excessively grainy and ‘fizzy’.
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