Also, although dark scenes suffer a slightly blue overtone that reduces the naturalism of black colours, this isn’t really aggressive at all versus the milky look you often get with sub-£600 46in screens. It also seemed that the 46TL968 produced slightly deeper blacks generally than its smaller sibling. In fact, the 46TL968’s black level response is very respectable for its money.
Making this achievement all the more creditable is the amount of shadow detail the screen retains despite its black level depth. Dark scenes thus enjoy similar levels of depth and subtlety to bright ones, making the viewing experience feel more consistent.
You can, it must be said, get significantly deeper black levels than those the 46TL968 gives you if you spend substantially more on something like a Sony HX8 series or Samsung 6900 series or higher. But that’s beside the point, of course. For the 46TL968 is specifically designed to appeal on a price level.
A couple of other general problems with the 46TL968’s 2D pictures find the generally impressive handling of skin tones suddenly suffering with a touch of striping during dark scenes, and fast motion causing a noticeable break down in the image’s sharpness - though you can reduce this latter issue by calling in Toshiba’s reasonably clever ClearScan motion processing system. This reduces judder as well as motion blurring without causing the image to look too processed or unnatural (so long as you stick with the feature’s lowest power setting).
Donning a pair of Toshiba’s optional 3D glasses reveals a slightly disappointing 3D performance. Some things work pretty well; colours are quite potent, pictures are brighter than they can be on some active 3D TVs, there’s plenty of the full HD detail that’s active 3D’s raison d’etre, and the sense of depth in 3D images is reasonably well managed. However, the 46TL968 also suffers more with crosstalk ghosting noise than most recent active 3D TVs, and motion is rather prone to judder. Which makes it a shame the ClearScan processing system isn’t usable during 3D viewing.
With a screen as cheap, large and well featured as the 46TL968 making a potentially great gaming monitor, we were disappointed to record a below-average input lag figure of 64ms - even when using the provided Game preset (without using this, the input lag balloons to 160ms!). This is almost twice as high as the average LCD TV input lag figure, and could have a slight negative impact on your gaming experience.
The 46TL968 accompanies its mostly likable pictures with some solid - though certainly not spectacular - audio. There’s reasonable clarity during most of your viewing, thanks to a reasonably open mid-range. But loud action scenes can sound rather flat and harsh thanks to both a lack of bass extension and a thin treble range.
Although we’ve made it clear in this review that the 46TL968 is far from perfect, the sample we were sent was palpably better than the smaller version we tested a couple of weeks ago. In fact, it’s good enough to make us thing that the 46TL968 is a serious bargain - especially to anyone not particularly fussed about getting a brilliant 3D or gaming performance out of their new TV.