The image’s intensity serves the 55WL768 very well with 3D content too, since it means 3D images still look impressively bright and rich even after you’ve donned Toshiba’s decent ‘RealD 3D’ active shutter 3D glasses.
This does not mean, though, that the 55WL768’s 3D pictures are especially good. For seemingly inevitably, they suffer with that LCD 3D problem of crosstalk noise. To be fair, we’ve seen screens that suffer worse with the tell-tale double ghosting around edges; it’s fairly faint for the most part. But on the other hand there’s much more of it than you get with any 3D plasma TVs. And whenever you see it, it’s distracting. And the more you see it, the more you can’t stop looking for it.
Our review sample also kept momentarily losing sync with 3D images from a Panasonic 3D Blu-ray player. But presumably this issue is just a flaw with our particular sample.
The 55WL768’s worst failing, though, applies equally to 2D and 3D, and is almost as predictable as the 3D crosstalk problems: inconsistent backlighting.
We’ve had cause to moan about patches of excess brightness with numerous edge LED TVs this year, but the problem is arguably more acute on the 55WL768 than ever before. With a predominantly black picture, such as the ‘Blu-ray’ logo screen that fires up on a Sony Blu-ray player when you first power it up, we could see no less than eight distinct patches of extra brightness. You feel like you’re watching TV through a pair of glasses with finger marks on the lenses.
What’s more, many if not all of these distracting patches of extra brightness remain visible while watching any even slightly dark scene, such as the one where Bond snogs Demetrios’ wife in Casino Royale. If you’re noticing light blotches more than you’re noticing Bond rutting with a highly attractive female, then frankly you know there’s something badly wrong!
The backlight flaws described were spotted both post-calibration and using the set’s own Hollywood preset, which reduces the backlight right down to 40 per cent. So it’s not even something you can get rid of by sacrificing brightness.
Turning finally to the 55WL768’s sound, there’s more disappointment in store. For while the set can go louder than you might expect for such a skinny model, it actually goes too loud for its own good. For all that happens at high volumes is that you notice how harsh and over-dominant trebles are, how thin the mid-range is, and how practically non-existent bass is, even with a provided Dynamic Bass Boost circuit set to high.
The good news about the 55WL768 for Toshiba is that with the right sort of material, its pictures are genuine rivals for almost anything else out there right now. So clearly, Toshiba still knows how to make a classy premium picture. It delivers a decent 3D debut too, notwithstanding the crosstalk issues.
The worry is that Toshiba is well off the pace with its multimedia support, and appears to have a pretty fundamental problem in figuring out how to build skinny edge LED TVs without messing up black level coherency. And until it figures this latter issue out, all its good work elsewhere is going to remain fatally undermined.