Resolution+ has five levels and the improvements are obviously most visible in the highest 5 setting, but even at 2 or 3 image clarity is greatly improved. It’s worth pointing out that the technology can’t be used for all sources, as the set sensibly disables it when you’re watching hi-def material, which means that the processing isn’t applied to sources that don’t need it. It’s also worth pointing out that it doesn’t apply the processing to ‘inactive’ parts of the screen, which we thought would be a problem (particularly with football, where the sharpness of grass is an integral part of the HD experience) but since it can’t add detail that isn’t there in the first place, you’re not really missing out.
We also tried it out on the notoriously poor-quality TMF channel and although it can’t work miracles (or do anything about the rampant block noise) Resolution+ does make music videos look more clearly defined. On the downside, Resolution+ isn’t always great at distinguishing between picture information and noise. as a result it sometimes emphasises artefacts in the original source, such as the smudgy mosquito noise surrounding moving objects and text. While we’re impressed by what the technology can do, the results are nowhere near as sharp as real high definition.
Other aspects of the Toshiba’s standard definition performance are impressive, such as the clean, radiant colours and lack of motion blur, but what stops it blowing our socks off is that dark areas of the screen exhibit a fair amount of misty noise that compromises the depth and punch of certain scenes, while black levels are good rather than great.
But hi-def material is another story. ”Wall-E” on Blu-ray looked absolutely sensational, with the abundant detail of the litter-strewn city rendered with phenomenal sharpness, plus the picture has pleasing depth and three-dimensionality. But it’s not only crisp CG that comes up smelling of roses – live action stuff like ”Indiana Jones” looks equally crisp and natural, and blacks seem much better too.
If you’re not in the mood to switch on your surround sound system, then movies are still in safe hands. The sound on offer is richer and more powerful than you’d imagine from the slim under-screen speakers, with clear dialogue and an expansive soundstage courtesy of SRS WOW.
The 46ZV555D boasts terrific performance and a comprehensive feature list, which makes it feel like a real bargain – particularly when you consider that similarly-specified 46in sets from the likes of Sony and Pioneer cost a lot more. Resolution+ makes a very worthwhile addition to Toshiba’s enviable arsenal of picture processing technology, and although calling the results ‘near hi-def’ is a bit generous, we can’t deny that it does a fantastic job of upscaling and sharpening standard definition material. When combined with the rest of Toshiba’s picture processing, it delivers satisfying SD pictures albeit with one or two caveats. Not to mention superb quality hi-def pictures and sound.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9
Sound Quality 8