large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Toshiba 55WL968B Review - Features and Picture Quality Review

Sections

Toshiba 55WL968B – Features and Picture Quality

The Places interface is generally a good effort, though: colourful, clean and logical. Or at least it will become logical once content levels grow enough to justify the way the Places menus divide content up into so many different sections (Video, Music, Social, News etc).

Searching through the 55WL968’s attractively presented menus via the rather uncomfortable remote control reveals a few interesting features. It’s got a solid series of picture presets for starters, including a Hollywood Pro mode with which you can use the auto-calibration system (if you’ve found a TPA-1).

Toshiba 55WL968B – In-depth calibration tools

Among the more in-depth picture adjustments at your disposal, meanwhile, are a colour management system, three levels of the set’s auto backlight control system, 2p and 10p white balance adjustments, and the facility to turn on or off the red, green and blue colour elements to help with fine colour adjustments.
Toshiba 55WL968B
One odd limitation is that you can seemingly only adjust the set’s Gamma via the auto-calibration system; there’s no manual option. But all in all, there’s still enough flexibility here to at least raise hopes that if we find problems with the set’s pictures in their out of the box state, we should hopefully be able to remedy them!

Despite this, though, it quickly becomes apparent that the 55WL968’s pictures aren’t as good as those of its predecessor.

Toshiba 55WL968B – Contrast

The chief reason for this is that the new model’s contrast range looks markedly more limited – at least when it comes to portraying the darker end of the picture spectrum. Even when using the TV’s Hollywood Night preset, or with the backlight output manually set as low as 30%, parts of the picture that should look black are overlaid with a gentle grey mist.

This step backwards is down, no doubt, to the lack of local dimming in the 55WL968. For the same reason, bright elements in predominantly dark scenes don’t enjoy all that much ‘pop’ once the set’s calibrated to deliver the most convincing black levels, since overall light levels have to be constantly balanced to deliver the best compromise for the image as a whole, rather than light being delivered in different intensities to different parts of the image, as happens with local dimming.

Toshiba 55WL968B – Backlight inconsistencies

Dark scenes further reveal signs of backlight inconsistency at the image’s edges. These aren’t severe by edge LED standards, and fortunately tend to disappear when you’re watching a nearly completely dark image. They’re also of minimal impact when watching a 16:9-ratio film. However, we did quite regularly feel slightly distracted by backlight clouding when watching Cinemascope/21:9 ratio material, thanks to the way the light fluctuates in the black bars above and below the picture.

It’s worth stressing that in order to get an even half decent black level response from the 55WL968 you need to have its active backlight feature switched on. This feature can cause some occasional over-obvious shifts in the image’s brightness, especially if you use its high setting. But fortunately these distractions aren’t very common using the Low setting – a setting which also retains a pretty respectable amount of shadow detail.
Toshiba 55WL968B
Also important to note is that the 55WL968’s flaws with dark scenes are reduced significantly if you’re watching the set in a relatively bright environment. It’s only when you’ve dimmed the lights for a serious movie session that the problems come to the fore.

Toshiba 55WL968B – Colours and motion

There are some good things about the 55WL968’s pictures too, of course. The most surprising concerns its colours. For despite the set not having as strong a black level performance as we’d have liked, it’s capable of producing an impressively subtle, expansive and, above all, natural colour palette, capable of matching up very closely with the key movie industry standards. Even skin tones during dark scenes look more credible than usual – exquisitely so at times.

Motion is handled pretty well in 2D too, thanks to a better motion processing system – dubbed ClearScan – than we’d expected in the CEVO Engine’s absence. It needs to be handled with care; we only used it on its Standard setting, as its High and Medium options made motion look so fluid it started to look unnatural and processed. But the Standard mode really is quite effective.

Turning off the motion processing reveals that the 55WL968 does suffer with a degree of motion blur – more, it seemed to us, than the WL863 models did. So you’ll probably find you have to stick with ClearScan even if you’d rather not.

We test every TV we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as the main TV for the review period

Tested for more than a week

Tested using industry calibrated tools, discs and with real world use

Tested with broadcast content (HD/SD), video streams and demo discs

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.