Going back to connections, the HDMI trio is accompanied by all the usual suspects, namely a component video input, a D-Sub PC input, two Scarts, and that increasingly de rigueur indicator of a digital tuner, a Common Interface slot. Plus you get two more unusual offerings in the shape of a digital audio output to ship potential Dolby Digital 5.1 broadcast soundtracks to an AV receiver, and a subwoofer line out.
Toshiba even makes its own subwoofer as an option for the 37WLT68 that can be bolted onto the TV’s rear using the holes used for wall-mounting – provided, of course, you haven’t actually got the TV mounted on the wall…
Not surprisingly the Active Vision M100 system isn’t the sum total of the interesting features the 37WLT68 has up its sleeve. The Active Vision part of the name, in fact, refers to the latest version of Toshiba’s previously impressive LCD image processing engine, which targets colour tones, black levels, sharpness and motion with various processing algorithms.
Heading off into the slightly dated-feeling onscreen menus turns up a few more noteworthy tricks, too. It turns out, for instance, that you can actually deactivate the M100 part of Active Vision M100 if you’re not sure it’s helping something you’re watching. Plus there’s a backlight control feature that boosts black level response by automatically brightening and dimming the backlight output in response to the brightness of the image content; extensive colour management options; and MPEG noise reduction to ‘smooth away’ potential roughness or blockiness in weak digital sources.
So to the moment of truth: does M100 work. Actually, yes it does. We threw as much fast-moving image content at it as we could think of, including Gears of War on the Xbox 360, an HD FA Cup footie match and John Woo’s marvellously kinetic Face/Off movie as shown on Sky HD. And toggling the M100 system on and off definitely showed motion to look crisper and less stuttery with the feature in play. We’ve perhaps seen similar levels of success with rival technologies, such as Philips’ ClearLCD system. But that doesn’t detract from Toshiba’s M100 achievement one bit – especially as it even holds up masterfully with that most tricky of LCD nemeses, the fast camera pan, and makes a positive impact on standard as well as high definition sources.
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