Colours are generally impressive too. Fairly rich saturations combine with natural tones and some good subtlety when it comes to delineating the smallest differences in tones when showing colour blends. This talent proves particularly effective when showing skin tones, which avoid the rather waxy appearance seen with less able screens.
When it comes to sharpness, the 40WL753 again impresses. With HD – especially Blu-rays – images look crisp and detailed, especially as the 200Hz processing does a decent job of suppressing LCD’s problems with motion blur and judder. What’s more, provided you don’t set the Advanced Film mode any higher than its Standard mode, the motion processing does its stuff without creating nasty artefacts or leaving the picture looking over-processed.
At first the set doesn’t seem as comfortable with standard definition, leaving it looking smooth (as in, reasonably devoid of digital processing artefacts and grain) but slightly soft.
But then we remember the set’s Resolution+ processing, and a little tinkering with this soon improves things no end, adding sharpness and detail without – crucially – exaggerating picture noise. Or at least that’s the case if you don’t push the processing too high – we personally stuck to its level 3 setting, as every step above that produced an incremental increase in noise.
Sadly, though, while the 40WL753 is capable of producing occasionally spectacular pictures, they’re ultimately defined – for us movie and console game lovers, at least – by that dreaded backlight inconsistency. So much so that we actually felt tense while watching films as we found ourselves waiting for the backlight flaws to suddenly pop up.
It’s not just the 40WL753’s backlight troubles that can leave you feeling detached from what you’re watching, either. For the set’s sound is really pretty feeble, with practically zero bass, a rather skinny mid-range, and a tendency to push trebles too much at the expense of everything else – resulting in some sibilant dialogue and occasionally quite acute harshness during high-octane sequences.
The 40WL753 does at least seem to be aware of its limitations, in that it’s included a subwoofer line output among its connections. But we suspect most people reading this review would have preferred it if Toshiba had just put more effort into getting bass out of the set’s speakers rather than expecting us to buy an external subwoofer. Plus it seems highly unlikely to us that any external subwoofer will combine at all believably with the thin upper register sounds emerging from the TV’s own speakers.
There’s another issue, too: imbalanced left and right speakers. The sound from the 40WL753 emerges predominantly from the TV’s rear. Yet while there’s quite a bit of room for the sound on the left rear side, on the right the space is eaten into by the TV’s connections panel. So it’s hardly surprising that if you swing the sound balance between the set’s left and right speakers, it’s noticeably louder when running on the left speaker only than it is when running on the right speaker only.
If you’re a reasonably casual TV user after an affordable but decently featured 40in TV to mostly just watch normal TV programming on, the 40WL753 is just about worth considering – especially given the cleverness of its Resolution+ system at upscaling standard definition. However, the 40WL753‘s online features are seriously slender compared with most rival brands, and for gamers and film fans the set’s backlight issues and one-dimensional audio could very well be deal breakers.