There’s a surprising amount of colour adjustment for an entry level TV. You can set the colour temperature, although there are no Kelvin settings to choose from, only Normal, Cool and Warm – I imagine that these will correspond to around 6500k, 9300k and 5400k respectively. There’s also a 3D Colour Management setting – with this activated you have access to the Base Colour Adjustment. In the Base Colour Adjustment menu you can tweak the hue, saturation and brightness of each individual colour in both the RGB and CMY spaces. For the real AV enthusiast this level of adjustment is a huge bonus and allows for setting the TV up for each specific source. Unfortunately you can’t create profiles, which means that you would have to manually adjust each colour every time you switched between sources! Ideally you should be able to setup three or four profiles, or at least apply a different profile to each input.
When it comes to picture quality the 42C3030D is a bit of a mixed bag. Now, it’s at this point that I often talk about how a TV is great with high definition sources but far less impressive when presented with poor standard definition signals, but this Toshiba exhibited the opposite behaviour. That might be a slightly simplistic view, but there’s no denying that the 42C3030D is slightly disappointing when hooked up to HD sources and surprisingly impressive when displaying SD content!
To test this TV’s HD credentials I connected it to the excellent Toshiba HD-XE1 HD DVD player. Considering that you couldn’t ask for a better source device right now, the resulting pictures produced by the 42C3030D proved to be something of a letdown. The biggest culprit is the poor black level, where low light areas and dark scenes have a distinct grey look. This means that films like V for Vendetta lose all their dark menace, and if you crank down the brightness to create some semblance of black you end up losing all the detail in dark areas. Even when watching brighter source material like Superman Returns there seemed to be a lack of contrast evident. In fact it’s fair to say that the 42C3030D only managed to look its absolute best in a dark room, where the colours became that bit more vivid and rich.
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