Unquestionably, the most striking benefit of the Resolution+ system is how much extra sharpness it introduces to standard definition fare. Edges seem crisper, faces and surfaces look more textured, and the picture generally looks much more three-dimensional – all of which immediately elevates the 42ZV555D’s standard definition pictures to a whole new level versus those of previous Toshiba models.
It’s also impressive to note that this obvious and very welcome extra sharpness to standard definition images is achieved without the Resolution+ engine throwing up seemingly any nasty processing glitches such as flickering, shimmering edges, weird halos around moving objects or smearing. This freedom from negative processing side effects reveals the potency of the Resolution+ engine, proving it able to deliver vast amounts of processing calculations ‘on the hoof’ without breaking down – even during fast action sequences.
Also impressive about the Resolution+ engine is the way it manages to add sharpness to the picture without introducing grain or jaggedness over curved and diagonal lines. Basically, when all’s said and done, the difference between standard def on this TV and Toshiba’s previous models is like night and day. With the 42ZV555D between ‘day’, of course!
The only problem with the Resolution+ system is that, as Danny noted too, it’s not as able as we’d like it to be when it comes to distinguishing between video noise and ‘proper’ picture information in a standard def source.
This isn’t a great problem when a standard def source is of a good quality in the first place – a high-quality DVD, for instance. But the Resolution+ system can definitely exaggerate the MPEG block and mosquito noise found in many digital broadcasts. Because of this, while we happily cranked the Resolution+ level up to four or even the maximum five with DVDs, we had to tweak it down to 2 or even 1 with some digital TV channels. Still, even at its lowest setting it makes a difference for the better, and I never found myself inclined to turn it off completely, even with the most woefully ropey of sources.
It’s worth adding, here, that kicking the set’s MPEG noise reduction option up to medium, from the ‘off’ or ‘low’ setting I’d usually recommend, can reduce the extent to which Resolution+ exaggerates MPEG noise. But there’s a price to pay for this in the shape of much waxier looking skin tones and a generally rather forced look to the picture. Maybe a more satisfying result could be obtained if Tosh tried to integrate the NR functionality into the Resolution+ technology next time, rather than leaving them separate?
I guess I should also take issue with the claims on Toshiba’s website that Resolution+ makes standard definition pictures look ‘near HD’. This simply is not the case at all. For while Resolution+ certainly makes standard definition pictures look higher in definition than they would otherwise, they’re still no match for a true HD source.