The 46SV685D also manages to deliver pictures of striking sharpness – with standard definition as well as high definition! Obviously it’s with HD that the set’s talent for reproducing detail really shines. But it’s arguably the clever way the 46SV685D’s Resolution+ engine elevates standard definition to something at least halfway to HD – without introducing loads of noise – that stands out versus many of its Full HD rivals.
The 200Hz engine, meanwhile, does its bit to further boost the image’s clarity by reducing judder and motion blur. It isn’t the most potent motion compensation system we’ve seen; Philips’ 9000 series TVs are much more aggressive about suppressing judder and blur, for instance. But the 46SV685D at least does its work tidily and sensitively, leaving a natural-looking image afflicted with precious few processing side effects.
The 46SV685D does plenty right with its colours, too. They’re quite – though not explosively – vibrant, and they exhibit lots of tonal subtlety. By which I mean that there’s no sign of colour striping or blotching, even over skin tones.
For all the 46SV685D’s considerable strengths, though, every now and then I felt that the pictures suddenly didn’t look quite right for a moment. Eventually, I managed to narrow this down to apparent difficulties in rendering a really natural green tone, leading to heavy green content looking a bit OTT, and some dark scenes showing a general slight green undertone.
Overall, though, this colour error doesn’t occur often enough or severely enough to stop the 46SV685D – post calibration, don’t forget – from being a truly excellent picture performer.
The only rider to this statement occurs if your living room set-up dictates that any members of your household will have to watch a 46SV685D from much of an angle. For you really don’t have to be sat at all far down the side of the TV before parts of the screen during dark scenes start to look grey or even a bit yellow, while colours also start to lose saturation.
The 46SV685D’s speakers, meanwhile, do quite a nice job overall, seemingly using the larger-than-normal bulk of the TV’s chassis to produce a solid amount of bass that doesn’t tread heavily on the toes of either the mid or treble range. A little more definition and soundstage openness would be needed before we could give Toshiba’s flagship TV a nine out of 10 for sound, but it’s certainly not bad.
Although it seems a bit daft to me that a TV which apparently prides itself on satisfying the AV cognoscenti should ship with such generally poor presets as those of the 46SV685D, the fact remains that with a bit of effort, the 46SV685D really can produce some scintillating LED-backlit picture quality.
That said, I’m reluctantly not feeling quite able to give the 46SV685D a TrustedReviews Recommended badge. Why? Because of its £2,381 price. For ironically given how aggressively priced most of Toshiba’s other flat TVs are right now, the 46SV685D just seems too expensive. After all, you can pick up Samsung’s ultra-glamorous UE46B8000 for nearly £800 less these days, and Pioneer’s still-imperious 50in Kuro PDP-LX5090 plasma can still be found going for £2,300 or so.