- Review Price: £811.76
Without consciously intending to do it, it just so happens that so far all the current Toshiba TVs we’ve tested have come from the bottom half of the brand’s latest range. But actually that’s proven to be no bad thing for the brand, for while not exactly setting new AV standards, most of Toshiba’s cheap and cheerful brigade have won us over thanks to their pretty extraordinary value for money.
Which kind of puts the pressure on the 46XV635D I’ve got my hands on today. For as the most highly-specced TV we’ve seen from Toshiba’s current range so far, we can’t help but wonder if it can really deliver enough extra quality over its startlingly good entry-level siblings to justify its higher cost.
That said, at only a tenner over £800, the 46XV635D is not by any stretch of the imagination expensive versus the 46in TV world as a whole.
It’s a bit disappointing, though, to find the 46XV635D not really delivering much of an aesthetic bonus over its cheaper kin. Don’t get me wrong; the reasonably svelte, highly polished black bezel, offset by a silver strip in the bottom edge and bold (deactivatable!) illuminated Toshiba logo certainly isn’t unattractive. The ‘boomerang’ desktop stand is cute, too. But in a review where we’re looking for reasons other than raw screen size to pay more for the 46XV635D than we would for, say, Toshiba’s RV635 range (which tops out at 42in), a bit more extra aesthetic pizzazz wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The 46XV635D has an extra trick up its sleeve when it comes to connections, though: a new SD card slot for playing back JPEG photos. This rests alongside other highlights of a PC port, four HDMIs, and a USB port capable of playing back JPEGs, MP3s, and DivX video files (though not, sadly, DivX HD).
Arguably the 46XV635D’s biggest specification boost over the RV635 range is the addition of 100Hz to its video processing engine, as reflected in that processing engine’s rather long-winded name: Active Vision M100 HD Pro.
The 100Hz element, as per usual, is intended to reduce LCD technology’s common problems with motion blur and judder, while other elements of Active Vision work on stuff like improving video scaling, boosting colour reproduction, enhancing the contrast performance, and so on.
Actually Active Vision M100 HD Pro isn’t by any means the 46XV635D’s only picture processing component. In fact, it is itself subsumed under a wider umbrella title, the much more catchy ‘Meta Brain’. And sitting right alongside Active Vision in the Meta Brain is Resolution+: Toshiba’s so-far utterly dependable system for adding detail to standard definition pictures.
Having recently seen Toshiba’s Cell Regza TVs at the CEATEC Show in Japan, it has to be said that Resolution+ (which draws on elements of Toshiba’s Cell processing PC technology) now feels like a mere hors d’oeuvre for the fully fledged Cell-powered TV deal.
But if Resolution+ works its usual magic on the 46XV635D’s standard definition pictures, it will at least be a very tasty hors d’oeuvre – a mini beefburger with relish, perhaps, rather than some dodgy fish paste scraped onto a bit of stale toast. If you’re still following the ridiculously over-strained metaphor.