The picture is impressively bright too, showing that even an LCD as large as 47in can outperform pretty much any plasma TV in this regard. The brightness levels around also help propel vivid colours off the screen with serious aggression, making the screen a particularly good friend of colourful Xbox 360 games or animated movies.
So far, so good – and so like the 42WLT66. But at this point we diverge from the 42WLT66 – and it’s not a change for the better.
With a dark movie scene or pretty much any of Xbox 360’s Gears of War’s factory level, it quickly becomes obvious that the 47WLT66’s black level response leaves a little to be desired. Parts of the picture that should look black instead look rather grey, which also means dark scenes can lack depth and scale. Black levels have arguably always been the weakest element in Toshiba’s otherwise exemplary LCD TVs, but here the problem is more noticeable than on the company’s smaller screens. It’s not severe enough to completely undo the good work being done elsewhere, but it does bring the overall picture mark down from Toshiba’s usual 9 or 10 levels.
We also aren’t completely blown away by the 47WLT66’s handling of standard definition sources. On the upside, they look reasonably clean and noiseless. But they’re also a little softer than we’d like, and skin tones can look slightly plasticky.
One final niggle is that you really don’t have to watch the 47WLT66 from much of a side angle at all – no more than 45 degrees, at any rate – for its pictures to lose quite a chunk of their colour and contrast.
Moving on to the 47WLT66’s audio, it’s actually better than we’d expected given the slender nature of the TV’s build. The trusty opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan are delivered with solid dynamism and frequency range, and without distortion or harshness. A bit more treble detailing would have been nice, but overall we’re happy enough.
Most Toshiba LCD TVs are pretty easy to recommend unreservedly. But with the 47WLT66 the situation is a little less straightforward. For while it delivers some of the benefits we’ve come to expect of a full HD TV at a strikingly affordable price, its black levels make it more of a ‘one to audition’ product than a definite ‘buy this and you won’t be disappointed’…