Despite the formidable strengths, we found ourselves unexpectedly troubled by a couple of problem areas that for some reason didn’t seem quite so pronounced on the 42in Z model.
The first concerns that seemingly eternal LCD issue of black level response. For the very darkest scenes of ”Casino Royale”, such as the opening black and white night time footage, undeniably have some of their impact reduced by a slight greyness over the darkest corners. What’s more, scenes containing particularly stark contrast extremes reveal occasional brightness ‘jumps’ as the dynamic contrast system fails to adjust subtly enough.
This is all particularly strange given that the 47Z3030’s contrast ratio is actually quoted as 50 per cent higher than that of the 42in model. Go figure.
Our other problem with the 47Z3030 is that it’s really no lover of standard definition sources. Possibly because of the extremely aggressive nature of its images in terms of brightness and colour saturations, it tends to rather exaggerate any noise that might be inherent to a standard def source. And such noise is, of course, highly present in more standard def Freeview and Sky channels than we’d like.
Whether the picture flaws we’ve been talking about are more troubling on the 47Z3030 than the 42Z3030 because the screen’s extra size exaggerates them, or whether it’s because the 47Z3030 employs a different panel with potentially different core image characteristics isn’t entirely clear. But the problems are definitely there.
The Onkyo speaker design, meanwhile, helps this TV produce a really quite potent soundstage. A fair amount of bass is on hand to underpin proceedings (we doubt you’ll find yourself rushing to use the subwoofer line-out), the mid-range is only slightly compressed during action scenes, and trebles are clean and help to deliver some sense of width to the soundstage.
Toshiba’s 47Z3030 is a likeable enough big-screen LCD TV, and it’s now being discounted to some pretty attractive prices. But either because of its extra size or its use of a different core panel to its 42in sibling, its picture quality doesn’t impress us quite as much as expected.