However, the 52Z3030D also suffers from one or two of the problems that have plagued various other recent Toshiba models. Probably the worst problem is the lack of black level depth, as ”Apocalypto’s” night-time scenes appear behind a gentle but sometimes definitely distracting grey veil. So much for that 14,000:1 contrast ratio claim!
It doesn’t help the black level situation, either, that contrast and colour saturations drop off markedly if you watch the screen from an angle greater than 30 degrees.
A more surprising problem given the presence of 100Hz processing is the way moving objects tend to look rather smeared as they cross the screen. Interestingly, the only time I felt consistently untroubled by this issue was while watching 1080p/24p stuff – possibly because of the 5:5 pulldown processing that kicks in with such source material.
Also slightly troubling are some of the TV’s colour tones during dark scenes, and some pretty uninspiring upscaling of standard definition sources that leaves them looking rather noisy and over-processed.
While the picture might have its problems, though, the 52Z3030D’s sound is consistently excellent. That subwoofer line output we mentioned earlier doesn’t seem likely to get much use given how much bass the onboard speakers can put out. Yet these impressive quantities of bass don’t for a moment crowd out what’s actually a very open, expressive mid-range, or trebles that really add detail and ‘sparkle’ to the soundstage.
Toshiba’s recent inconsistent run of form with LCD TVs is here encapsulated within a single TV, as some really striking strengths are undermined at almost every turn by some disappointing weaknesses. Here’s hoping the brand really puts the majority of our concerns to bed with its next – and imminent – LCD range.