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Toshiba 40TL963B

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£150.61 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
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      07.01.2013 12:17
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      Great LED 3D TV for it's price, with lot's of features.

      I recently bought this TV from Amazon to replace my aging Samsung. I was originally looking at an LG, but that TV was sold out EVERYWHERE.... I needed a TV with 4 HDMI ports and was LED, and this TV was the alternative.

      I read a few horror stories from people who bought this TV, who said it broke down within a few days of purchase, but I went ahead with it, and so far.. I'm loving it. There have been a few problems encountered, but I'll get to that.

      On with the review:

      PICTURE:
      Out of the box, the default picture quality isn't all that great, but with a few minutes tweaking the picture settings, you can create a sharp, crisp HD image, even on an SD image. Colours look very realistic and movements look very smooth. I've been watching a few films lately, and the image quality looks very natural. It almost looks like you could be there! And of course, using an HD source, such as Component or HDMI, and the picture looks incredibly sharp and clear.

      SOUND:
      The sound is far better than I was expecting from a very thin TV, but it does have a slight tinny sound to it. You can adjust the bass and treble a little to suit your taste, which does help add a bit of deepness to the audio. Some people may prefer to hook up a surround sound system or maybe even a sound bar. The TV uses a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can also use a pair of headphones for discreet listening. This means you can hook up older surround sound systems, but there are no phono audio outputs.

      CONNECTIVITY:
      Lots of them. There are 4 HDMI inputs, which should be enough for anyone. Component inputs, which is also the composite input. 1 SCART socket, if you still use those. A PC VGA input so you can connect your PC or laptop. There are also 2x USB inputs and an Ethernet port. More on those in a bit. So you'll have all the inputs you could ever need.

      BUILT-IN FREEVIEW:
      This TV has built-in Freeview, much like most TVs nowadays. This can been accessed using either the aerial or a satellite dish. I tried a satellite dish, and although it works... it feels incomplete. Once tuned, you'll notice the channels don't have any sort of order. With Freeview/FreeSat, you'll find the channels in an order such as this...

      101 BBC1
      102 BBC2
      103 ITV1
      ...
      119 ITV1 HD
      and so on

      ...however, with the built-in Freeview...

      1 Channel 4 +1
      2 Channel 4 +1
      3 Channel 4 +1
      ...
      10 BBC1
      and so on

      Yeah, for some reason there were a lot of duplicated channels, in no reasonable order at all. And spending hours sorting and renaming the channel list is a pain in the ass. Another issue I had was with the TV Guide. The Guide was empty... and displayed NO TV listings at all, unless I visited the channel first. Only then would the listings appear, but only for that channel. So I gave up using the Freeview feature and just went back to using my FreeSat box. Really, I wouldn't use the Freeview here for day-to-day viewing. Just stick to your Sky or Virgin box.

      MEDIA PLAYER:
      This was one the selling points for me. A built-in media player. By attaching a Flash drive or external USB hard drive to one of the USB ports, you can play videos, music or photos on the TV without the need for a separate media player. However, much like the Freeview, it seems a little limited.

      While the media player works wonderfully well, as good as the SumVision Cyclone I have, it also seems very... do not want. It plays pretty much every filetype, such as AVI, MP4, MPG, some WMVs and so on. It also plays obscure ones such MKVs, which is what I use a lot. It plays them, displays subtitles when required, changes audio when required.. it works like a charm. But I really dislike the way it's set out.

      My SumVision Cyclone lists video in a folder in a neat list. You can see the full title. It looks neat. The Toshiba media player displays the contents of a folder in a grid, with HUGE icons, barely seeing the first 8 characters of the video title. It just doesn't look very clean. So unless Toshiba release a firmware upgrade that improves the user interface of the media player... I'll stick with my SumVision.

      3D:
      Hmm... I can't really comment on this, since I don't have any 3D glasses. It's a shame the TV does not include any, since it requires ACTIVE 3D glasses (battery powered) and I guess it would have ramped the price of the TV up, possibly making it look less of a awesome deal. Active 3D glasses can be quite cheap if you know where to look.. eg, eBay... so my advice would be to look for a pair of glasses rather than buy two separately. Switching between 3D and 2D is very easy. Just push the 3D button on the remote, choose 2D-->3D... and there you go... 3D! If I manage to test the 3D soon, I'll update this review with my thoughts on it.

      ONLINE VIDEO:
      I've only tested this briefly, but it worked. You can connect this TV to the internet via Ethernet cable or a special wireless dongle made for Toshiba TVs. I used an Ethernet cable. I quickly tested out the YouTube app on the TV. And although using a remote to enter characters is rather annoying, it works very well. Much like all YouTube apps on devices such as tablets, smartphones etc, its a little slow compared to a PC, but it works in a way you want. You can access your account, with all your uploads and playlists. All your Likes and Favourites are there. It's very nice.

      There is also Netflix, but I have not used this yet, so I can't really comment on it.

      MISC:
      Not really much I can add here. Firstly, I've heard people say that the remote control is very clunky and big, and not easy to hold. I personally find it quite nice. It's actually smaller than my last one, and I got used to that no problem. So the remote isn't that bad, to what people keep saying.

      Also, firmware. The latest firmware on the TV when I got it was an April release. I had to download the October firmware from the internet and install via a USB Flash drive, as for some reason, searching for firmware updates through Ethernet did not find anything.

      PROBLEMS:
      I've currently encountered two problems myself. The first one is something that a few users have mentioned. Sometimes the screen will go off, the power LED will remain green, there is no audio... then a few seconds later it comes back. I'm not sure if this normal or a fault. It feels like every review I've read have mentioned this. I've only had this problem while switching between digital TV channels, though.

      The other problem was using USB Flash drives. I used one to update the firmware as well as view videos, and it worked perfectly well. However, when trying to use the 'Hotel Clone' feature to transfer the digital channel settings to USB, it never worked. I just kept getting a "Write Error" and would not transfer the data. The same thing happened if I tried to transfer the data from USB to TV, but I'd get a "Read Error". So for some reason, the TV could use the Flash drive as video storage AND install firmware, but NOT for the Hotel Clone... which makes no sense. I tried several Flash drives, and they all failed. In the end, I tried an external 2.5" USB HDD, which DID work. This I cannot understand.

      So other than the odd screen power-off and intermittent USB troubles.. only for "Hotel Clone"... I haven't really had anything else bad happen.

      So all-in-all.. I really like this TV, and I'm happy I chose it as my alternative. I was be worried about it since I bought it BEFORE I read ALL the reviews, and had I known about some of the problems this TV seems to have, I MAY have changed my mind, but so far I'm glad I didn't.

      It's the cheapest 40" LED HD 3D TV... lot's of eee... I've seen, with a good brand name of Toshiba. As long as Toshiba can keep up with firmware for the nest few years to help keep it running well, it should continue to perform well.

      Definitely recommended.

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