Toshiba has got its game face on with the REGZA 55 WL768. Featuring some fine picture processing technology and styled by the Jacob Jensen Design studio, it’s crafted with unusual care.
Not only is this the brand’s first 3D-compatible TV range, it’s also the first 3D set to incorporate a naked DVB-S/S2 tuner (alongside a DVB-T/T2 tuner for Freeview SD/HD, an analogue terrestrial tuner and a non-Virgin Media-compatible cable tuner). Although it’s a shame Toshiba hasn’t gone the extra mile to secure a licence for Freesat, the satellite component is rather versatile.
The WL768 allows either automatic or manual scanning of satellites (single or multiple if you have a steerable dish), with support for DiSEqC 1.2 LNB switching and LNB power control. For those that prefer it, there is provision to manually enter frequency, polarisation and symbol rates (but we suspect that many UK users would simply hook up a redundant Sky feed to the WL768, and let the TV do its own thing).
Scanning proves relatively tardy, so you’ll be able to make a cuppa while it executes this.
The EPG is essentially the same for all tuners; an eight-day textual affair that looks much like you’d find on Freesat hardware, with non-Freesat channels thrown into the grid. There is also now-and-next info and support for Videotext. Of course, what you see here (and how much sense it makes) ultimately depends on what bird you’re looking at.
Picture quality on BBC HD and ITV1 HD channels is very good. The TV features the brand’s most advanced assortment of picture processing. There’s 200Hz refreshing, courtesy of Active Vision M200 Pro, a Film Stabilization mode, and its trademark Resolution+ enhancement suite (now with an added 3D suffix).
All this hard-working silicon conspires to offer a really good HD picture. Motion resolution – the ultimate arbiter of just how good a TV performs with real-world footage such as sports and action films – is excellent.
It’s not all good news; the Edge LED backlighting is uneven, which occasionally impinges on dark content. Low bit-rate SD TV channels are treated with blocky disdain. Happily, it’s no longer hard to make sure the bulk of your viewing is HD – and if you subscribe to Sky HD or Virgin Media you can avoid low-res channels altogether.
Headache. Dizziness. Fatigue. Slurred speech. Not symptoms of concussion, but the effects of watching 3D on this TV while imbibing a bottle of Duvel. After auditioning it with both 3D Blu-ray (Full 1080p to both peepers) and side-by-side half-resolution 3D (as favoured by Sky) it is clear that crosstalk is problematic. This ghosting effect, caused by an overlap of the left and right eye images, reduces the clarity of the 3D image and makes 3D viewing tiring. But at least Toshiba’s Active Shutter glasses are comfortable to wear Steve May
Overall, we rate the 55WL768 as a very desirable HD TV; it’s a cut above the competition when it comes to aesthetics. That it sports both Freeview HD and DVB-S/S2 tuners is also a clear win, but it’s probably best to regard its 3D compatibility as a novelty.
-Excellent hi-def picture
-Freeview HD, DVB-S/S2 tuners
-Fabulous build quality
-3D crosstalk artefacts
-Limited access to IPTV content
-Average SD performance
Screen size: 55in
Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Contrast ratio: 5,000:1 (native)/7,000,000:1 (dynamic)
Tuners: Analogue UHF, DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-S, DVB-S2, DVB-C
Speakers: 40W (2x 10W + 20W woofer)
EPG: 7-day DVB sat
CI slot: Yes
Software update: OTA
SD out/in: 1x Scart (RGB/S-video), 1x Scart (via adapter), composite video in, 2x USB,
HD in: 4x HDMI v1.4, component video
Audio out: Stereo phono, optical
S/PDIF, headphones jack
Audio in: 2x stereo phono
Data: USB 2.0, Ethernet, integrated Wi-Fi
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