With the typical widescreen LCD TVs falling into certain conventional 'sizes', like 37 and 42 inches wide, Toshiba has introduced a new 47-inch model that is an inch more than the usual 46-inch versions offered by many of its competitors. The REGZA 47WL68E comes with the company's proprietary Meta Brain Pro feature that adjusts the "color, contrast and brightness of each pixel to reproduce images with 3D-like real effect", something that we just had to see for ourselves.
A simple black bezel border surrounds the LCD panel, with users given a choice of either the silver, boomerang shaped base or mounting it on the wall with the option of a 15 degree swivel; choosing the base stand gives a wider 30 degrees horizontal swivel. Speakers are found embedded just below the screen, with the control panels on the right and the main power button on the left. With its nondescript exterior, this LCD TV is perfectly suited for viewing in the dark. There are no distracting LED lights, allowing one to focus solely on the display.
And what a fine display it is. A Full HD panel with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080, it was excellent in our HD video playback tests for both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. Colors looked natural and the black looked suitably dark. The default settings (color temperature, etc) was slightly more intense than we liked so we made some tweaks. So we turned off the built-in enhancements, like Active Backlight Control and Digital Noise Reduction and then proceeded to use SpyderTV Pro to calibrate the ideal settings.
After that, our HD version of "The Chronicles of Riddick" looked equally good in either 1080i or 1080p. The ugly 'jaggies' were also at a minimal during testing with HQV. We have included an image of a scene below from Spiderman 2, where the details were sharp and clear, as one would expect from a HD movie.
Other features that enhanced the viewing experience are the usual proprietary technologies from Toshiba, like the Stable Sound feature which normalizes the audio so that one won't get any volume spikes between television programmes and commercials. Sound was good with the SRS WOW Surround and dual tweeters. It even had a Woofer Output option (a rare feature on TVs), to extend and enhance the low range with an external sub-woofer unit.
While it was excellent overall, there were some minor issues that nagged us. First, some of the connectors at the back are arranged vertically, which means that the HDMI, PC and RF inputs are a bit harder to connect. The included black and silver remote control also has some rather obscure symbols as indicators, hence we found ourselves checking the manual often. At times, some buttons could be quite stiff. There are no dedicated auxiliary inputs on the remote, so users may need to tediously cycle through all the available inputs for the desired one. Finally, the interface for the OSD is not perfect, with some settings, like Color Management, buried deep under layers of menu before one could access them.
With the right settings and some time to familiarize with the remote and interface, this Toshiba REGZA can be a great addition to your home theater and compares well against its peers. An attractive price of S$6599 is just another reason for prospective buyers to jump onto the HD bandwagon.