Review: Toshiba 46TL968: Budget 46" 3D TV

 
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Published: December 3, 2012 2:45 PM
By Pierre-Jean Alzieu
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
Toshiba has just outed a new TL968 series of TVs. The range gets built-in Wi-Fi and Skype compatibility but otherwise has similar specs to the firm's previous models, with AMR200 motion compensation, a 100 Hz native refresh rate, active 3D (no glasses supplied) and access to Toshiba Places connected services.

This TV is available with a 40" screen (40TL968) or a 46" screen (46TL968).

Design4/5



Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - casing and hardware

Given its relatively restrained price tag, we kind of expected to see a huge bezel, basic materials and an ugly casing in Toshiba's TL968. But thankfully, that's not the case. Toshiba has used a light grey bezel that's just 1 cm thick, and the imitation brushed metal finish is attractive and doesn't look too plasticky. Plus, the TV is mounted on a glass stand. All of that makes for a stylish but understated design which won't look out of place in a modern home. Nice work.

Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - Toshiba Places

The TL968 has built-in Wi-Fi for access to Smart TV services via the Toshiba Places platform. This features video sites (YouTube, Dailymotion), as well as social networks (Facebook, Twitter), Internet radio stations, catch-up TV and VOD services.

Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - web browser

There's also an integrated web browser. However, browsing with the remote control still isn't a great experience and the interface is generally quite slow. It's no substitute for a computer or even a smartphone. 

You can send audio and video content to play on the TV wirelessly via Wi-Di (Wireless Display) connectivity, so long as you have a compatible PC.

We tested this TV's built-in media player (uPnP, DLNA and USB) by hooking up an NTFS-formatted external hard drive, and the results were much better than what we've seen in previous Toshiba TVs. In fact, the TL968 can play pretty much anything. Even chapters in MKV and MP4 files are supported, which isn't something we see often in a TV.

A PVR function is on hand so you can record TV shows to a USB flash drive or an external hard drive.

Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - remote control

The remote control hasn't changed since 2011. It feels very plasticky and the buttons are too close together. It's hard not to end up pressing the wrong button when using the arrow keys.

2D Image Quality3/5



Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - sub-pixels

We used our USB microscope to look at the shape of the sub-pixels in the TL968's screen panel. From the picture above, we can safely say that this is a PSA-type LCD screen.

Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - colours
Colours in Hollywood Pro mode: average Delta E = 3
Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - glossy screen
Semi-gloss screen


Once you change a few settings (see inset), the TL968 displays an accurate onscreen image. We measured the average Delta E at 3, which means that colours are reproduced faithfully onscreen. The greyscale could have been better, however (average gamma =  2.3).

We measured contrast at an excellent 3400:1, so blacks will still look nice and deep when watching a film in a pitch-dark room (0.06 cd/m²).

Responsiveness
Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - ghosting time
 White
Background
Black
Background
Average

This graph shows the ghosting time, measured in ms, which measures the time it takes this TV takes to entirely remove the previous frame. The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear.


Screen responsiveness is OK. But with a ghosting time of 12 ms, le TL968 is only just within average compared with the other TVs we've reviewed. However, the input lag is rather high, with four frames of latency compared with a cathode ray tube TV. We therefore wouldn't recommend this model for gamers.

As is often the way with LCD TVs, the viewing angles are quite tight here—the LT968 is no match for an IPS-screen TV and it's nowhere near as good as a plasma screen.

Like the Philips 46PFL5507H, the white remains fine over the entire screen even though there's only one bar of LEDs on the right-hand side of the panel. 

Clouding3/5



Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - clouding

With a dark image the result isn't quite so good. The LEDs create light, milky-looking blotches that leak onto the screen from the right-hand corners—something you may notice when viewing in a pitch-dark room. If you watch this TV with a low level of background lighting you won't notice any clouding at all.

3D Image Quality3/5



Unlike some of Toshiba's higher-end models, the TL968 uses active-shutter 3D technology. No glasses are supplied, so you'll need to shell out for a couple of pairs if you want to make use of the 3D mode. Even if Toshiba's glasses have come down in price over the last few months, they're still a fair bit more expensive than Samsung's models.  

Toshiba FPTAG02G
30 want this Me too!


We found that 3D picture quality was slightly inferior to what we've seen in many recent competitor TVs. The 3D image is frequently prone to crosstalk, where images for the left and right eyes overlap onto each other, making the picture double up. The overall result therefore isn't quite up to scratch. Samsung 6000-series TVs do a much better job (UE40ES6300 and UE40ES6710).

Check out our 3D test cards as seen through 3D glasses (Top: Toshiba 46TL938 / Bottom: Samsung UE40ES6300).

Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - crosstalk in 3D mode
Série 5500
With a perfect result, we shouldn't see any trace of the 'R' frame on the left or of the 'L' frame on the right.


Audio2/5



Toshiba 46TL968 TV review - audio quality
Green = good / Orange = OK / White = poor

At first glance, this frequency response graph looks pretty much OK. But while the level remains almost constant from 200 Hz to 5 K, that doesn't automatically mean that the audio output is good. In reality, the output is completely saturated over the whole spectrum. In fact, we measured around 21% distortion with the TL968 when we usually see around 2% with TVs. Plus, the volume maxes out at 75 dB, which is quite low.

Power Use5/5



The TL968 does a great job here. Using just 85 W (146 W/m²) when running and 0.2 W on standby, it scrapes its way to five stars in this part of the review.
3/5 Toshiba 46TL968 DigitalVersus 2012-12-03 15:45:00

Pros

  • Good contrast (3490:1), deep black (0.06 cd/m²)
  • Accurate colours: average Delta E = 3
  • Price

Cons

  • 3D picture quality: crosstalk
  • Remote is too plasticky
  • Clouding
  • Audio quality isn't great

Conclusion

Picture quality is generally pretty good with the Toshiba TL968. It's just a shame that it's let down by a few niggling flaws (responsiveness is only just within average, some clouding, more crosstalk than with most 3D TVs).

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