This TV is available with a 40" screen (40TL968) or a 46" screen (46TL968).
DESIGN & BUILD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 USE & NOISE
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.