We like Toshiba LCD TVs. The company has carved a very respectable rep for itself over the years: its sets are always competitively priced, always look the part, and nearly always deliver good-to-great performance.
A picture of elegance
The 47WLT66 is no different in most ways. The biggest LCD in the Toshiba range, it’s an elegant affair, its “Picture Frame” design marking a refreshing change from the black-everywhere look so popular at the moment, and it’s well-enough equipped at the price.
It’s also an inch bigger than its rivals, which in reality is neither here nor there, but could make all the difference to some prospective buyers.
Gasping for a ‘p’
However, there’s a ‘but’ coming, and it’s a biggie: despite having 1920x1080 resolution and a pair of HDMI inputs, this TV can’t accept 1080p video. That’s a crying shame, especially since Tosh is one of the chief driving forces behind HD DVD, one of the two 1080p-capable HD formats released last year.
On the other hand, perhaps it helps explain why the only Toshiba player so far released, the HD-E1, is constrained to a 1080i maximum picture-quality output. Or maybe that’s just us being paranoid again…
If it can do 1080i...
It’s doubly frustrating because the Toshiba actually looks rather good with 1080i HD. It has a detailed, vibrant feel, with good (if not necessarily remarkable) black depth and decent contrast.
Motion is handled fairly well, too, with minimal judder or shimmer. If only you could put in a Blu-ray or HD DVD picture at its optimum quality, just to see what it was capable of.
And just as surprisingly, the 47WLT66 looks pretty good with off-air TV. The built-in digital tuner delivers natural colours and decent contrast: it’s a little soft, so overall, the image could be more vibrant, but by the standards of the class, it’s a creditable enough performance.
Sounds the part, too
Surprisingly, given its svelte proportions and minimal speakers, the Toshiba is also blessed with weighty and enjoyable sound; it’s far less sibilant than many rivals, and even has decent bass.