Toshiba has been crowing loud and long about the new ‘Resolution+’ processing stuffed into its TVs. This upscaling tech, it’s claimed, takes standard definition sources and, via a good bout of electronic jiggery pokery, displays them anew – sharper, clearer and more detailed than you’ve ever seen them before.
If you believe the Toshiba bumph these upscaled pics even approach the quality of high definition images. So is this technology a real revelation or just some standard image processing given a fancy name?
No resolution revolution
Well, sadly we’re going to have to go with the latter option. Having given a few of our old DVDs a viewing with the Resolution+ treatment we can say the improvement to picture quality is disappointingly small.
It’s there, sure – edges are noticeably sharper and the overall image is a little clearer – but you’d have to be Mr Magoo to confuse the results with true HD pictures.
The overall effect is similar to the results you’d expect from a decent upscaling DVD player. You get a bit more to play with here, with five levels of sharpening to choose from, but there’s nothing truly special about Resolution+; many high-end televisions now feature edge enhancement as standard, anyway.
Strong picture performance
But that’s not to say this isn’t a perfectly good television – Resolution+ might not live up to its billing but colour, contrast and motion handling are all solid as a rock here.
The 100Hz processing and movie stabilization modes ensure motion is smooth as the surface of a millpond, and sore-thumbed gamers will appreciate the smear-free movement, even with the faster-paced titles.
Black levels have a touch of grey about them at times, as with most LCD TVs, but you can adjust the backlight to compensate in most situations.
There are bags of picture settings to tweak and adjust, so if you’re a pixel-peeping perfectionist you should be able to perfectly calibrate the TV for your room and any sources hooked up to it.
Above average audio
The built-in speakers are a tad unrefined, and without some judicious tweaking movie dialogue can get lost in a sea of booming explosions and rumbles, but they’re above average by flat screen TV standards.
The strong all-round performance is backed up by a decent set of connections (including three HDMIs), but nothing in the way of digital media functionality: there’s no sign of the memory card slots, USB ports or DLNA networking you’ll find in new Philips, Sony and Samsung models.
Overall this is a decent 46-inch flat telly, as long as you’re not expecting Resolution+ to revolutionise the quality of Freeview broadcasts and DVDs. Perhaps Toshiba’s forthcoming range of Cell processor-equipped upscaling TVs will deliver images that really rival true HD.