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Toshiba 55SV685 - mini retro review

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[Image: Toshiba-46SV685D.jpg]

The Toshiba SV series was released in 2009; it was a direct LED backlit LCD with local dimming, two sizes (46 and 55); model numbers were 46SV670 and 55SV670 for US models, and 46SV685 and 55SV685 for European models (probably Australian, too).

For a complete review, take a look here: http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/toshiba-4...118163.htm

I add some info I gathered around the web in the latest days
  • VA panel and LED backlight are from Samsung A950/A956 series, but Toshiba uses its own electronics
  • LED zones: 64 for 46', 96 for 55' - some others say 176 zones for the 55'; probably 96 is the right figure (with around 1000 individual LEDs), as I had the Samsung LE55A956 for five years, and I did every possible imaginable tests!
  • LED backlight never turns off, only greatly reduced - I should add that it's true in all modes, apart Dynamic, where the LEDs seems to be actually turned off, as the Samsung
From here on, I would talk about the European model 55SV685; apart the 100/120Hz and inputs difference with the US models, and the swivel pedestal and less LED zones in the 46', I think all the models should share the same features.

In comparison with the previous year model Samsung A956, which shares the same panel and LED backlight, the Toshiba has something more, and few things less...
  • Active Vision M200, which adds the backlight scanning to the 100Hz frame interpolation; image is more stable, with no visible artefacts
  • more image tweaks - RGBYUV with three settings each, for example
  • light sensor (with histogram)
  • Dolby Volume
  • an headphone jack, with separate volume level
  • audio output
  • a subwoofer output
  • SD card input
  • higher RMS audio power - but lacks subwoofers
  • the glossy "glass" (that should be plexyglass, but I don't want to break it to discover it) over the screen, that helps to get a better contrast AND protect the panel
  • in the not-pitch-black LED backlit modes, even if black level is really low (and eventual blooming may be less), it lacks the "true-black-wow" factor - that is achieved using the Dynamic mode, though
  • Samsung had few useless features like cooking receipts, simple games, and digital frame with some preinstalled images; Toshiba has just one image that can be used as frame, but you could load your own!
  • it misses the "jingle" when you switch it off - it helped me some time, when I finished to watch a movie and the screen was black (I mean: the same as when switched off) to remind me the TV was on or off...
  • PIP - even if it was limited to analog inputs

Considering this design is almost 8 years old, I'm very happy with this TV; I cried when I was forced to say goodbye to my beloved A956 (which couldn't be fit, sadly), and I tried to find an used one for months; then, I grabbed this one, that could be considered its stepbrother somehow...

Yep, it is thick, the bezel is huge, is not a smart TV, nor it's 3D, or 4K (properly, UHD) but hey, it was an high-end HDTV and, even nowadays, it's still great; black level is better than many PDPs, almost on par with an OLED; blooming is really limited and you would notice in very few occasions, more if watch it off axis; audio is very good (to be a TV, of course), and, despite the fact is tick and large, its design is really nice!

Add to this it uses a VA panel, that is 10 bit, and internal processing is 14 bit... still not bad nowadays!

Can't say it's better than a PDP, but sadly they are out of the market now, and the best used ones still command premium prices, plus it would be better to avoid to use them as PC monitor; OLEDs is a promising technology, but still expensive, and with few defects - lower "life" and brightness, screen door effect - that probably would be cured in the next years.

So, if you are planning to not buy an OLED, but instead an LCD, take a chance to watch similar models with Edge and Direct LED backlight, maybe you would be amazed how different could be when compared directly. Or, if you can find an used Direct LED TV (with Local Dimming!) at a good price, grab it!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
OK, after few days of intensive use, I can say this big "monster" is really good - take this with a grain of salt, though, as it's always a 2009 product... but, given the fact it was an high end model, thousand individual LEDs used, 14bit processing and a 10bit S-PVA panel, it's still better than almost all not-hi-end HD TV sets.

Tried right now with the laserdisc player connected via SCART... it's quite bad, sadly, but can't say it's the TV fault; I think I should be forced to use it only in conjuction with the old VAIO PC, used as scaler/denoiser etc.

Apart that, connected with the PC, at 60Hz, it plays flawlessly also 24p material without the minimum sign of judder, stuttering etc.
Colors are great, black is truly black in certain situations - all black frames, black bars on letterbox movies - and still nearly pitch black in all the other situation; blooming is limited to very few occasions, if watched right in front of it - switching place would make it visible almost always, tough. Color banding is almost always absent - apart when watching very compressed material; I think it's thanks to the 10bit panel; I'm pretty sure it has HDMI 1.3 inputs, so it *should* be capable of accepting 10bit signal... I wonder which video card I should use.
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog

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