Review: Toshiba Regza 55SV670 55” LED LCD TV

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Toshiba’s 55SV670 LED LCD TV

The energy efficiency of Toshiba’s Regza 55SV670 Cinema Series LCD TV is dramatic, and so is the improvement in picture quality.


Nov. 18, 2009 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Last year, the LCD buzz was all about 120Hz refresh rates for smoother moving images. This year there’s 240Hz refresh rates, but the real news is that LCD TVs are going green—and improving their picture quality at the same time. Enter the brightest new TV star, LED (light emitting diode) backlighting. It’s much more energy efficient and more expensive than standard fluorescent backlighting—and it is showing up in numerous 2009 models. 

There are two types of LED backlighting: edge-lit and full-array. Some sets that utilize full-array LEDs also include local dimming, which allows individual LEDs or clusters of them to turn off in dark scenes, improving black levels and detail. The only drawback is that LCD TVs using full-array LEDs are not normally ultrathin and can measure up to about 4.5 inches deep.

Toshiba’s 55SV670 uses the full array to light its a 55-inch 1080p LCD screen—and utilizes local dimming. With LED backlighting, the dynamic contrast of the SV670 is pumped up to whooping 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Other image enhancements include ClearScan 240Hz with a new backlight scanning technology for even smoother fast-moving images. The 240Hz quadruples the traditional progressive scan rate of 60Hz (or 60 frames a second) to 240Hz (or 240 frames per second).

Another eco-friendly feature called AutoView dims or brightens the screen according to ambient room lighting and the incoming video signal. Other key video enhancement features include CrystalCoat Contrast Enhancer with antireflective properties and Toshiba’s PixelPure 5G 14-bit internal digital video processor that provides improved overall detail. Audio is rated at 10 watts per channel and features Dolby Volume to keep volume levels consistent—as in no really loud commercials. There’s also Audyssey EQ.   

Connection was easy and straight-forward. To calibrate this LCD set for optimal picture playback, I used a new Blu-ray test disk from Marvell entitled Qdeo HD Video Evaluation. The disc allows you evaluate the video processing of a particular TV, as well as to calibrate and correctly set contrast, brightness, black levels, color, sharpness, and gray scale among other video settings.

With all of these eco-friendly features and innovations, is the TV any good? With Toshiba’s SV670, I can fairly say that LCD technology is finally coming of age with a full array of features that enhance the overall image quality and clarity of the display.

Local dimming greatly enhances contrast and brings out detail in dark scenes.

The dark scenes looked accurate, with subtle variations in blackness from standard HDTV fare, most notably in the starfields of ABC’s Defying Gravity and the vibrant colors and quick cuts of USA’s Burn Notice. The very dark scenes in the newly released Blu-ray version of Watchmen (Director’s Cut) and The Dark Knight showed detail and color gradations not seen on most other LCD TVs. 

And the splash of vibrant colors from Disney’s 50th Anniversary Sleeping Beauty was especially compelling. Overall, the images on the SV670 were markedly superior and uniform. if you more accurately control brightness and contrast, the images displayed will look more realistic, natural and life-like across the entire palette.

The colors displayed on the 55SV670 were exceptionally rich, and vibrant with very deep blacks (for an LCD TV) giving you the feeling and clarity of “you are there.” Black levels and contrast were several grades above other LCD HDTVs I’ve reviewed. 

The beauty of LED backlighting lies not just with its eco-friendly features, but with its excellent contrast and deeper blacks that reveal more depth and detail—while providing more precise color saturation across the entire color spectrum.

If you are looking to conserve energy and still want the best possible LCD TV, you have to look at LED-backlit TVs like Toshiba’s 55SV670. It could be the best LCD the company has produced.


Specs:
> 1080p Full HD CineSpeed Display
> FocalLight (full array) LED Backlighting with Local Dimming
> 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast
> ClearScan 240Hz with Backlight Scanning
> PixelPure 5G 14-bit Digital Video Processing
> Auto View Automatic Picture Adjustment & ColorMaster Wide Color Enhancer
> Dolby Volume with Audyssey EQ
> Cinema Mode: 24fps with 5:5 Pull-Down
> Deep Lagoon cabinet design with Infinity Flush Front
> 4 HDMI 1.3a (3 rear, 1 side) with InstaPort and REGZA-LINK
> 2 Component HD inputs
> 35.47 by 53.62 by 16.22 inches (with stand)
> 98.1 pounds (with stand)
> $3,000

Pros:
> Full Array LED Backlighting with Local Dimming
> 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast
> ClearScan 240Hz Refresh
> CrystalCoat Contrast Enhancer

Cons:
> Not Ultra Thin



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