Quite some time ago we predicted the death of plasma technology, albeit a tad early than was comfortable for most of our readers. The large reason behind this prediction was the advances being made in LCD technology.
With the introduction of LED backlighting, LCDs have overcome one of the final hurdles that sets them apart from their plasma counterparts — black levels.
The Toshiba Regza 46SV670U capitalizes on this equalization of technologies and maximizes the viewing experience, bringing LCD into the realm of plasma and rendering blacks like you’ve never seen them before.
There are a lot of excellent features that help the Regza stand out against its peers. The TV prides itself on a suite of top-notch features and specifications that offset its rather bulky frame and unremarkable form factor:
Gaming Mode The 46SV670U comes with a Gaming Mode whereby the TV will bypass most of its video processing circuitry to cut off 48ms of lag that would otherwise take place when using the display. This helps tremendously when gaming requires as little lag as possible. Games that involve music syncopation, such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, make this a very necessary and useful feature.
ClearScan 240 ClearScan 240 is perhaps misnamed, but it is a useful combination of two very different technologies. First, Toshiba provides ClearFrame 120Hz processing that performs frame interpolation, rendering an additional frame in between each real frame of video.
Next, it flashes the backlight at 120Hz — twice the normal rate — which helps alleviate the pixel transition blur often inherent in LCD panels. When combined with the Film Stabilization mode it works to eliminate motion judder. However, we never saw a significant effect to increase resolution during motion as we’ve seen with similar systems.
FocaLight LED Backlight with Local Dimming This is a full LED matrix system that allows the backlight LEDs to be controlled by zones. There certainly isn’t an LED for each pixel, but Toshiba is able to dim each zone differently depending upon the average picture levels present. This allows the set to produce deeper blacks in some areas of the picture versus others, producing a much higher real-world contrast ratio.
Resolution This wasn’t nearly as impressive as I thought it would be. The idea is that the system would improve 480i, 480p, and even 720p source material for a higher resolution picture that more closely resembles a 1080p HD source. In practicality, the differences are minor, but users will want to experiment with this setting, especially if they are feeding non-HD sources to the television.
The picture quality of the Toshiba 46SV670U was marked by its impressive black levels. For everything we watched, that seemed to dominate our focus. Colors certainly popped and we enjoyed the vivid picture the LED-backlit TV delivered, but the deep blacks were the one thing that differentiated this TV from other non-LED sets.
Toshiba has a winner with the Regza 46SV670U. This set rivals the black levels of plasma and has the flexibility to handle many sources, each of which can be custom tailored with unique calibrations settings. At first we found it odd that Toshiba focused on display quality and eschewed “thin” flat panels. Since almost none of the other manufacturers who have been touting that “thin is in” have delivered as of yet, we’d have to agree that Toshiba simply called it like they saw it.
The user calibration options for this set are superb, though we found that the ability to dial it in fully will require patience and a lot of backtracking. Color is above par. Detail is good, and we liked the simple Media player that allows the TV to show off your movies, photos and music from an SD card.
Considering this TV has way more features than Toshiba’s last high-end model and retails for over $300 less, it’s a veritable steal and something that we highly recommend you take a look at when deciding which TV is going to be best for you.
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