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Toshiba 37XV505D Picture Quality

by David Mackenzie
1 May 2008

High Definition (Blu-Ray)

Popping in a Blu-ray Disc – in this case, Resident Evil: Extinction, which has an astoundingly detailed and brilliantly encoded video transfer – is justification alone for hankering after a 1080p high definition television. Simply put, the ability to display video from this ultimate home cinema format without any rescaling is a killer feature. Just be sure that you press the Aspect Ratio button on the remote and select "Exact Scan" to preserve the 1:1 mapping and get the crispest possible picture.

Cheesy action isn't the only thing this film features in abundance - there's also a ton of beautifully (or not so beautifully) focussed pin-sharp closeups, which are reproduced brilliantly by the Toshiba 37XV505D – so much so in fact, that the shots where Milla Jovovich's pores and skin imperfections have been digitally smoothed really stick out. The Toshiba 37XV505D 1080p LCD HDTV superbly reproduces every nuance of detail, down to the natural grain texture of the film, meaning that you lose out on none of the intended look.

The Toshiba 37XV505D LCD television's ability to accept 1080p/24 input video is also a real plus, meaning that the native frame rate of the video on the Blu-ray Disc is preserved here. While I'm highly tolerant of telecine judder, there isn't any in this case, with all camera pans looking uninterrupted and free of erratic jerkiness. The signal is kept as 1080p throughout, unlike a select number of HDTVs which process internally in 1080i even when fed progressive input. This means, quite simply, there's almost no margin for error, guaranteeing you a great HD experience.

The only issue here is, of course, one which will affect everything fed to the Toshiba 37XV505D LCD TV – the black level. The film's darker shots weren't at their most convincing thanks to the limitations of the LCD panel.

SD (Freeview Digital TV)

The Toshiba 37XV505D's built-in DVB tuner can be used to pick up "Freeview" TV and radio channels, which present a fine torture test for any HDTV. The Toshiba 37XV505D LCD television comes out on the better end of the scale, as moderate use of the MPEG NR and DNR features can make these mushy broadcasts look fairly decent.

If you prefer to watch films on TV rather than on a higher quality pre-recorded format, you'll appreciate the Toshiba 37XV505D's 2:2 Pulldown detection feature, so the LCD television won't be throwing away any resolution during movement in films.

Standard Definition Console Gaming (Wii)

Evaluating only low bit-rate TV programmes would sell any television's standard-def capabilities short, so I took the chance to try out some Wii games (connected via the TV's Component video inputs, running at 480p/60hz) to see what it could really do. I was pleased with the results. Although many Wii games are, for one reason or another, highly blurred, Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl can have its blurring filter disabled in the game menus, and as such produces brilliantly crisp, 60 frames per second widescreen action.

The Toshiba 37XV505D LCD HDTV kept up with the frantic pace admirably and didn't show any signs of excess input lag, and the upconverting process created only small amounts of ringing around the already crisp edges.

3.5 Star Rating: Qualified Recommendation

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