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Toshiba 47Z3030D Test Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
30 December 2007

SUMMARY
Toshiba 47Z3030D sports the most advanced colour management system (CMS) and the best overall video processing I've seen on an LCD TV so far, but its black level lags behind the best-in-class SPVA panels.

PROS
> Excellent video and film mode deinterlacing
> Accurate colour decoding thanks to advanced CMS controls
> [Active Vision M100] reduces motion blurring

CONS
> Blacks not as deep as the best-in-class SPVA panels
> Settings cannot be saved independently per input
> No white balance controls in the user menu for greyscale calibration

 

Pros

  • Excellent video and film mode deinterlacing
  • Accurate colour decoding possible with CMS controls
  • Blacks is above average for an LCD (but not as deep as SPVA panels; see Cons)
  • Very good shadow detail presentation
  • [Active Vision M100] doubles motion resolution (but introduces some interpolation artifacts; see Cons)
  • Accepts 1080p/24 signal (but a subtle telecine judder persists unless [Film Stabilization] is deployed; see Cons)
  • [Exact Scan] allows for 1:1 pixel mapping with no overscan for 1080 source
  • Solid connectivity with 3 x HDMI ports, 1 x VGA, etc.
  • Onboard Onkyo speakers deliver impressive soundstage and bass extension
  • Clean minimalistic design
  • Responsive user menu and channel navigation
  • Quick setup as the power cable and pedestal stand come attached out-of-the-box

Cons

  • Calibrated black level not as good as those on rival SPVA panels
  • Lacks independent input memory settings
  • No white balance control in the user menu for greyscale calibration
  • Intermittent tearing/ shimmering interpolation artifact depending on source material when [Active Vision M100] is engaged
  • When fed a 1080p/24 signal, telecine judder can only be removed with [Film Stabilization] set to "Smooth" which unfortunately makes movies look like video
  • Mild backlight bleed and uneven screen uniformity (may be specific to my set)
  • Aesthetically unattractive EPG and remote control
  • Maximum supported PC VGA resolution is 1360 x 768

Conclusion

If there's one thing I'd like to see improve on future Toshiba LCD televisions, it would be the black-level performance. Don't get me wrong: the Toshiba 47Z3030D delivers above average blacks for an LCD TV, but when it comes to competing with high-end models from other manufacturers, it's clear that the black level on Toshiba 47Z3030D pales in comparison to the SPVA panels from Samsung (M86/ F86) and Sony (W3000/ X3500), and even the XL2Es from Sharp. One way of rectifying this issue is – of course – by embracing the SPVA technology which offers superior blacks and contrast, something that Toshiba has done for the larger 52Z3030D and the XF355D "Picture Frame" series.

This minor gripe aside, the Toshiba 47Z3030D really boasts a long list of commendable positives. Its video and film mode deinterlacing is – as a whole – the best I have seen on any LCD television to date, conclusively beating the latest Sharp Aquoses and Sony Bravias. And its colour management system surpasses even that implemented on the Pioneer Kuro plasmas in terms of comprehensiveness and usability.

As a result, HD content looked marvellously vibrant (in an accurate fashion) and detailed on the calibrated Toshiba 47Z3030D, and SD performance was more than acceptable as long as a sensible viewing distance was adopted. Engaging [Active Vision M100] did reduce motion blurring though at the cost of introducing some interpolation artifacts which – to be fair – were largely tolerable since they're not as distracting as those found on some other LCD TVs employing MCFI technology. Taking its solid connectivity, impressive audio and sleek design too into consideration, I find it hard not to recommend the Toshiba 47Z3030D.

Recommended By HDTVTest

4 Star Rating: Recommended

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