Toshiba 40BL702B review

Edge LED TV ideal for Virgin or Sky subscribers

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Aside from some basic picture presets (Cinema, Game, Dynamic and Natural) and the usual tweaks for colour, contrast, brightness and sharpness, there's not an awful lot at hand for calibrating the Toshiba 40BL702B.

Some 'advanced' picture settings are listed in the on-screen menus, but lead only to tweaks for colour temperature, colour shift and film mode, the latter of which has little-to-no discernible effect on images.

With Freeview pictures, we're struck at first not just by how inky and intense the black areas of the picture are - even within mixed brightness scenes - but also by how empty and uniform those sectors are. Impressive in their intensity, there's nevertheless zero shadow detailing within them.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

Colour in general is accurate, with a restrained, though vibrant palette featuring luscious reds and cool blues. Although the Toshiba 40BL702B's ability to create almost true black in part lends other colours a bold tone, that tendency for blocky, impenetrable black areas can leave some images looking a little odd.

It's also noticeable that the Toshiba 40BL702B struggles with blurring over movement - an old LCD panel problem that's usually solved by 100Hz scanning. A horizontal panning shot around the grand interiors of Windsor Castle in BBC One's The Queen's Palaces produces an uncomfortable pulsing as each object blurs into the next. Meanwhile, a slow, vertical shot from the top to bottom of the battlements outside are also stepped and blurred.

It's understandable that on such a big screen, standard definition channels should look rather soft, but many Freeview channels also suffer from a sheen of picture noise. It's clear that these relatively low data rate digital channels are being blown up too big to fit on this relatively basic 40-inch panel.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

Turn to DVD and that lack of upscaling is again obvious. Our test disc In Time suffers from mosquito noise around moving objects and jagged edges, and could do with Toshiba's often successful (but missing here) Resolution+ upscaling circuitry.

To put that in perspective, the same DVD viewed earlier in the week on an 80-inch projection screen had no such issues.

Making use of the Toshiba 40BL702B's Full HD resolution panel, our Blu-ray discs of The Pianist and Avatar look far better, with some luscious colouring and detailed close-ups being the norm.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

That motion issue remains, as does a tendency for picture noise and over-egged black, but mixed brightness night time scenes impress, as do skin tones in a reasonably enjoyable performance. A particular highlight is a snowflake scene in lamplight, which is deftly handled to show off the Toshiba 40BL702B's skill with detail and local LED dimming.

Throughout our review we found the Toshiba 40BL702B's panel to be of almost uniform brightness - with just a slight pique in luminosity in one of the corners - while the viewing angle is wide. However, contrast fades quickly if you watch from even slightly above or below the centre of the screen.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG2)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyBL702
EU Energy LabelB
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Analog TunerNTSC
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)14.60 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption68 W
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power16 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand632 mm
Width with Stand956 mm
Depth with Stand232 mm
Composite VideoYes
SCARTYes
Number of USB Ports2
Energy Consumption per Year99 kWh
Media PlayerYes
Height593 mm
Width956 mm
Depth40 mm
Brightness400 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Product SeriesBL702
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesDigital Noise Reduction, Auto Program, Teletext, Favorite Channel Selection, Auto-off, Hotel Mode, Sleep Timer, Child Lock
ManufacturerToshiba
Product Model40BL702
Product Name40" Full High Definition LED TV
Manufacturer Part Number40BL702B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

Witness stunning picture performance and a breathtaking overall viewing experience.

The 40BL702 delivers Full High Definition 1080p picture quality combined with all the benefits of LED technology for amazing colour, brightness and image clarity all in a thin, space-saving, gloss design.

The BL702 series also includes built-in Freeview digital TV access, so you can enjoy subscription-free access to 50 digital TV channels and 24 radio stations without the need for an additional set top box. Video, photo and audio playback is possible via a USB drive and multiple HDMI inputs and PC inputs make it easy to connect to other digital entertainment devices.

Response Time8 ms
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)13 kg