Toshiba 37RL853B review

A decent mid-range 37-inch LCD TV with Freeview HD and a bucketful of picture adjustment options

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Toshiba 37rl853b

As previously mentioned the Toshiba 37RL853B has a Full HD panel with a Freeview HD tuner. It also has a generous four HDMI inputs (including one with an audio return channel), which should satisfy most users' HD habits (say for a games console, PVR and Blu-ray deck or home cinema system) and Resolution+, which upscales standard definition sources to 1920 x 1080 resolution.

There are also a broad set of tools that give you every chance possible of optimising the picture. You get the regular picture modes – Standard, Autoview, Dynamic, Game, PC and a brace of movie modes, which are called Hollywood 1 and Hollywood 2. It's quite likely that none of these will suit your tastes, even Autoview, which automatically adjusts the picture depending on ambient light conditions.

Naturally, it's a simple process to tinker with the contrast, brightness, colour, sharpness and backlight for each mode and any changes you make are saved for each mode. Further than that though is a surprisingly diverse range of adjustments.

But delving in to the Advanced Picture Settings menu to find such options as Colour Master, Base Colour, Colour Temperature, Backlight Adjustment Pro, White Balance, Black/White Level and Static Gamma, to name but seven, can all seem rather daunting.

And when you get down to the nitty gritty of tweaking the hue, saturation and brightness of red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan you start to wonder if it's ever possible to find the right combination of settings that are just right for your preference. Even more so, when you consider that different sources need different settings, as do different times of day when the ambient light changes.

And just to complicate matters even further there's an 'Expert' sub-menu that has an RGB filter for adjusting each colour in isolation, plus a white balance tool and a test pattern to aid image adjustment. There's also a Control Visualisation graph which puts a brightness histogram and control curve up on screen and makes you feel as if you're wearing a white lab coat doing GCSE physics experiments.

And with no way of saving settings to different presets it makes you wonder how often any of these parameters will be used by the vast majority of owners. It's not as if Toshiba offers a cheaper model of the same size that includes a Freeview HD tuner and some multimedia capability but excludes the calibration toolset.

Talking of multimedia, Toshiba has not exactly blazed the trail when it comes to internet-based TV entertainment and the 37RL853 doesn't do a lot to change that perception. Other brands, such as Sony and Samsung, are offering a much broader selection of IPTV portals on their budget TVs than just YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Flickr, which you get here once you've hooked up to a router using Ethernet (or an optional extra wi-fi dongle). On the plus side though, at least iPlayer allows access to HD shows (and is a cinch to use).

If you're not using the USB socket for a Wi-Fi dongle you can enjoy multi-media playback from a flash drive. The ethernet socket can also be used for hooking up to a Windows 7 computer for the purposes of DLNA networking.

Other socketry includes a Scart, component video and composite video for any legacy analogue kit, plus a 15-pin PC input and a digital optical audio output. Finally, a CI slot will accept a CAM module if you want access to ESPN using TopUp TV's subscription service.

The 37RL853 can also act as a giant photo frame. Choose one of your favourite snaps from a USB drive or networked computer and copy it to the TV's own flash memory. It can be displayed with or without the date and time.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyREGZA RL853
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size94 cm (37")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Analog TunerNTSC
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)12 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption100 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand610 mm
Width with Stand895 mm
Depth with Stand205 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Brightness360 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesRL853
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesAmbient Lighting, Auto Program, Hotel Mode, Auto-off, Teletext, Child Lock
Product Model37RL853
Product NameREGZA 37RL853 LED-LCD TV
Product LineREGZA
Manufacturer Part Number37RL853B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The 37" REGZA RL LED series brings more quality content and connectivity to your living room. Delivering stunning Full HD 1080p image quality the RL series features built-in Freeview HD for access to terrestrial HD programmes, catch-up TV and other internet content including YouTube YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Flickr.

You also have the added convenience of wireless content sharing in your home via DLNA. Content is always delivered in quality thanks to Resolution+ image enhancement technology that ensures even lower quality images are displayed in near HD quality, along with an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of your TV automatically dependent on the changing lighting conditions in your home.

Package Contents
  • Remote Control
Response Time8 ms
Limited Warranty1 Year