Toshiba 40BL702B review

  • £417.9
  • $655

Edge LED TV ideal for Virgin or Sky subscribers

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For

  • Connectivity
  • Blu-ray image quality
  • Tactile remote control
  • Digital file handling

Against

  • Lacks HD digital channels
  • Clunky Freeview EPG
  • Crushed black levels
  • Some LED light leakage
  • Motion blur

With the UK now totally digital and Freeview HD transmitters creeping into most major regions, who would buy a TV with just a bog standard digital tuner? Considering its Full HD resolution and super-slim appearance, we can only imagine that this, Toshiba's latest in a long line of 40-inch Edge LED TVs, is aimed at those with subscription TV services.

A Freeview HD tuner still carries a premium of £50-£100 on a TV, so it's worth manufacturers making bare bones TV for Virgin Media, BT Vision and Sky subscribers, we suppose, but there's relatively little else on this BL Series screen to tempt.

The Toshiba 40BL702B's Full HD LCD panel makes it a candidate for using with a Blu-ray disc player and games consoles, but its 40mm panel depth and use of LED backlighting will prove just as attractive.

What the Toshiba 40BL702B does lack is a smart TV dimension, which is a shame though hardly surprising on a TV without built-in Freeview HD guts. Ignoring 3D, too, the Toshiba 40BL702B also passes over the brand's successful CEVO picture engine, though do remember that this is a package geared towards achieving a low price, not the highest standards.

With a gloss black design and a bezel width of around 30mm, there's nothing particularly mould-breaking about the Toshiba 40BL702B, but it's pleasant enough and in terms of looks it certainly doesn't make a flatscreen faux pas.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

Aside from this 40-inch model, other screens in Toshiba's BL Series include the 22-inch 22BL702B and 32-inch 32BL702B, both of which also feature Full HD resolution Edge LED-backlit panels.

Other 40-inch Edge LED TVs in Toshiba's 2012 lineup include those from the RL Series and TL Series. Freeview HD and the brand's smart TV platform, Toshiba Places, features on the 40RL858B and 40RL953B, the latter sporting a metallic design and adding a 100Hz scanning option that should completely banish motion blur.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

Buying Guide
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The similarly metallic-coloured 40TL868B in Toshiba's TL Series also claims Active Shutter 3D, although the really high-end features are found on the WL and YL Series models. With Active Shutter 3D, CEVO engine processing and 'full' LED local dimming, the 42-inch 42WL863B and 42-inch 42YL863B are worth searching out.

Features

The LCD panel's 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution is a bit of a relief after discovering that the Toshiba 40BL702B doesn't carry a DVB-T2 tuner for finding Freeview HD channels, but note that this is a 50Hz panel with no anti-blur 100Hz option. More alarmingly, this TV lacks a Blu-ray 24p playback mode, so despite that Full HD, the panel isn't technically ideal for hi-def discs.

Edge LED backlighting is in place, which ought to mean some decent contrast and a certain level of local dimming. But in previous years it's around the 40-inch size that the Edge system - where lights are used only at the sides and fire light across the rear of the panel, to create a super-slim product - becomes less impressive.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

Ins and outs are excellent, with no sign of cut corners whatsoever; four HDMI inputs should lend some HD versatility to the Toshiba 40BL702B, which also sports two USB slots, component video, composite video, and a 15-pin D-sub VGA port for hooking up a PC in the old analogue way. On the side is a Common Interface slot for adding Top-Up TV viewing cards.

Although there's no Ethernet LAN port or built-in Wi-Fi - as found on almost every single TV priced over £500 (around $800) - the Toshiba 40BL702B does manage to provide a couple of rarely seen connections; Scart and a direct subwoofer output. Other audio ins include a set of stereo audio phones, an optical digital audio output and a headphones slot.

Talking of which, audio comes via some relatively weak 6W stereo speakers, with some basic audio modes that include a pseudo-surround option.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

Its sole USB slot, situated on the side of the TV, can play digital material from a USB flash drive, HDD, camera or smartphone, and file compatibility stretches far beyond the basic JPEG/MP3/AVI formats that most cheap TVs offer.

The Toshiba 40BL702B is probably more notable for what it lacks. But those not interested in smart TV or Freeview HD - likely Sky, BT Vision or Virgin Media subscribers who already pay for HD channels and have BBC iPlayer/Sky Player access covered - will like having the option to purchase a basic flatscreen LED TV without having to waste money on pointless add-ons.

Besides, the Toshiba Places smart TV platform is a tad clunky and bereft of any services of note, aside from BBC iPlayer and YouTube. You're not missing much.

Toshiba 40BL702B review

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