Toshiba 40RL858B review

A versatile mid-range Edge LED TV offering excellent value for money

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Toshiba 40rl858b review

Toshiba rather shoots itself in the foot from the off by promoting its headline acts - BBC iPlayer and YouTube - on the TV's core user interface.

Accessing them without having to fire up Toshiba Places might appear a space-saving idea, and it is, but for some reason iPlayer can't be launched from the actual Toshiba Places platform that it's supposed to be the crowning glory of. The icon is there, but a 'sorry, mate, we've not bothered to link to that' message (or words to that effect) appears when it's selected.

There are other long-winded and annoying oddities here, too: to even exit Toshiba Places - and you likely won't be staying too long - requires pressing Exit, then confirming it. The live BBC iPlayer link lies under the Applications tab on the main menu.

Toshiba 40rl858b review

In terms of their future usefulness, the Toshiba Places pages do have one saving grace - armed with a separate login, multiple members of the household can customise what services they see. The big drawback for now is that there actually isn't all that much to decide between, but this could develop into a genuinely useful approach.

Elsewhere, Toshiba Places is nothing special, although some shortcuts have been added up top - we can see why the likes of Acetrax, iConcerts (archived John Denver concerts! Yeah!) and Aupeo can be called up immediately without hunting for the link, but do we really need a one-touch option to change the language?

It adds to the impression that this user interface was created by visual designers only, and not road-tested as much as it should have been. It's slow, and feels entirely separate from the rest of the TV.

Toshiba 40rl858b review

Typical of the UI's rudimentary design is the Freeview HD EPG, a seven-day affair that displays all information for 13 channels over two and a half hours, in what looks like a half-written spreadsheet. There's no thumbnail image of the current channel underneath, although audio continues.

It's also slow to navigate - it's not even possible to scan down a page at a time, which is a huge shame, considering that the HD channels are hidden 50 channels in.

Remote control

Toshiba 40rl858b review

At least an inch too long and a touch slow to issue commands to its mother ship, the Toshiba 40RL858's remote control isn't one of our favourites. That's despite it being a winner in all other areas.

It sports a nicely weighted design that uses good quality and well-sized rubber buttons, and stores plenty of shortcut keys, as well as old-fashioned number buttons.

USB and Network Media Player

Toshiba 40rl858b review

Dock a USB flash drive into the Toshiba 40RL858's sole USB slot and the TV immediately asks if you'd like to engage the Media Player, although it's just as easy to access via the Quick menu.

Photos are well provided for, with thumbnails displayed in a large 3 x 4 grid. When selected, they load with a variety of fade-in styles, with our test revealing support for both JPEG and BMP files, although not GIF or TIF formats.

Digital music fares well, too, with support for MP3, WMA and Apple Lossless M4A files. Tracks play when selected, but also kick-in after a few seconds if you merely hover over them. A largely blank full-screen is then displayed that lists the song title and artist beside a fairly low-res image of a quaver.

The highlight, though, is digital video - there's simply nothing we had in our locker that the Toshiba 40RL858 didn't play, which is a rare occurrence indeed. Everything from DivX AVI files, WMV and high-definition MKV and WMV HD (complete with audio) to MP4 and MPEG-2, various AVC HD and even a RealPlayer Media video all loaded quickly and played without problems.

The performance is slightly patchier over DLNA, with MKV not recognised.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Product FamilyREGZA RL858
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Analog TunerNTSC
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Operating Power Consumption89 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand505 mm
Width with Stand655 mm
Depth with Stand140 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports1
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Brightness400 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesRL858
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesDigital Noise Reduction, Teletext, Auto-off, Hotel Mode, Auto Program
Product Model40RL858
Product Name40" Smart LED TV
Product LineREGZA
Manufacturer Part Number40RL858B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The REGZA RL858 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, internet content and catch-up TV services including YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Facebook.

You can also get access to a range of other online content from Acetrax, Flickr, Aupeo internet radio, Cartoon Network and more through the Toshiba Places internet portal accessed via your TV at the touch of a button. The added convenience of wireless content sharing in your home via DLNA and USB playback is also included.

Package Contents
  • 40" Smart LED TV
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
  • Instruction Manual
  • Stand
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)11.10 kg